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Long-running British game show in which contestants test their luck and their nerve as they choose whether to take home the cash amount inside a sealed box or accept an offer from the mysterious banker.
The United States' version of "Deal or No Deal" was based on the Netherlands game show that had premiered in 2002. The main objective of the game was identical: Select a case containing a mystery cash amount, then - after being asked to narrow the field of cases by a certain number at various intervals - decide whether to take a cash buyout offered by an unseen "banker" ("Deal") or reject the offer and continue eliminating cases ("No Deal"), knowing he/she could win the grand prize of $1 million ... or far less. Each new game begins with 26 cases, each randomly distributed and held by a sexy model. The contestant chooses one case, which is placed at his/her contestant's podium. The cash amount inside could be as little as 1 cent ($.01) or as much as $1 million. The player then is asked to eliminate six of the remaining cases, calling out the corresponding numbers one at a time. After each number is called, that case is opened, revealing one of the 26 cash prizes; that prize is then ... Written by
Brian Rathjen <email@example.com>
Please, spare me!! This program was watchable at its beginning, and Howie Mandell is a likable presence. And even now, he does the best possible, given his "script," and the guests which the producers have chosen.
I must admit, though, I still watch it some, with the sound muted about 90% of the time or more. Almost without exception the contestants act like yowling hyenas or screeching magpies, and their actions are a good approximation as well.
If there are those who feel as I do, then suicide watches should be established for the inevitable moment when Howie says "...change your life" one too many times.
The game is a simplistic lottery, with no way the contestants, who usually avow they have chosen a case with big bucks, could possibly have any intelligent reason for so believing. And then the Stepford models wish them luck, and purport sometimes to act if revealing a huge amount is somehow their fault. All they do is walk-on and stand like attractive cyborgs, holding an object with a figure enclosed which nobody viewing has any notion as to its amount.
So why do I watch at all? First, it has reached the level, like some movies, as being so bad that it is (sometimes) pretty "good," in a fascinating way. And I hope to catch the occasional contestant for whom you can "root," who has the intelligence to take the 6-figure offer, perhaps $200,000 or more, rather than risk opening the one large case remaining, among several smaller ones. This would be like someone having a $200,000 bankroll in Vegas, and laying $150,000 on the table, knowing if they picked a low card (among, say, 4 or 5) they could make a nice winning but if they selected the high one, their 150 thou would be gone. No sane person should make this wager. Yet several who could have walked away with a quarter of a million or so have opened one case too many and left (if smart) with 30- to 50-thousand. But several of these have continued and opened the last reasonably large case to leave with $10,000 or less.
Even the best poker players - the pros - go "on tilt" - playing stupidly the nest hand or two after a significant loss, compounding the problem, even though they know better. The contestants on this show do this a maximum speed.
I'd also like to see the occasional show (only one I saw was close to this, although there have probably been some others) where a contestant opens almost nothing but low amounts.
The reverse would interesting, where a contestant might open the cases with the nine largest amount initially.
One other fact. Among the contestants, as well as the three friends/family each one has on-stage (they must be endured, as well, as well as Howie's banter with them) most seem to have one thing in common: whatever their ages, backgrounds or interests, few look like they have ever pushed away from the dinner table early, or refused additional helpings.
On a recent program, the man playing turned-down $41,000, and then opened the last big case ($300,000) with $5,000 the highest of the few then remaining. He got to the point of a $2,500 "offer, with two cases remaining - $5,000 & $10. He kept "his" case, walked away with ten bucks, but with Howie's affirmation that he has a lovely family.
On another, A young Korean man, for once a likable, non-annoying presence, announced his folks had come to America with just $750 to make a new life. His parents were in the audience (and thankfully, likable as well), and he had the good sense to take $200,000+, with $75, $750 and $750,000 remaining. The was indeed an interesting coincidence, and his case contained $750, more interesting yet. But Howie treated this as if it were just shy of being on the order or the "second coming." This show does not lack hyperbole in any way.
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