"Silent Library" Review

Set Design- 10
Gameplay- 9
Show Flow- 10
Potential Viewer Ratings- 7
Play-Along Factor- 2
Host- 7
Overall Rating- 7.5/10

Premise- A team of six contestants have to work together to complete physical challenges in order to win cash. Before each challenge is played, six cards are placed before the contestants on a table. Five cards have the word “SAFE” written on them, while one card displays a skull and crossbones symbol, or in a few cases, five skull and crossbones cards and one SAFE card. The player who chooses the skull and crossbones card has to perform the challenge. The challenges usually involved physical activity, eating something unpleasant, or getting sprayed or shot at with something. Here’s the catch: the challenges have to be performed and completed quietly in a library. All the challenges performed on the show were created to cause an unnecessary amount of noise, whether it’s from the challenge itself or from the other teammates laughing at the other person’s misfortune. While the challenges are played individually, all the contestants must work as a team to keep quiet, no matter how hilarious the challenges are.

If the challenge is completed without causing too much noise, the team will be awarded the cash value of the challenge. However, if the team cannot keep their noise volume at a minimum during a challenge or fail to complete a challenge within the time limit, no money will be awarded to the team for that challenge. A total of four rounds are played with three challenges played per round and one final challenge in the final round. Each challenge is worth $300 in the first round, $400 in the second round, $800 in the third round, and $1,000 in the fourth round. The higher the stakes, the crazier the challenges are. The team keeps all the money they have earned in the game and the money is split among the team six ways.

Before I begin my review, I would like to present a few facts about MTV’s Silent Library. Like Hole in the Wall, Silent Library is also based on a Japanese television show. Silent Library is based on a segment on Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende, a popular Japanese variety show. Also, Because of the show’s half-hour length, each episode of Silent Library does not show every challenge that was played in the game. Because of this, it is possible that teams may have won more than their televised final cash total. Silent Library is still enjoyable to watch nonetheless.

And now, for the review…

This show is amusing, fun, and often times entertaining to watch, watching contestants making fools of themselves on television by doing ridiculous stunts. The slow motion replays with the sound slowed down after some of the challenges have been completed are a nice touch too. If you’re someone who’s easily disgusted, then this show might not be for you. Some challenges included contestants drinking disgusting concoctions, eating a preserved egg that has been preserved in pickle brine or licking cocoa butter off of a stranger’s hairy back. On a personal note, I’m not going to lie; some of those challenges triggered my gag reflex a little bit. Host Zero Kazama poses as the “no foolishness”, serious host who keeps the same emotion throughout the show, similar to Anne Robinson’s demeanor on The Weakest Link. On a quick side note, I don’t think I have ever seen him crack a smile or grin throughout the entire series thus far. The show also enables the home viewer to check the progress of the team’s challenges and how loud they really are while they perform the challenges by displaying a “volume meter” at the bottom left corner of the screen. If the team’s noise level is in the green, it means they will more than likely win the challenge, while being in the red results in no money being awarded. The teams on the show can’t see the “volume meter” and must rely on their own judgment on how loud they are.

Silent Library is right around MTV’s speed with employing comedy and physical humor into the show, recruiting college-aged persons as contestants, and sometimes getting special celebrity guests that this generation of kids and young adults can refer to, like the cast of Jersey Shore, WWE wrestlers, or Justin Bieber. I’m not a fan of MTV (especially since there’s no more “M” in MTV), but I am happy to see that this show is coming back for a fourth season. This is a good show to watch to relieve any stress you have worked up throughout the day and to get a good laugh. Remember, “This is not a game show; this is Silent Library”.

***Episode Viewed and Reviewed on March 28, 2011*** 
Watch Silent Library Weeknights at 7:00pm on MTV (New Episodes every Monday at 7:00pm)
**All screenshots have been taken from the actual episodes of Silent Library. No ownership is implied.** 
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