What the hell is it with TV networks nowadays? Not only do we have humiliate-the-hell-out-of-some-unsuspecting-poor-young-beautiful-ditzy-blond-say reality shows, but we have really really really stupid game shows now.
For a while, I thought game shows were improving. The show, Greed, for example — at least that one had most of the elements of a good game show: teamwork, big money prize, and intelligent questions. The only thing I did not like about Greed was the “Terminator” concept.
Unfortunately, Greed was too intelligent for the masses, I guess, because it got yanked off the air after one abbreviated season.
Probably the most idiotic game show of all time is “Most Extreme Elimination Challenge” which shows up on Spike TV. There really seems to be no point to this show; other than laughing at people doing really stupid things and making absolute asses out of themselves.
Oh, I should mention – Most Extreme Elimination Challenge is dubbed into English from Japanese; the problem is, the English commentary is completely off-the-wall and has absolutely nothing to do with the Japanese. The basic premise is really simple – a bunch of Japanese people have to perform all sorts of stupid stunts while other people paid by the production company try to stop them. When the contestants fail, and most of the time, they do, the contestant usually ends up face first in a deep, stinky, slimy puddle of rancid wastewater.
Of course, this is usually extremely funny to watch, and that gives this program at least some validity.
Eventually, you see at least one contestant pass all the events in the show, and, naturally, they win the prize of the day. In the case of the original Japanese gameshow, it’s usually about the equivalent of $15 US (along with a nice warm cup of Ichiban.)
Several shows deserve my undying contempt, however:
The Match Game is one of them. Fortunately, the network realized the torture they were placing on their audience and yanked this show years ago. Then they revived it. Then they yanked it again. The premise behind this show was they host would read a cuecard with a word missing from a sentence, like “blank in the rain”. A panel of has-been celebrities would then secretly fill in the blank by writing a word on a card, then the contestants would try to match up the word.
Naturally, since the celebrities are all vying for camera time, they would tend to fill in something they would personally perceive as funny or witty (and usually failing dismally at both) with some trite sexual reference attached.
A similar show to the Match Game (but equally as stupid) is Hollywood Squares. This show is currently in its third incarnation, but the concept is, once again, a panel of has-been celebrities coming up with their idea of trite, witty, sarcastic answers to stupid questions and the contestant then agrees or disagrees with their answer, to play Tic-Tac-Toe against the other contestant. The most recent incarnation of Hollywood Squares has Whoopie Goldberg in the Centre Square, but not even she can salvage the train wreck this show has become. Previous incarnations have featured Joan Rivers in the centre square.
Hollywood Squares is also known for silly gimmicks with their shows, like having their announcer, some slimey-looking guy called Shadoe Stephens as one of their celebrities. I guess they ran out of real has-beens or something.
I just had an interesting thought… imagine moving Hollywood Squares to India and having a clone of it over there. I think you know where I’m going with this one — Bollywood Squares.
For a while, the show, The Weakest Link had potential. At least that one had a realistic host who spent time insulting the contestants. That one was a case of Survivor-Meets-Greed. The contestants had to work together to build up a pot of money by answering trivia questions, and then vote a contestant off the show at the end of each round. This show rapidly lost its novelty because the host couldn’t come up with new witty insults for her guests. This show devolved into a number of celebrity charity games and finally died off.
While on vacation here in Australia, I came across a really dumb show as well… Deal or No Deal. This show not only holds my #1 position for Dumb Game Shows, but also holds my #1 position for Most Annoying Host Of All Time.
The host of this show is a complete loudmouth idiot who spends time stating the blatently obvious, which is bad enough, however the actual show involves virtually no intelligence at all. A panel of contestants is randomly selected from the studio audience, then the host asks them three multiple-choice questions. The person who answers the most questions correctly in the shortest time gets to be the player. Out of a group of 26 briefcases, the player selects one, then spends the rest of the half-hour opening briefcases which eliminate possible dollar values from the board.
Every so often, the bank makes them an offer to quit playing the game (and, of course, the offer is lower than the maximum possible prize but higher than the lowest). If they choose to continue on, they do so, and if they don’t, they continue opening briefcases anyway because the panel players have to guess what they have in their briefcases. If the panel players guess correctly, they win $1000.
The game ends when the main contestant finally opens their own briefcase and either feels stupid for taking the Bank Offer, or stupid for winning a really low amount of money, or really smart for winning a large amount of money.
Brainless and silly, but at least when you’re watching you can work out the math and figure out if it’s a good offer from the bank or not.
Well there you have it, my opinion of game shows.
Now it’s time for me to go and watch The Price Is Right…