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October 6, 2015

Silent Library video goes from viral to cable

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jun 11th 2009 10:03AM
MTV's Silent LibraryJust because one network's venture into viral video greatness went belly up like so many silver leotard wearing contestants before them doesn't mean the craze has ended.

Next week marks the premiere of MTV's newest reality game show Silent Library, based on the game of the same name from the Japanese variety show Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende!!

For those who don't spend time watching videos forwarded to them by their friends and are therefore productive members of society, the game is played by six dunderheads in a "library." They each draw a card, five reading safe and one with a skull and crossbones on it. The player who draws the Jolly Roger has to do an uncomfortable or painful stunt, but must resist the urge to scream. It's the least intelligent use of a library since The Da Vinci Code hit the shelves.

The MTV version gets a heavier dose of game show. According to the show's trailer, each round is worth a certain amount of money and the level of quietness is judged by a stonefaced librarian/host. The team collectively takes home the dough and memories of their friends getting slapped by strippers and eating Cheetos out of a sweaty fat guy's man teats that are sure to last as long as their therapist charges them.

The whole thing really looks like an awful half hour of television, and this is coming from someone who loves the viral "Silent Library" videos and jokes that involve a grown man getting whacked in the bean bag with a remote controlled car.

The MTV version seems to have a heavier focus on gross-out stunts, as opposed to pain or discomfort bits. The stunts from the Japanese show are hilarious, from the face slapping machine to the under-the-shirt balloon bust, both of which are sure to come into play in the new show. There were a few gross-out gags in the Japanese show, but the torture challenges were way funnier and the games relied more on them.

There is also something viscerally unfunny about watching regular contestants getting abused for cash and prizes. Professional jackasses getting a full salary to damage their bodies for our amusement is one thing. Their sheer desperation to get on television makes the whole thing feel sad and depressing, rather than mildly amusing.

I watch these poor souls tongue-kiss salmon or digest a stranger's bodily fluids, and my brain conjures up the most depressing sob stories, as money is dangled over their heads like the sword of Damocles, all so they can pay for their kids' cooking school tuition or score a bus ticket to Scranton to witness the birth of their fifth illegitimate child. Then I wonder if these people are doing it just for the money and not some high-minded and noble cause, and the world suddenly feels a little bit smaller.

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This show is genius and one of the funniest I have ever seen. The writer of this article is boring.

July 07 2009 at 1:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i saw ur show today and i'm still laughting. i told my in kids in jamaica to watch online after school tomorrow i wish i had more people to tell about it's excellent. it takes my mind from my problems and makes me feel refresh. please continue

June 17 2009 at 11:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Zero Kazama

You suck. I worked on this, everyone that played had a great time and didn't care about the money, and the stunts are way better than the Japanese ones and have an equal amount of discomfort ones along with the gross out ones. At least wait till you actually see an episode before saying it's bad at least.

June 12 2009 at 7:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Zero Kazama's comment

Well, judging by what we CAN see in the promos above, it still doesn't look very good.

June 17 2009 at 4:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
big balls deep

youre the host?

i think the show is brilliant - it is rare to see people laughing like they do on the show, on TV or otherwise.

believe it or not i analyse TV for living, and i will be recommending this format to all my clients. (with a special mention for the host;)

PS: Zero: im suprised to see you responding to these amateur internet idiots


August 25 2009 at 5:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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