Silent Library

TV review by
Will Wade, Common Sense Media
Silent Library TV Poster Image
Game show contestants silently endure humiliation and pain.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 14 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The fact that contestants are willing to participate in the show's bizarre challenges -- which can be humiliating, silly, painful, or all of the above -- sends an iffy message about what people are willing to do for money.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The contestants allow themselves to be demeaned and embarrassed in the name of entertainment. The host is quite severe with contestants. As with most game shows, a cash prize is the motivating factor here.


Some tasks require contestants to endure discomfort or mild pain -- such as electric shocks or punches to the stomach.


No sex or nudity, but contestants must sometimes strip to their underwear to participate in the challenges. Others involve a man attaching a breast pump to himself, etc.


No audible swearing (in fact there's not much talking at all in this largely silent show), but the unusual challenges do lead some contestants to clearly mouth "what the f--k?" -- which is visible even though parts of their faces are blurred.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this quirky game show requires participants to endure a series of very strange challenges while suffering in near-total silence; even wincing in pain earns a stern rebuke from the unusually severe host. The tasks can be painful (enduring electric shocks), strange (eating spaghetti shoelaces from a jogger's shoes), or humiliating (being tied to a spit while basted in barbeque sauce). On the up side, there's no sex; though some tasks require contestants to strip to their underwear, it's anything but erotic. And since silence is the goal, there's little salty language to worry about.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byreser2 August 15, 2011

Best game show since Jeapordy.

I think this is one of the best game shows around.
Teen, 13 years old Written byAngel1234567890 March 27, 2011


well, this is......FUNNY! loli mean isnt this funny or wat. i can watch this 20 times a week.
Kid, 12 years old March 26, 2011

What's the story?

In each round of SILENT LIBRARY -- an Americanized version of a wacky Japanese game show -- one of six players is randomly selected to endure a very strange challenge; the others either watch or help deliver the various humiliations. The goal is to endure the physical discomfort and occasional degradation silently. Laughing, yelling, crying out in pain -- it's all forbidden. Too much noise and host Zero Kazama sternly tells the contestants that they've earned nothing for the task.

Is it any good?

Set in a faux library set, Silent Library is an exercise in the bizarre. The challenges aren't particularly difficult; instead they range from the downright silly to the degrading and painful. In one task, for example, a man must attach a woman's breast pump to his own nipples. In another, to the contestant's immense surprise, a dwarf wearing boxing gloves jumps out of a box and delivers a punch to the stomach. Participants are kicked on the rear end, endure electric shocks, and must hang on to a rotating spit while being basted in barbecue sauce. All the while, a stern librarian and a few nonplussed patrons look on, unamused.

Host Kazama is even less amused. The man never cracks a smile, acting as if he's in pain watching the contestants endure the various unpleasantries, which adds to the strange mood of this strange show. "Your pain is giving me pleasure," he tells one participant after a particularly embarrassing task. Viewers may be able to relate -- though this show isn't exactly entertaining, it's just too weird to write off as a total waste of time.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the show's challenges. Do you think the tasks are degrading or just silly?

  • Would you be willing to be humiliated for money? If so, how far would you be willing to go?

  • This series is based on a game show imported from Japan, where embarrassment seems to be a common theme in game shows. Do you think that makes Japanese game shows different from American ones?

TV details

  • Premiere date: June 15, 2009
  • Cast: Zero Kazama
  • Network: MTV
  • Genre: Game Shows
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Last updated: September 19, 2019

Our editors recommend

For kids who love reality TV

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate