Basically, watching others make total fools of themselves on national TV kinda makes me feel smarter just thinking about it. Sure there is always the chance of winning a great prize like a year’s supply of ricotta cheese or a trip to Cape Cod during the wintertime. But with the risk of also becoming a YouTube sensation with a stupid answer, falling while running up on stage or being eliminated after the very first question by drawing a complete blank, I think I’d rather sit at home and watch the game show on TV.
Game shows are mindless entertainment. No thought required. No emotion required. You don’t personally know the people standing on stage trying to win the new set of stainless steel kitchen appliances. So if you decided to stick around and see if they win, great. If not, at least you won’t stay up late at night wondering what happened or have to search the internet for a spoiler alert like you do with other types of television programming. Even reality shows once thought of as mindless entertainment has found a way to edit together scenes that pull on our emotional heartstrings enough to care about the characters we see. Unlike game shows, many of us do fret until we know the latest outcome of our favorite characters from a TV drama or reality program.
I DVR a lot of television programming, but I have never personally DVR’d a game show. I am sure there are some men a lot lonelier than me that have, but as of yet, I still have somewhat of a social calendar that I don’t need to go down that lonely guy road just yet. I am sure there are some people who also watch and DVR game shows because they like the particular host of that show. Back in the day I did watch Wheel of Fortune, just to see Vanna White. Oh, sure I know 20 years later she is still on the same game show. The problem is I have moved on but she hasn’t. It has been more than 30 years and Vanna is still having one vowel movement after another. She does it while smiling in front of the entire world. For full disclosure, I need to say that I do have a book written by Vanna that she personally autographed to me because I collect things like that.
The other main point about game shows is that they are interactive. Years before Wii became a reality, game shows gave a chance for people to interact with their television set. If you are like me you make game shows interactive by screaming the answers to questions you know on Jeopardy when the befuddled contestants are having trouble coming up with things like the name of the capital of Idaho. It’s Boise, duh. Maybe you cuss like a sailor when a contestant is trying to guess the price of a 32 oz bottle of Mt. Dew on the Price is Right for a chance to win a new $34,000 BMW convertible. You know it’s exactly $1.89 because you just bought that (and a $1.19 honey bun) at the local Piggly Wiggly store on your way home from work last night.
Have a great day!
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