Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Deal or No Deal: The Ultimate Game Show

Y'know, I wanted to write something about NBC's Deal or No Deal, but I just can't figure out what to say. The thing is so damned lame it's hard to work up a decent rant about it. It's just not worth the effort.
If you've somewhat more sense than me and have avoided this bloody trainwreck, this description from the show's official site sums it up:
"The rules are simple. Choose a briefcase. Then as each round progresses, you must either stay with your original briefcase choice or make a 'deal' with the bank to accept its cash offer in exchange for whatever dollar amount is in your chosen case. Once you decide to accept or decline the bank's offer, the decision is final."
Put another way, it is the game show genre boiled down to its bare essence: unadulterated greed combined with pure dumb luck. They'd have called it Greed, I bet, except that title had already been used for a Chuck Woolery hosted piece of crap on Fox a few years back. That show, though, at least had the contestants answer questions. Most game shows, in fact, even Wheel of Fortune, require some some modicum of skill or knowledge (Wheel does require its contestants to know the alphabet at the very least), but not Deal. You just pick a number and hope the case you picked has a little sign in it that says $1,000,000. It is either the peak or the nadir of the form, depending on your point of view.
What it really is, though, is not really very interesting.
Finally, what's up with this new look for the show's host Howie Mandel? With the shaved head and stupid looking goatee, he seems to be going for some sort of comic book mad scientist kind of vibe, sort of like Lex Luthor's idiot younger brother. "Hi! I'm Howie Luthor and I'm gonna rule the world someday--just as soon as I figure out how to make this deathray work."
Hey, looks like I could work up a half-way decent rant, after all. Still wasn't really worth the effort, though.

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