Sunday, September 28, 2008
The long hard road out of hell...
Without any kind of formal research or anything to back me up here, in Japan, much like in the western world, a lot of people wants to be on tv. Or even better, work with tv in front of the camera. If you can't sing, act, dance or anything the route to take is to become an "announcer", a career that mostly is geared towards woman.
The "announcer" is a cross between exactly what it sounds like, a person who announces upcoming segments and such in a tv-show, and a light-weight reporter. However, becoming an announcer for one of the leading networks, giving you the exposure and screen time you need to be upgraded to a real celebrity is not easy and hard work.
On Saturday mornings there is a show called "King's Brunch" that starts pretty early in the morning and continues to some time after lunch. The show is basically a sponsored show that highlights movies premiering in the week, talks about upcoming tv-shows and a bunch of other more or less entertaining stuff. However, this show also seems to be one of the big opportunities for up and coming announcers to make or break it. For their light-hearted investigations in the places to eat and shop in Tokyo they have an army of announcers in the show that play second-fiddle to the main hosts. Some of the announcers later on make it on to real fame, going further to fame and fortune while some girls dissapear and are not seen on tv again.
That's all fair and good I think and nothing that I have any issues with at all. However, there is one section in the show that is really cringe-worthy and just plain painful to watch. For about 10min, three or so of the featured announcers get their second in the spotlight where they highlight new products that are "so great" in a mini tv-shop like feature. The products are usually somewhere in the range of pointless to completely worthless, but the enthusiasm that the girls introduce the products is pretty amusing. The enthusiasm is there, however, the heart seems to be lacking a bit and they usually comes out as extremely enthusiastic and very very fake.
When I happen to see that segment I really feel for those girls but can't help being impressed by their dedication to their career since it must be pretty humiliating... There are male announcers as well in some shows but I don't think it's anything I'll be aiming for anytime soon...