Wednesday, September 30, 2009

No deal, Howie!

Games shows, Mimi White says, "dramatize the consumerist ethic that underwrites so much of television by offering structured and formulaic arenas for competition, often with the goal of winning lavish prizes" (177). It's true; these days, game shows are all about having a contestant win up to a million dollars. There are shows like Who Jeopardy! or Cash Cab, where one needs to know trivia knowledge to win. Then there's Deal or No Deal that requires NO skill. You just have to have luck, have to be gutsy, and you need "serendipity" (178).

You should watch this ridiculous round:

See how tense you get, watching the game progress? The suspense and possibility of winning "sustains a viewer's pleasure while that person is... mentally participating in the play, or rooting for a particular contestant" (178). To add to the unreal amount of luck you need, you have to be quite desperate to think that $100,000 isn't good enough when you have a [teeny tiny] chance of winning ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Howie will convince you, if the cheering audience doesn't. The "ideological approach to game shows.. aims at an understanding of the underlying narrative logic and patterns that structure the games," where we wonder if how much skill it takes to win the reward(179). So we stay tuned to find out, even if that means watching one guy pick 26 numbers in a span of 60 minutes, not to mention the 26 models.

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