Too Much Restriction on TV Production Makes TV Shows Become Boring | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Too Much Restriction on TV Production Makes TV Shows Become Boring

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“TV has become boring because people care too much about compliance.”

This is a line that you will often hear from television production people.

The BPO (Broadcasting Policy and Ethics Organization), which was established in 2003, is said to have put a shackles  on the programming on all stations. But then again, television  has been producing a lot of good shows.

We asked former TV professionals who were active at the forefront during the so-called “golden age” of television from the Showa to the mid-Heisei eras, “what kind of production would be absolutely no good if it were done in 2022? Some of them were acceptable, while others were not. Here are some of them that may leave you scratching your head.

Smoking cigarettes in the “(show’s name)” is a no-no.

“I know that smoking is not welcome in today’s world. But I was once scolded for just staging a ‘smoking in the office’ event. The reason why I was not allowed to do so was because the location was in Minato Ward. The ward’s ordinance does not allow smoking indoors. I miss the days when smoking was allowed indoors and even on trains and buses.”

If I did that now, I’d go to!

*We are not allowed to do a surprise in “(show’s name)”.

“There is such a thing as the CoronaVirus, but one thing you can never do today is stage a surprise in bed, which used to be a staple of the “wake-up surprise”. When the target is an idol, the gimmick is that the celebrity goes straight to the bathroom of the hotel room where the idol is sleeping. If the audience in the studio watching the VTR screams, that’s it.

Then he would go through the idol’s bag, put on the bra that had been put away next to the bed, and when he found lipstick in a pouch, he would, of course, smear it on his own lips. Anyway, he did whatever he wanted, didn’t he? I still vividly remember Tsurutaro Kataoka, 67, from “Star Dokkiri Maruhi Hokoku” (Fuji Television Network). He may look like a hermit now, but back then he loved hair. He used to eat the hair that fell in his idol’s room.”

If I did something like that now, I’d be …!

*Private body part exposure is a no-no!

In the old days, even during prime time (7:00-10:00 p.m.), there was plenty of room for nipple exposure. In the home drama “It’s Time” (TBS), starring Masaaki Sakai (75), which takes place in a public bathhouse, the scene in the women’s bath was very popular. In the scene, the women were fully nude, and their nipples were exposed. In “Shimura Ken no Bakatonosama” (Fuji Television), there was an outrageous project called the “Human Nervous Breakdown” in which a woman’s body is used.

“A woman wearing full-body tights with her breasts and stomach cut out was placed on her stomach, and when she was poked by Bakadono, she would turn around and play a game of nervous breakdown using a picture drawn on her stomach, exposing her bust top at the same time. It was ridiculous and I loved it.”

If I did that now, I’d go to ……!

Shimura’s talent was that he could laugh at the bottom of a story without making it seem vulgar.

*It is not a good idea to do in “(show’s name)” to a foreigner.

This is a surprise. Perhaps it is, but now it is no longer acceptable to provide an unauthorized voice-over for a foreigner’s lines. If a foreigner is surprised by a high-tech Japanese appliance and says something like, “Oh my God,” we immediately receive complaints. In the old days, an American farmer in Utah who witnessed a UFO spoke in the  Tōhoku dialect with a thick accent, saying, “Ora, I did indeed see an orange object”.

If you do that now in 2022, we would probably be hanged…!

*It’s no good to eat big.

“In the old days, it was actually OK to stop the camera, throw up in a bucket, and then start eating again,” he said. But one time, I don’t remember when, a gluttonous celebrity was caught on the edge of the TV screen vomiting, and since then it has become a no-no.

If I did something like that now, I’d go to…!

In the past, TV productions that were out of bounds in 2022 were silently approved. However, even in those days, there was one production that was passed down among directors as absolutely forbidden.

“It’s blowing up a TV set. There was once a director who blew up a TV set for a variety production, and upper management said, ‘What a thing for a person who makes TV programs to do! He was so furious that he was stopped. Since then, no TV person does that anymore (laughs).”

Although 2022 TV aims to provide a safe and secure environment for everyone to enjoy, the world may be changing in a different direction in 10 or 20 years’ time.

  • Interview and text Aida Pudding

    Beautiful broadcaster who has been drifting in the TV & radio world for over 15 years.

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