If there’s one show that highlights the gulf between my feeble grasp of Japanese, and Japanese as it is spoken, it’s this one. Barbs and sarcastic jokes fly back and forth, and even the kanji captions flashed up on screen seem to pass by faster than usual, meaning my attempts at following the action au naturel are pretty hopeless.
This is a comedy chat show hosted by the stand-up double act London Boots. It has a variety of formats, but the only one I’ve seen with subtitles is the Women’s Ranking Match. In this, a selection of ten female regulars on the show (models, singers, comedians) are ranked from one to ten about some question regarding how badly their life is going (for example “woman most likely to become unhappy”) according to a survey of the general public. This is just an excuse for the hosts and guest comedians to insult the panel of women, while they fire back insults of their own. This is stupid gossipy fun, with a bit of a mean streak.
The other episodes I’ve seen were the two sports days (one for men, one for women), which didn’t need any subs since it’s pretty clear from the context what people are talking about. It’s interesting to compare the two, with the women being supportive and cheering each other on, while the men spend their time arguing over the rules.
But game shows rarely get subbed and while this isn’t always a problem, without a good knowledge of the language London Hearts will just speed past without you. Pity, really. It always looks like they’re having so much fun.