One Japanese TV show I watch every once in a while is “Unbelievable!” in which famed Japanese director and squeaking hammer wielder Takeshi Kitano shows a selection of video clips from around the world. Often they’re the same kinds of videos that become popular on YouTube — a forklift driver loses control and slams into a shelf, resulting in the entire warehouse coming down around his ears, stuff like that. At the end of the show, there’s a mini-documentary of some miraculous news story, like the tale of a man who had a heart attack while walking with his dog, but the dog was able to drag the man home in time to save him. They also show crime videos from the U.S., some of which are amusing — the guy who tried to break into a convenience store and ended up falling through the ceiling — while others are just scary to watch, like sudden shoot-outs between police and fugitives. What I dislike about the show is the impression it tends to leave on Japanese viewers, who must conclude that America is an extremely dangerous place where most everyone owns a gun and crimes are committed regularly. Of course the reality is very different, but watching ten police crime videos back-to-back starts to make even me feel nervous.
Beat Takeshi discovers video from around the world that’s “Unbelievable!”