Latest Japanese variety show Stories

2008-07-22 12:00:00

Summertime TV has been dabbling in game shows and contestant humiliation since 2001, when NBC debuted Fear Factor with an episode featuring players lowered into a pit filled with rats. But this year, the networks have taken their game to a whole new level with programs that show competitors getting punched in the face and falling into a pit of mud as they try to climb an obstacle-course wall -- or players dressed like bugs getting slammed against car windshields. One entire series is built...

2008-07-22 00:00:28

By Cary Darling The Japanese long have been known for their torturous game shows that test not only physical endurance but sanity. Now this approach is finding a home on American TV. Why suffer the stolid bookishness of "Jeopardy!" -- and run the risk of actually learning something -- when you can watch "Hurl!" and savor the sight of guys revisiting their previous meal? And this being the networks' "off-season," when viewers' brain cells are fried from the sun and summer-TV reality...

2008-07-14 12:00:39

The freak show called reality TV has always pushed its clowns to fall apart, whether they're would-be models pining for the affections of a washed-up rocker, hot-tempered roommates battling for the last dab of toothpaste or cold-hearted contestants willing to emotionally scar their loved ones for a shot at a bag of cash. That's no longer enough. Now we want blood. In ABC's new hit "Wipeout," borderline athletes get punched, ricocheted and knocked into muddy waters on obstacle courses...

2008-06-24 02:29:55

Reason to watch: It's summer. You're bored. Nothing else on. All good reasons (there's always a good book, or a newspaper, by the way), but these shows also could be breakout hits. "Whaaa?!" you say. They're members of a subgenre that launched about three years ago with "The Simple Life" _ reality TV spoofs. What they're about: "Human cannonballs! Human pinballs! Crashes, smashes and mud splashes!" explains the entirely unhyperbolic press release from ABC for "Wipeout." But this really does...

Word of the Day
  • Scandinavian punch made of claret and aquavit with spices and raisins and orange peel and sugar.
This word comes from the Swedish 'glogg,' which is an alteration of 'glodgat,' mulled (wine).