Pop Culture
Jul 02, 2008, 07:50AM

Strange Japanese Game Show Craze Hits The U.S.

Japanese game shows featuring ultimate obstacle courses, quiz shows with ridiculous prizes and penalties, and a human version of Tetris have garnered a massive following in the states through YouTube clips. Now, the television industry is looking to take advantage of the craze, spinning off a few bizarre shows in America.  Say goodbye to the classy sophistication of Alex Trebek. 

Everyone has seen them at least once on You Tube. The continuous marathons can be caught on Spike TV. They're Japanese game shows, and they're making their way into every American home soon.

Fox recently bought rights to the concept of the show "Human Tetris." That's right, Americans will start having their own version of "Human Tetris" called "A Hole In The Wall." Fuji TV launched a different version of the show in Australia, Russia, and India in June 2006. Officials have yet to announce when the show will air in the United States.

"Human Tetris" - generally two words many wouldn't assume go together - is one of the most popular of Japan's televised competitions. It's nothing like Tetris, besides involving shapes. Contestants have to try to fit their bodies through shapes (many times obscene) cut into a giant Styrofoam wall.

To top it off, the players are dressed in all metallic spandex, and they have to think quickly about the shape before they are able to get through. If the contestant fails, he or she falls into a pool of water. The lights start blinking, the audience counts down, and then suddenly a light comes on and shows the mystery shape. The reaction on the contestant's face is priceless, and the audience is laughing hysterically the whole time. Mostly, it isn't supposed to be taken seriously but rather to get a good rise out of everyone.

Although it sounds ridiculous, it seems as though that's what the game-show producers are going for. Everyone is shocked by the plethora of shapes that the contestants are given, and there's no doubt about the audience laughing the entire way through.


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