December 31, 2005 9:32 PM

Why Japanese TV shows are so much better than American TV shows:

American shows try to measure social worth and prestige: beauty, singing talent, intellegence, "balls". Which is to say, they're concerned with mostly stupid and arbitrary things (I don't generalize absolutely only because I kind of like 'Jeopardy').

Japanese shows, on the other hand, don't really measure anything at all, of any worth: whether you can guide a metal rod through a wiggly maze without electrocuting yourself, or how long you can resist pulling your meat-donning head away from hungry lizards, or how entertaining you will be when you, a drunk businessman, call up your family. Which is to say, they make hits.