Last night’s episode of I Survived a Japanese Game Show solidified it as the show to beat this summer (sorry, Mad Men). It had OUTRAGEOUS games, it had a surprise departure, it had smoke machines, it had Doctor Fish, it had rivalries, it had TEARS, it had new villains. The only thing this show doesn’t have is a non-Xenophobic depiction of an Asian, but you can’t have it all, and if you could it wouldn’t be on ABC.
So, last week Bilenda beat out Darcy in the bug splat game and sent her out on the shoulders of the Yakuza (don’t worry about it), and as the episode opens everyone is congratulating Bilenda. Everyone except Ben, who takes a walk outside of Toho Studios for some fresh air, and is never seen again. Seriously. Like, the next day the host of the show tells them that Ben is in the hospital and is dropping out of the game. Everyone is about to be sad about this but they don’t have time because Darcy is back to replace Ben so they have to be sad about that instead because everyone hates Darcy. Why do they all hate her so much? At first I thought it was because she wasn’t very good at the games and was kind of annoying, but that can’t possibly be it.
The first contest is a human reproduction of the popular arcade game where one teammate has to put on giant claw arms and three other teammates operate a crane to maneuver him/her above a pool of teddy bears and get the teddy bears into the chute. Duh, it’s called a GAME SHOW. Anyway, team Yellow Penguins demolishes on this game, namely because this week’s newest villain, Meaghan, was put in charge of wearing the claw hands for the Green Monkeys and could barely pick up one teddy bear because she couldn’t see them over her collagen-inflated lips.
Meaghan is the Japanese word for “worst.” The reward for the Yellow Penguins is a trip to the spa, and the punishment for the Green Monkeys is a day working in a pachinko parlor. The spa involves being buried in warm sand, and then having the dead flesh eaten off your feet by fish. What are these fish called, someone asks. “Dr. Fish!” one of the spa attendants exclaims. For some reason Cathy gets all the Dr. Fish on her feet and she’s like “everyone says it’s because I have dirty feet, but that’s not true.” Cathy is right. It’s because she has feet covered in dead flesh and bacteria, not dirt.
Mary and Meaghan have teamed up to put Darnell and Olga against each other in the elimination round, which is stupid for the Green Monkeys because Darnell is the only man on their team, and no offense grrls, but you’re going to need him when it’s time to put on a baby bonnet and climb the world’s tallest ice cream cone. But Darnell convinces the Goof Troop not to put him up for elimination, which means that Olga has to face off with Darcy, which makes Olga cry because of how hard she had Darnell’s back from the beginning. Whatever, Olga. This is a competition and Darnell didn’t come to make friends and you’ve got to step up to the plate and other reality show clichés.
The elimination round involves “delivering mail” in the face of the “largest wind machine in Japan.” I can’t believe they got the largest wind machine, you guys. I would have bet you a million Yen (9,446.822 USD) that they’d have the second or third largest wind machine, but they really went all out.
In a surprise upset, Darcy beats Olga and describes herself as a Phoenix, which is a mythical creature that everyone finds annoying and would like to see eliminated, but who surprisingly wins one challenge and thinks it’s fucking amazing. That’s straight from the myths. Look it up. Darcy actually says “I beat the pants off Olga,” because she won by one point. Take it easy, Darcy. Olga cries some more and says that she’d like to come back to Japan under different circumstances, but I doubt that will happen. Japan knows that when you lose a game show you only get one more vacation, and it’s to heaven.