No doorways, no windows, no walls
No shelter here on the ground
No standing and no safe place to fall
Just the promise of this distant sound
Bells are ringing all over the world

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Train Wrecks on TV

Okay, so I was always of the opinion that the weekly show, "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" was pretty bad (once they got rid of the speed round). That it was all about faking out the contestant. Occationally skimming across "Deal or No Deal" pretty much proved my initial thoughts that the quality of quiz shows has taken a dump.

I mean, how much lower can you go from random choices and financial offers to stop? Really, if you want to get far into it, this would be a great show on statistics and probability, but I really doubt if anybody on the show as a contestant thinks it out that far. About the only draw are the suitcase models in their babydoll dresses and seeing Howie Mandel in complete Howard Hughes mode (no, he isn't bald, he's afraid of germs).

Until tonight when I stumbled across, "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader," hosted by Jeff Foxworthy. Seriously, just how low do you need to sink to be on this show and lose. I know it's all about entertainment and psyching out the person in the hot seat. There's the performance anxiety part of it.

But you know, I was just called to do an interview with our local paper. I have more trepidation doing that that I would have being on that show. I guess mind games don't work all that well on me. At least the flashing lights and dramatic pauses type.

So now my wife, bless her little heart, is syaing I should try and be on this show. After all, a million dollars would be fantabulous. Heck, even if I made it to $300,000 that would be great. But, how would I explain it to my accountant.

"Steve, how did you make this money?"

"I was on 'Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader.'"

"No, seriously, where did you get this money?"


(the accountant shakes his head)


Camille Alexa said...

About the only draw are the suitcase models in their babydoll dresses and seeing Howie Mandel in complete Howard Hughes mode (no, he isn't bald, he's afraid of germs).


And I know it's true.

Todd Wheeler said...

Just thinking about this the other night, a rare evening of watching tv.

The game show format has devolved as you say. You don't have to be smart, you just have to pick a number. The latest doesn't even pretend: "This show does not require skill. There are no questions to answer." Just sit and stare, drink your beer, eat your salty snack, and absorb the commercials into your being.

Steve Buchheit said...

Yeah, I kind of needed a brain dead moment last night (plus we kept getting calls why I was trying to eat dinner at 8pm). So, I found myself flipping. And there it was.

LBB, as someone who works in design/advertising I have an institutional need to understand the draw of popular items. So I watch enough of something to figure out what's going on. For "Deal No Deal" I got it in the first 5 minutes. Fake hightened tension, Howie gone freaky, and babes in short dresses (flirting with the contestants). That's pretty much the show.

It's like "reality TV" meets "Wheel of Fortune," only without the skill needed.

David Klecha said...

I'd probably last about ten minutes on "Deal or No Deal."

"300k you say? Done. I'm out."

"But Dave! A million dollars!"

"No thanks, this is enough."

Steve Buchheit said...

You and me both, Dave. In my mind I'm doing the statistics and thinking, "heck, that would pay off my house, install a nice nest egg for retirement, two good vacations AND a new motorcycle. Harley to boot."