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The TV Show

The TV Show is an animated music video that was independently produced in 2009 by 26-year-old filmmaker Kousuke Sugimoto. It's wonderfully chaotic series of narratives that play out like Russian nested dolls, with so much going on it's hard to keep track of it all. The catchy soundtrack by Takayuki Manabe. Recently mentioned on Drawn! and The Little Chimp Society.

The video opens with a screen of SMPTE color bars in a control room. As the music starts, various videos begin playing on the other monitors in the control room and the title card "the TV show" appears. The camera zooms out to show the title card being displayed on a television set in a sushi bar, with a chef holding a remote control and a bored-looking customer at the counter. The camera zooms out again to show the previous scene displayed on a large video display during a motorcycle race in a city with people cheering, which is in turn shown on a display in a city where cartoon animals flee for their lives as Godzilla destroys the city around them and a guy jumps into a passing fighter jet. Zooming out further, we see the previous scene displayed through a camera in a soundstage, with Godzilla removing the head of his costume, which is in turn displayed on a television set in a house where an old man is watching while the old woman next to him knits, with balls of yarn sitting on the table. The scene zooms out further to show them displayed on a large monitor in an airport, with a businessman watching and places flying by and a young couple enter the foreground.

The airport scene is displayed on the cellphone of a girl riding a train and chewing bubble gum. The girl on the train is shown on a large video screen on a building in a fighting video game, showing "Lee" on the left fighting "Kenji" on the right. Kenji gets a hitcombo. (Go Kenji!) The video game is displayed on a monitor in a video game store, which has an advertisement for "3D Fighter" on the counter. A cashier is ringing up a customer's purchase when a masked thief bursts in with a gun and attempts to rub the store. The robbery is being watched on monitors at the police station, and as the camera zooms out again, we see the scene displayed on a small television set inside a ruined building where a reporter is hiding behind a wall as tanks and helicopters and soldiers go by in the background. He covers his head as an explosion occurs behind him, and we zoom out further to the reporter's video shown in the background on "News 19", with a female and male newscaster bowing their heads.

We zoom out further and see the news broadcast being watched by two aliens pushing buttons on a control panel as they orbit the Earth with several other spaceships. The space aliens are on a television set in a store, where a superhero shoots off a laser beam from his hand. The superhero is on television in an artist's studio, with a model of the superhero next to it. We can see the artist drawing something in pencil, and as the view zooms out further we see it being displayed on a video monitor (along with the previous scene of the superhero firing the laser beam) in a dance club with people dancing. The dance club is shown on a television in the background where a man and a woman are drinking Strike Beer in a commercial, which appears on a Jumbotron at a baseball game. As the pitcher throws the ball, the view zooms out again to show the control room where the video began.

All this and we're only 1 minute and 10 seconds into the video...

The engineer on the left in the control room was asleep, and now falls onto the control board, making all the monitors flicker until they show the masked thief in the video game store. The view zooms out to show the control room displayed on the sushi bar's television, and the masked thief runs past with money stuffed into his shirt. There is a poster for Strike Beer on the wall above the sushi bar. The view zooms out to show the police watching video of the sushi bar as the thief runs past, and they all decide to chase after him. The police scene is being watched by the girl with the cellphone on the train, while at the same time the police run by outside the train. A poster on the wall outside the train has a picture of the thief on it. The thief is nonchalantly walking by inside the train when one of the police spots him, points, and shouts. The thief runs. The girl on the train is displayed on the video screen where Godzilla is still rampaging through the city of cartoon animals, and now being attacked by the jet fighter as the thief walks backward into scene. The thief tries to run and knocks down the backdrop. The view zooms out and shows the thief running through the soundstage, with police in close pursuit.

The soundstage is shown in the background of the news report. The police chase the thief behind the newscasters. The male newscaster clears his throat as the view zooms out to the reporter hiding behind the wall, with the thief trying to hide there as well. The police chase him, and it is displayed on the screen at the motorcycle race. The thief rides by on a motorcycle (#35), followed by the police. The motorcycle chase is shown on the Jumbotron at the baseball game while the police chase the thief through the stadium. (What happens next seems to be a non-sequitor, because the view switches to show the dance club, but the motorcycle race and superhero scenes on the video displays, not the baseball game. Oops.) Anyway. The police chase the thief through the dance club, and both are momentarily synchronized with the main dancer. We zoom out to the superhero with the laser beam, and the thief runs into an alley as the police chase him. The Strike Beer commercial continues, with the thief and police running by in the background. The thief grabs the female's beer, and is shown hiding underneath the old couple's table with the beer can in his mouth. He runs and we zoom out to the control room again. The people in the control room are desperately trying to get things under control. The thief crashes into them as he runs by, making the screen go all wonky.

We're now at 1 minute and 42 seconds for those of you keeping track of this at home.

The chef in the sushi bar notices the screen on the TV is all wonky. The thief runs by in the background, pursued by a long line of police. The chef bangs on the top of the TV a few times, making the screen go all staticky as the thief runs by in the foreground and into the video game scene at the two minute mark.

The video game announces "NEW CHALLENGER!!!" and the thief is now pursued by the two video game fighters, and they all run through the set where Godzilla is still destroying the city. We zoom out to see Godzilla on the TV in the artist's studio as the thief and video game fighters run by, and the artist drops his pencil in surprise as we zoom out to the airport monitor. The thief runs into the airport scene, and one of the fighters knocks off the toupee of a man kissing a woman. The toupee lands on the other fighter as we zoom out to the dance club, where the fighter wearing the toupee runs by with the man from the airport chasing him trying to get his toupee back. The fighter wearing the toupee runs through the video game store, and the man chasing him crashes into the counter. This is shown on the television in the wall in the war scene with the reporter as the fighter and man run by outside. There is an explosion and the toupee flies toward the camera, hitting the male newscaster and bouncing off his face. The aliens watching the news broadcast see the toupee fly out of earth's orbit and hit the window of their spaceship, which is displayed on the Jumbotron as the pitcher catches the toupee. The man from the airport tries to catch the toupee but misses, and the pitcher throws it offscreen to the right. This is displayed on the monitor where Godzilla is destroying the city. Godzilla gets hit in the face with the flying toupee and stumbles backward, and we zoom out to see this displayed on the airport monitor while the police have surrounded the thief, who has taken the woman in the airport hostage. Godzilla ends the hostage situation by stomping on the airport.

The girl on the train watches Godzilla stomping the airport on her cellphone. The girl watching on her cellphone is on television in the artist's studio, and the thief and girl from the airport crash land there, bumping the artist's hand and making him draw a line on the motorcycle race which acts as a ramp, launching the motorcycles into the war scene and hitting a tank, which fires a shell into the baseball game. The baseball game is displayed on the video monitors in the dance club, and the shell from the tank is deflected by the dancer and flies through the sushi bar, where one of the fighters is sitting and eating. The shell explodes, and the fighter throws his bowl of noodles backwards through the dance club and into the motorcycle race scene. Godzilla is staggering around the motorcycle race scene wearing the toupee when the fighter runs by and grabs the toupee and the man from the airport chases him. Godzilla gets hit by the flying bowl of noodles and starts breathing fire everywhere. This is shown on the TV in the artist's studio as the fire sets some of the artwork in the studio ablaze, which is shown on the TV in the appliance shop where the superhero was standing. Flames come in at the bottom of the screen and is shown on the television in the old couple's house. The old couple has been bound and gagged while the thief hides in the house, surrounded by police and holding the girl from the airport hostage again. The superhero trying to escape the flames in the previous scene runs into the house and the thief shoots him, prompting the police to unleash a hail of gunfire. The girl on the train watches the shootout on her cellphone as bullets fly into the train, hitting everyone. A director's slate reading "Scene 4, Take 2" (Director: SG/YMB, Date: 7/5/09) comes into view, and then zooms out to show the soundstage with actors on the train as the superhero runs into the scene, with the thief shooting at him wildly as the police chase him again.

Less than a minute to go now, and it only gets more hectic.

At 2 minutes, 34 seconds we find another mismatched transition: We zoom out from the soundstage, but the sushi bar is displayed on the monitor on the building in the background where the superhero turns around and fires his laser at the thief. This is displayed on the display monitor of the city that was being destroyed by Godzilla where the man from the airport and video game fighter are wrestling over the toupee as the laser beam comes into view and bounces off the fighter's head. The aliens watching the fight over the toupee on their screen watch the laser beam hit one of their spaceships, destroying it. The aliens are pissed off and start attacking, and can be seen in the background of the Strike Beer commercial which is being commented on by the male newscaster from News 19. The female newscaster turns into an alien and blasts his face off, which is displayed on the monitor in the cartoon city that the aliens are attacking while the cartoon animals flee in terror. The cartoon city being destroyed is displayed on the monitor in the now-destroyed airport, as planes fly by in the background and the cartoon rocketship zooms into view. The airport scene is shown on a screen in the city where the motorcycle race was taking place, which is now on fire as Godzilla staggers around with the bowl of noodles on his head. Godzilla gets hit in the head with an airplane and falls over, which is shown on the television in the war scene. Aliens are attacking the war scene as Godzilla stumbles through, which is displayed on the video monitors in the dance club as Godzilla crashes into the scene. We zoom out to see the dance club displayed on a screen and Godzilla's head stuck in a building as the aliens continue attacking and the reporter with the microphone from the war scene reporting on it. The thief runs backward into the foreground, then turns to try to escape a pursuing police officer and runs into the camera, breaking the glass. The view from the broken camera is shown on a monitor in the control room and then goes staticky. The control room is destroyed, with all the screens staticky or smashed, and the engineer buried under rubble.

The destroyed control room is shown on a monitor as the aliens continue destroying the motorcycle race venue and the thief runs into the scene briefly and turns around to run away from the motorcycles. The motorcycle race is displayed on the News 19 broadcast, where the skeleton of the male newscaster sits as the thief and motorcycles crash into the room. The thief jumps into the desk as the motorcycles race by behind him and a shell from the war broadcast flies by in front of him. He does a flip off the desk as we zoom out to the Strike Beer commercial, which he flips into. The male and female models now have huge beer guts, and the thief runs off camera as he is pursued by police. In the background, the cartoon rocket fires a missile into the ocean which explodes, sending a tidal wave rolling in and wiping out the Strike Beer Commercial. The Strike Beer Commercial destruction is shown on the TV in the old couples' house. The old couple is breakdancing with the dancer from the dance club and people from the train while the policeman chases the thief through the foreground as the tidal wave visible in the background destroys the house. Zooming out, we see the tidal wave scene displayed on the display in the cartoon city that the aliens are blasting away. The toupee is flying by in the sky and lands on the thief when he runs in, and he gets caught in the scuffle between the man in the airport and the fighter from the video game. The thief runs off screen and into the sushi bar. The tidal wave is on the screen of the television in the sushi bar, where the cartoon bear, the superhero, and the woman from the airport are eating. The thief jumps onto the counter, and it is shown on the video screen of a building (from the video game fight scene) with the aliens attacking in the background. The thief jumps into the air to avoid being run over by the motorcycle race which the alien spaceship fires at, as missiles and a helicopter from the war scene fly by and the cartoon rocket swoops down before the tidal wave rolls in. The artist's hand slowly moves across the bottom of the screen as the man from the airport and video game fighter battle it out, the dancer from the dance club does a backflip, Godzilla's foot stomps into the scene, and a huge explosion occurs in the background that obliterates everything. We end with the SMPTE color bars test pattern, shown on a monitor sitting atop a mountain of wreckage as the credits roll.

Director: SUGIMOTO Kousuke

Music: MANABE Takayuki

The mountain of wreckage is on the soundstage, and we zoom out further to see the soundstage on one of the monitors in the control room. The view of the control room shuts off.

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