Is Japanese TV really as bad as its reputation?

Foreigners living in Japan, our own editor included, often give Japanese TV a hard time. For many, it’s either too weird, too predictable or too obnoxious. If it really is so bad though, surely shows like Iron Chef and Ninja Warrior (Sasuke) would never have been introduced in the US? Nor would America have created the show I Survived a Japanese Game Show. So if foreign stations are taking cues from the Japanese TV shows, the originals must have some merit, right?

One Reddit user finally asked the big question, “Japanese television. Is it really so terrible?” As you’d expect, the responses poured in, both in favor of and adamantly against it. One user proclaimed that Japan only has three kinds of programs, “Shows about celebrities. Shows about food. Shows about celebrities eating food.” But like TV in any country, there are actually a lot of different kinds of shows, so it’s probably worth a moment to take a walk through some of the programming options.

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