Tuesday, December 26, 2006

It's Probably Just Me

What is it with Deal or No Deal? My wife and her mother watched a two-hour version of this show last night. I think that if someone tied me in a chair and made me watch two hours of it, I'd be stark raving mad before it ended. Most likely I'd be stark raving mad within the first fifteen minutes.

What's remotely interesting about a show where some people who seem to be about one step away from a 12-step program jump around and yell about suitcases? There's no skill involved. There's no intelligence involved. It's just picking suitcases. So one of the cases has a lot of money in it. So what? Who cares if any of those people win any money or don't win any money. This has got to be the worst show ever and a sure sign of the apocalypse.

Or maybe it's just me.

11 comments:

Todd Mason said...

Call me stubborn, but I continue to insist that THREE'S COMPANY is the worst television show in the history of everything so far, and the active-torture game shows (such as THE CHAIR, THE VAULT, and, of course, SURVIVOR and FEAR FACTOR in parts) might be more intrinsically offensive and might even be worse than THREE'S COMPANY if offense could be objectively measured (and SURVIVOR, like DEAL, has been as ridiculously popular as THREE'S). I find that my parents will watch DEAL mostly so that my father can appreciate the models and my mother can play computer games while "watching" it. Perhaps the utter animal magnetism of Howie Mandel explains it for others.

James Reasoner said...

Bill -- It's not just you. I've never seen an entire episode of DEAL OR NO DEAL, but what I've seen didn't make a lick of sense to me.

And Todd, I sort of liked THREE'S COMPANY, at least until Suzanne Somers left. But it was ridiculously repetitive, I'll grant you that, to the point where I think they started making fun of themselves pretty quickly.

Kent Morgan said...

While Howie Mandel isn't my favourite (note spelling) Canadian, I'll take him and Deal or No Deal ahead of 1 against 100 with Bob Saget or Identity with the Las Vegas comedian Penn whatever-his-name-is. Identity was on several nights last week and it was so bad that you almost had to watch. The contestant between jumping around had to match the identity of 12 people with brief descriptions. For example, it was very difficult to ID a summo wrestler. Despite the fact she was in a bikini and the only woman who looked under 30, one contestant couldn't pick out that beauty contestant that Donald Trump gave a second chance last week. Instead he chose a mother of five as the beauty queen. Another contestant had difficulty selecting Bruce Jenner as a former Olympic gold medallist. Finally he got help from his family members and the crowd and got very excited that he had figured it out. Possibly Bruce's chiselled face (plastic surgery???) may have had something to do with it. That may have been when he jumped into Penn's arms. Bad, bad, bad.

Don't you think us Canadians are thrilled that Howie is bringing Deal or No Deal to Canada for five shows. In fact, they will be here in Winnipeg next week searching for a long-legged local briefcase holder.

Brent McKee said...

The only good feeling this Canadian has about Howie Mandel doing Deal Or No Deal is that it means that he isn't doing the ads for Boston Pizza anymore. I haven't liked Howie in anything since St. Elswhere.

I keep expecting the Deal Or No Deal phenomenon to blow itself out like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? or The Weakest Link did. Instead it get unbelievable ratings while my favourite show - The Amazing Race - struggles for survival each season. And now you've got NBC boss Jeff Zucker saying that his network will no longer do scripted shows in the first hour of prime time because they don't make their money back. Instead that hour is going to be game shows, reality shows and news magazines on his network. Makes you want to weep. Or drink.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

That's Penn Gillette, or maybe Gillete, or maybe Gilette. Anyway, it's pronounced the same as the razor blades.
I've never understood why people watch other people who are in hysterics over the chance to win a washing machine or money. I always wonder if the same women who salivate all over a game show host show similar enthusiasm in bed, and I usually assume they don't. Still, the producers of these monuments to greed are convinced that's what the great unwashed wants. Jeopardy! is the only show to buck the trend. Like Bill, I can't stand a show in which a person no intelligence or abilty at all stands to win money. Who are these bozos to me? Why should I care? I don't. I like a chance to pit my knowledge against that of the contestants, but that's the only appeal of game shows to me. And I prefer it be done with dignity and calm.

Kent Morgan said...

Tell me if I'm wrong, but isn't Alex Trebek the host of Jeopardy. He's a Canadian and so is Monty Hall so Howie Mendel is just following in their footsteps as a game show host. Probably a few others who I have conveniently forgotten. As for Bill's comments about not watching Deal or No Deal, I find it difficult to believe that someone who closely follows the exploits of Paris Hilton and Anne Nicole Smith wouldn't enjoy the briefcase girls. Howie even allows them to speak on occasion.

After making two trips to England this summer and spending several weeks watching UK TV in a home where the TV choices were minimal, I can confirm that the game shows are just as bad. At least the contestants didn't leap into the arms of the host when they won 50 pounds.

As for last week's Identity, I think the producers deliberately chose very small contestants who were instructed to scream and then leap into the arms of that huge host Penn when they got an identity correct. Most of them came up to his waist.

They always say that everyone has a price. It would take more than the top prize money on those shows for me to act as silly as most contestants. And some people will do it for a chance at a washer.

I will admit competing in a sports trivia contest on a CBC-TV summer sports show about 15 years ago. There were eight invited "experts" is a straight knockout competition. I won my first match against a Winnipeg Jets NHL hockey commentator, but lost in the semi-final to a former CBC national trivia champion (in real life a school teacher who once coached Canada's national volleyball team). The prize - just the glory, not even a pen or coffee cup with a CBC logo.

Benjamin Potter said...

Let me get this right--Kent just equated Deal or No Deal (which my 3 year old loves, btw) with Jeopardy!?

I'm with Bill on Deal, the show doesn't seem to be about the case girls, but about the assinine behavior of the "guessers". Great gig for Howie though.

Bill Crider said...

I saw about ten seconds of Identity, and I could feel the wrinkles in my brain smoothing out. So that explains why I forgot it. It's worse than Deal, all right. I guess I've missed the models. Maybe there's something good about the show after all.

Kent Morgan said...

Benjamin asked if I compared Deal or No Deal with Jeopardy. I didn't; just that both shows had Canadian hosts. Did Lorne Greene ever host a game show after he left Canada? By the way did you game show experts realize that Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings was one of "the mob" of 100 on 1 Against 100? I think I read that Danny Bonaduce also was a member of the mob on one show, but fortunately I missed that one.

Getting back to Deal or No Deal, I'll bet there will be a long lineup of women hoping to be selected as a briefcase carrier next week when the show's staff is in Winnipeg. Thankfully, there is no word on Howie showing up then despite the constant promotions on the CanWest Global network that shows will be taped in five Canadian cities. For sure Winnipeg, the hometown of Monty Hall, will get one of them and Howie will be here then. I'll be staying away from Boston Pizza just in case he shows up there.

Todd Mason said...

The Ten Worst Dramatic Television Shows That Come to Mind (all multi-season, since citing ON THE AIR or ENOS seems too easy):

1. THREE'S COMPANY (It's the utter lack of subtlety, James, the sniggering, screaming blatancy--yet cowardice and indeed repetition--which made this show so awful for me, I think.)
2. WHAT'S HAPPENING!?!
3. ARE YOU BEING SERVED?
4. THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES
5. GOMER PYLE, USMC
6. GILLIGAN'S ISLAND
7. FAME
8. THE DUKES OF HAZZARD (even with Ms. Bach)
9. MARTIN
10. BIZARRE (nudging out FRIDAYS, IN LIVING COLOR, long stretches of SNL, and other inept sketch-comedy programs);

10 Best:
1. ONCE AND AGAIN
2. HOMICIDE: LIFE IN THE STREETS
3. SCTV NETWORK 90
4. SECRET AGENT/THE PRISONER
5. THE WIRE
6. NEWSRADIO (first four seasons)
7. WKRP IN CINCINATTI (not the revival, though)
8. ST. ELSEWHERE
9. AMERICAN PLAYHOUSE
10. MPFC

--probably would change in 15 minutes.

TM said...

Other Best 10, about 15 minutes later:

10. CHINA BEACH
2. BUFFY TVS/ANGEL
8. TRYING TIMES
3. THRILLER
5. THE ROCKFORD FILES
9. MASH (1972-1976)
1. FUTURAMA
6. THE FORSYTE SAGA (first version)
7. THE BOB NEWHART SHOW (1970s)
4. LOU GRANT

...also likely to be fleeting...