Mark Frauenfelder at 12:24 pm Tue, Jan 8, 2013
It's nice to see that reality TV has gotten classy. (Via Laughing Squid)
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His latest book is Made by Hand: My Adventures in the World of DIY
TAGS: Delightful Creatures
Electro-swing: glitchy, jazzy, uptempo music
Battle of the Planets
A show hosted by Steve-O? Naturally classy.
Well at least we know where he is.
But does he?
i’d rather be dunked in a tank full of snakes than watch this.
Whelp, I’m pretty sure this sort of thing means that’s it. We, as hominids have had our chance at evolution. It was a good run but this kind of cultural nadir pretty much undoes everything from Stonehenge to the LHC. It’s only fair we turn it over to the roaches who, for all their faults, will presumably draw the line at this spectacle as popular entertainment.
Not sure. Roaches probably dunk their karaoke singers in a tank full of humans.
I’m gonna guess that she does indeed have some class, or there was something in the contract by which she would forfeit any winnings, if she got up off that swing and decked Steve-O. A paid-to-be-an-asshole is still an asshole.
Hey, it’s reality TV. If she did that, it’d just be more footage.
It would be silly to say that nothing will ever quite manage to top The Chamber, but nonetheless it does represent a certain high-water mark at present. Does this exceed? I suspect not quite.
Torture was much cooler in 2002, it was the new black(site) in the US for awhile.
It stops being cool when your own government starts doing it.
When they start doing it to -you-. In 2002 a large number of “Muricans” were a-okay with their government torturing people and many probably still are.
yep, we are doomed
Is it okay for the snakes to throw them into ice water like that? I would think there would be animal rights folks all over this, although I don’t know too much about reptilian well-being.
No, it’s not. I watched only enough to see that some of the snakes were immobilized by the cold water, putting them at risk for pneumonia or drowning. I hope that the production company and whoever provided the snakes both get prosecuted for animal cruelty.
the snakes did seem to be trying to use the swing and her body to escape the water
If that were ice water, would those snakes be moving around?
But, but, but… it SAYS ice water right there on the tank of water!
Next you’re going to tell me some of the snakes are rubber….
It wasn’t literal ice water, obviously, but it doesn’t take freezing temperatures to immobilize the average snake. The water could have been as “warm” as 50º F./10º C. and still be cold enough to get that response from the singer and render the smaller snakes helpless in short order. The larger the poikilotherm, the longer it would take for the cold to immobilize it, so the pythons had more of a chance than the little guys. There certainly might have been a few rubber snakes, but very few.
See, here’s what I don’t understand:
When it’s an American show dunking people in tanks of snakes, shocking them with electricity, and making them run through a bunch of cactus, it’s awful reality TV, pure pablum, you’d rather douse ourselves in gasoline and set ourselves on fire than watch it.
When Japanese shows do pretty much the same damned thing and worse, you call it comedy gold. How is this really that different from Takeshi’s Castle and it’s Karaoke segment, where if you didn’t sing well enough, or stopped singing, you got belted up and thrown out of their little fake karaoke bar?
This isn’t a sign that American TV is on it’s usual perpetual downhill reality TV slide, it’s a sign that some TV executive figured out that Japanese game shows get a lot of youtube views and other attention from Americans, and decided to do something similar.
I mean, shit on reality TV all you want, but at least be consistent about it, or come up with a better critique than “Oh, stupid reality shows” for American TV, while acting like the same thing but with Japanese people is the greatest thing in the world.
Edit – Not directed at anyone in particular, just general comment.
Well, Kitano Takeshi is a well-respected actor, so it might be comparable if Dame Judi Dench were hosting Fear Factor.
Call me crazy, Ant, but I would pay money to see that. Dame Judi’s Castle, can you imagine it? It’d be mental.
I always wanted to be on Takeshi’s Castle, you know. I didn’t care if I failed – let’s face it, almost every contestant did – I just really, really wanted to try. I was rather sad when I found out the show had ended. You do get the odd show that piques my interest – silent library, or a few of the other punishment game shows – but much like the contestants of the famous show in question, very few can successfully approach the castle.
Dame Judi’s Castle, can you imagine it?
It wouldn’t be so much a matter of winners as a matter of survivors.
Edit: Checked to see if this existed; came away satisfied. http://fuckyeahjudidench.tumblr.com/
I see I’m not the only person who realizes how much Judy Dench just tormenting the shit out of people would rock.
Another thing I like about the Japanese shows is more of a crossover between celebrity and common man. Kitano Takeshi presumably does his show because he’s weird and wants to do it, not because he needs the money. I was thinking of this in terms of the two Iron Chef shows; the original Japanese show seemingly selected their critics at random: minor movie/softcore porn stars, some old lady, a mayor of some backwater province…the Food Network version has to use food ‘experts’ and gourmets, which makes it somewhat boring; the non-experts would be genuinely surprised by some of the food/dishes, and express more genuine joy, or better horror with the more eclectic stuff.
I have a theory that Beat Takeshi is actually a robot, just like Buster Friendly and his Friendly Friends described in PKD’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”: Takeshi is on at least 5-6 hours worth of TV every day. The man must live on Odaiba island in the Fuji TV building.
It is funny when someone else is doing it because part of what you are laughing at is that other nutty culture. When you see crap like this, it is your dumb culture and smug feelings of superiority vanish. It is the difference between snickering at a loud obnoxious drunk at a party, and your significant other being a loud obnoxious drunk at a party. One is kind of funny, the other is kind of embarrassing.
Well said. I’d have to think on the point before I entirely back it, but I think you’ve definitely got something there.
Strangely enough, many of these shows are based on the same idea you’re putting forward – that it’s funny and entertaining, when it’s happening to someone else – just writ large upon an entire populace rather than just other individuals. I always find it interesting when things line up so neatly across different levels of scale.
Next thing you know we’ll be paying to see people fight to the death. That would be new, wouldn’t it?
Personally I find both completely obnoxious. Which might explain why I hate reality TV so much, be it American, Japanese, or from my own culture (French.)
Oh come on. This type of “entertainment” rules TV in Japan. We’re surprised it’s reached our shores?
No, Japanese TV has calmed down a lot. Mostly it’s just people talking.
Glad to see the TV segments from Robocop are all coming true.
I was thinking Running Man…. Climbing for Dollars!
That’s the one! Plus we have UFC
Of course, there’s always ‘Bowling for Bowsers’, which was a New Zealand (I think) game show pilot in which small dogs like chihuahuas were released around where the bowling pins would be (IIRC there were tall, clear bumpers instead of gutters), and contestants bowled light balls (but heavy enough to roll) down the lane. The small dogs mostly would wag their tails, hop over the balls, or chase them around. Didn’t much seem to mind being hit, but that only happened like twice.
I really don’t know how the contestants scored points, but the dogs seemed to enjoy it. I don’t know much about the show because a friend found it somewhere and downloaded it, the copy didn’t have any credits and she was pretty obscure about it. The people seem to be wearing ’80s style clothing, and the video looks like it was recorded on someone’s VCR so I guess it was from the ’80s. The announcer sounded like he was from NZ. Bizarre show, I believe it was a one-off. I’m surprised some other country didn’t pic it up. Sounds like it would be a novel animal shelter fundraiser though (or perhaps a Head-Start fundraiser if you use toddlers.)
/ I never, ever, make shit up. Never. Rest-assured. I have a Masters Degree…in Science.
“I’d buy THAT for a dollar!”
As someone whose car was stolen a few months back, I’m still waiting for my thief-electrocuting car alarm!
those poor snakes!!
It’s very bad for these snakes – potentially deadly. They can die of hypothermia, or catch some respiratory infection – a huge hazard for reptiles. At least some of these poor creatures will die in a few days – just for the sake of this stupid show. Some people think snakes are “revolting” – this video makes it really clear who’s really revolting here.
The snakes that won’t die: the fake rubber ones and the ones that noticed the water was around ambient temperature when they entered it.
The snakes that will die: the ones sufficiently literate to read the “ICE WATER” label from the wrong side and then have a massive nocebo effect kick in.
Frankly, I think the latter constituency’s a little smaller than you might believe.
the shock value could’ve been higher. maybe if they, say, dunked that wired microphone in with her.
I hope the irony of posting this video/advertisment with a snarky tag on a blog to get views is not lost on the Boing Boing audience. It’s really not that different from airing the show to get views on TV.
IMHO, the clip is pretty awesome. Now I want to hear that woman’s take on what happened. Was it a lesson learned? Was it somehow a great experience? What was she told before going on camera? Would she do it again?
We have occasionally been out having a nice dinner and suddenly karaoke night starts up. Suddenly conversation is replaced by bad music and caterwauling so loud you have to yell to speak to each other at the same table. Now we know to check for signs, but sometimes it’s not posted. Tanks of snakes would be a huge improvement.
Is it worth noting that I think its dubious to call Killer Karaoke a “reality show”? Its a game show.
Christ what an asshole.
…somebody had to say it, but it’s as true as ever.
Next thing you know they’ll be lining up middle class housewives on stage to compete to see whose life is more miserable.
In Peru there is a popular show called Canta Si Puedes (Sing If You Can) which is basically this and it is hilarious and awesome. (They also now ban stunts that involve live snakes in order to protect the snakes, after public outcry) It is both a semi-serious American Idol-style singing competition and a fear factor-style stunt show. There is a panel of three semi-famous judges who actually critique the singing, to hilarious effect (“I wish you would have tried harder when you were in the ice tank…”). On one episode the singers had to sing while being attacked by four rottweilers while inside a giant padded suit (THE BEST!!) Latin America long-ago discovered the amazing entertainment power of synthesizing tv-show formats to create new shows.
That’s one exotic way to make tea. But it’ll be HUGE in Asia.
Well now you’re just describing a typical Saturday for me.
Well, it’s not “OW! My Balls” but it’ll do…
I think that young lady is going to have one whopper case of PTSD, and I hope her lawyer can weasel out of the hold harmless clauses and sue the hell out of the show.
It did strike me as particularly horrible that this woman, who presumably loves singing karaoke enough to want to go on a game show was going to be subjected to a traumatic experience directly relating to her presumed hobby. Kind of like if I subjected my Call of Cthulhu players to electroshock whenever their characters went insane.
Country-western. Why did it have to be country-western?
Yeah… glad to see that cutting the cable was still the right move.
So I’ve seen animes that start just like that clip, but they slither down a different road altogether.
I think the real issue here is whether “The Soup” can withstand the pressure to just start screening clips from this show for 20 minutes solid, causing the whole space-time continuum to implode in a massive metafuckopalypse.
Anyone who’s watched America’s Funniest Home Videos should already know that America’s idea of comedy gold is some guy getting hit in the crotch.
Who care if it’s cold water, or American TV…. it’s really just a crappy thing to do to unwilling animals.
If they don’t care about the people involved it is unlikely they give a damn about animals that can’t speak for themselves.
Bearing in mind the warnings that the combination would be bad for the snakes, some nights I really would like to dump our (off-key) karaoke singing neighbors into either a tank of snakes or a tank of ice water. Abba would be bad enough, but Abba loud and off-key with a thick accent can batter down most of my mental defenses. I ought to be more enlightened by now but sometimes I just can’t maintain it.
Am I the only one who misread the headline as “Karaoke singer gets drunk…”?
meh, give me The Happy Smile Super Challenge Family Wish Show anyday.
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