Monday, February 20, 2006

Great TV once again

Despite the mire that is Japanese terrestrial TV, little nuggets of gold can be found. Last night was a good example. The essential premise of the show was simple - stage a mock break-in, pretend to intimidate the houseowners and generally cause a threatening kerfuffle in order to see if the family dog will try to protect it's owners.

The first dog, a chihuahua, failed rather miserably, running away in terror before hiding in his red plastic cage.

When the second dog came out, I thought we'd hit the jackpot - A Doberman! Surely it was going to make mincemeat of the faux-intruders! Think about the ending of The Boys from Brazil!

Well, no... despite a fearsome reputation as guard dogs, it seems that this particular one had been trained well in the art of standing on the coffee table and shaking but not in the more useful discipline of tearing out the throat of an intruder. What happened next is something so Japanese that no analysis is needed...

A man dressed as a giant crab appears and tries to unsettle the dog! Drawing only curious glances, he quickly went back to wherever the hell he came from...

The final dog, a kind of Jack Russell in a knitted jacket, was a bit of a mystery. It was small, and the jacket suggested pampering, but I know the dog from old, and a number of them from my childhood were particularly territorial and viscious.

Sadly, this little dog wasn't, and immediately backed out of the room and bolted upstairs. When the owner returned him and shut the door, he scampered to the sofa and looked terrified.

At this point the action went back to the studio, and the guests had to guess what the dog would do next. There were many suggestions, including a belief that the dog would shit all over the rug, "as I do sometimes!" quoted the token fey man-tart on the panel. Another guy said the dog would hide his head under the rug, but it was the lusciously-mouthed Waka Inoue that guessed correctly - the dog would jump on the back of the sofa and stare at the wall. Apparently this is a dog thing and the showing of your back indicates that you are not an enemy and defenceless.

Generally, a disappointing showing. Not so much the dogs but the mock-intruders... dressing like ultra camp versions of the halloween skeletons from The Karate Kid and waving their arms and chuckling "woo!", they deserved the devil dogs that ate Gregory Peck's Mengele...


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