Friday, December 1

The Problem With Game Shows

I love game shows. "The Price is Right." "Jeopardy." Reruns of "Match Game" and "Family Feud." I spent my two weeks of chicken-poxed bed rest watching "Let's Make a Deal." My mom and dad would turn off the volume so they could play the final round of "$10,000/25,000 Pyramid" on their own. Hell, I once tried out for "Wheel of Fortune" when it came to Nashville and was even called on stage(!), but I didn't make it beyond that point. They've provided literally hundreds of hours of entertainment in my life, and maybe that's why I'm a bit disappointed in them right now.

The newest trifecta of game shows - "Deal or No Deal," "1 vs 100," and (sigh) "Show Me the Money" are the most disgusting displays of style over substance that I've ever seen. Don't get me wrong - it's not that I'm forever looking backward, refusing to acknowledge the Future of game shows. You should watch "Cash Cab" on the Discovery Channel if you haven't, and everyone watches "Lingo." But there's something about this new crop that rubs me the wrong way.

I think it's the contestants. It's the same kind of preplanned meddling that's been going on in dating shows for years spread out to skill- or luck-based programs, and this is a mistake. You can't tell me you haven't noticed that everyone who plays "Deal or No Deal" just happens to be wearing a solid top and trousers, and they just happen to know the names of the models, and they just happen to be the most annoying fuckers this side of Waffle House at 2 am.

And Jesus, they take annoying to a whole new level. Is it necessary to screech to the audience and do a little dance every time you answer a question about American currency correctly? Are you sure you want to make grand, sweeping statements about your certainty in a game of chance? The excitement in a game like "The Price is Right" is clearly spontaneous. You just look like a douchebag.

The sets and setups and hosts are no better, of course. I understand you have a prime-time hour to fill, but can you please fill it a little more gracefully? I don't need to see William bloody Shatner having fits all over the stage any time a commerical break occurs. I don't understand why massive platforms have been built and models brought in. If the same shows are popular in Europe without all the sexing-up (and they are), then why add all that shit for American audiences? I know we've got short attention spans, but I can barely handle the fake breasts and botox in my procedural dramas.

It matters not, I suppose. These too will pass, like the "Weakest Link"s and "Millionaire"s that came before them. It's likely I spend way too much time thinking about this shit, but you know what? It matters to me. It really does. Go away, Howie Mandel. Go away, Bob Saget. And William Shatner: cut out the fucking dancing.



Blogger newscoma said...

For me, It's Match Game.
Just seemed dirty for some reason when I was a kid.

5:42 PM  

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