Sunday, May 27, 2012

Japanese Poverty Porn

Never heard of Pirate Bay?
After a few annoying weeks without a stationary computer, I'm finally back with a brand new up-to-spec computer. The biggest challenge to updating the blog is the choice as to whether spend the precious minutes I have to myself playing Sniper Elite V2 on the computer or to write a post...

One thing that struck me the other day as I was watching TV while cooking dinner for Mrs. Sunshine and a very ungrateful Toddler Sunshine was how Japanese TV-channels have a thing for shows of what I would like to call "
Poverty Porn". The format can be either a fly-on-the-wall typish documentary with commentary from the compulsory celebrity panel or it can be a reenactment with commentary from the compulsory celebrity panel.

The basic outline for these Poverty Porn shows are following (
or retelling) the hardships of a family down on it's luck and how they struggle to make do in Japan. Usually there's some twist on the person documented, like a divorced mother with 5+ kids (or for sadder cases; a widow), a younger person with a baby thrown out from the family home and whatnot. These shows come up from time to time and are not reserved for the public service channel of NHK but are primarily shown on the prime entertainment networks during close-to-primetime hours.

I find the shows somewhat fascinating but confused as to what the actual point is supposed to be as there's rarely any form of real conclusion or message behind them (at least for most of them as far as I've gathered) but just wallowing in the misery of the people followed. I did encourage Mrs. Sunshine to watch these shows when she felt it was tough to juggle Baby Salaryman and Toddler Sunshine while I'm away as she could at least think "well, I'm nowhere as bad as those folks" and that might be the real purpose of Japanese Poverty Porn?

10 comments:

hardkoretom said...

"well, I'm nowhere as bad as those folks"

I think thats the best part of life, there is always somebody who is having a worse time in life than me.

I wish I could find one of those shows when I'm looking for something to watch, but I keep finding the boring variety shows that are entertaining for about 3 minutes. iitomo comes to mind.

kamo said...

Yeah, I've noticed something of a rash of those 'massive family' documentaries as of late. Maybe you and Mrs S should put in more effort on that front. It could be a lucrative little sideline. Two down, seven to go...

Chris said...

I dunno what "Big Daddy" is about but my 8-18 year olds are almost all calling it their favorite show?

melanie said...

When I was much younger and having daily panic attacks over money troubles, I did find that one thing that made me put my problems in perspective and calm down was watching the news and seeing stories about some big tragedy, like a family's entire home burning down. Ordinarily all the tragedies on the news depress me because I feel so bad for everyone in them.
So maybe this is the intent of these programs. Or maybe they're just intended as documentary without commentary? I guess there is something intriguing about people whose lives are so completely different from your own, no matter what the specifics.

Ray said...

Dude, fuck the blog, go play some Sniper Elite V2, it's awesome! Only game where you can shoot Hitler in the testicles. We'll wait for you, don't worry lol

Andy in Tokyo said...

Maybe they act as a counterweight to those shows where fabulously rich but utterly tasteless "talents" show off their massive walk in wardrobes, hideous antique furniture and bright-pink Maybach cars.

shadowzach00 said...

is there hinta lol

Princess Dieter said...

Before seeing your last lines (theory), I came to the same. It's the, "See, feel better, cause you aren't THIS badly off."

Mr. Salaryman said...

HardekoreT - Iitomo is quite horrible... You might be watching too much daytime tv ;)

Kamo - Indeed, would be an interesting life with 10-12 kids if nothing else and getting on TV could be the break we have been waiting for!

Chris - Hmmm, "Big Daddy"? Not sure I know of that show, but I mostly watch kid's shows on the telly these days...

Melanie - I doubt that the real intent is to make other people feel good about their comparatively good lives, but it's for sure one effect of the shows ;) I think you hit the target with the second thought

Ray - It actually is, but I'm thinking of getting the console version instead since I feel more comfortable playing those type of games slouched in the sofa

Andy - Those are pretty horrible too, but there's also some comfort in how horrible taste some of those rich folk have!

Shadow - Huh? What's a hinta?

Princess - Well, it for sure is one effect of it!

shadowzach00 said...

sorry i mean Hentai

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