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On the surface, "Show Me The Money" should have at least finished a
full season. You had the always entertaining William Shatner as your
host, surrounded by a baker's dozen of beautiful leggy models
collectively called "The Million Dollar Dancers." You had knowledgeable
contestants who had interesting stories to tell of their lives and who
presumably knew a lot of pop culture trivia. And you had big money! So,
what went wrong?
The format of this game was the failure. A good game show needs at least two of three things: very simple rules, exciting pacing and the ability for the viewer to play along at home. The best, most enduring ones have all three.
Unfortunately, SMTM had none.
The rules for this game were among the most complex of any prime time game show in history. Let me try to explain how the game worked, as briefly as possible.
A contestant began with a single word or short phrase followed by the choice letters A, B, C (subtle plug for the network?). Each letter was connected to a separate question, all starting with that word or phrase. Once a contestant chose one of the letters, they could either answer that question or pass and select a second letter. If they passed, they got to view the next question, and had the same option. However, if they passed the second question, they were required to answer the third option.
After they answered and before they found out if their answer was correct, they then had to select one of the 13 dancers on stage, each with a different amount of money in a scroll by their side. They revealed their dollar amount (ranging from $20,000 to $250,000) and depending on if the contestant answered right... or answered wrong... that amount would be added to or subtracted from their pot.
Still with me so far? In addition, there was one dancer who held something known as "The Killer Card." If you selected the dancer with the Killer Card and you had gotten your question right, you were safe, and the game continued. If, however, you were incorrect, you had one final question to answer. If you got that final question wrong, you were out of the game. If you got it right, then, the game continued.
There was no quitting, no walking away with the money earned until you either answered six questions correctly or got six questions wrong or you were so far in the hole you couldn't earn enough money to get back out. Got it? Okay!
The biggest problem, as I saw it, was a complete lack of tension, because of the design of the game. A contestant could pass questions they knew they didn't know, and answer many questions they did know, making the pressure even less. Then, they could still find a low dollar amount, even after knowingly missing a question, which meant there still wasn't any "drama." And the fact that they could answer five questions wrong and still have a chance to win was a big mistake. And the pacing of the questions was deadly slow: often the questions were so obvious, it was ridiculous to try to create tension, as if there was any doubt about some of the most common answers.
The pacing, the lack of any real tension at any point during the show and those very complicated rules prevented this program from working, despite Shatner's terpsichorean talents.
While William Shater can always make me smile in anything he appears
in, (and I especially love him as Denny Crane in Boston Legal), well,
this show is all about glitz and dancing girls and screaming and
jumping up and down.
It has none of the intelligence of Millionaire, none of the flair of Deal or No Deal.
This show is all about dancing and stupid things to fill in the time.
I watched it of course just to check it out. I did watch it for over 45 minutes, then I had to turn it off.
The best part of it was William Shatner dancing on the stage. He is a hoot!!! unfortunately, this show WILL NOT MAKE IT.
That's a given
The comment by "eliz7212-1" hits the proverbial "nail on the head" for
this turkey of a program. But it is a hoot to watch William Shatner
"cavort" and "dance" (yes, the " " marks on the word dance are
necessary for what Bill does). This show would be a great skit on SNL
or MAD TV - and it does rate a few stars for one viewing, or so, to see
Shatner, who seems to have taken "camp" to new heights - whether in a
role or as himself. But the guy is funny.
The girls who are in the cubicle areas with the game data scrolls, will be pretty much out-of-luck when this turkey is canceled - unless there is a revival of the whiskey-a-go-go genre, with a resurrected demand for shapely young women to dance in elevated cages once more.
I watched the first contestant, who was annoying, and literally "dumber than a :post," yet through sheer luck, walked away with a quarter mil or so. The second contestant, somewhat more intelligent, but who'd be lucky to gain $1,000 on Jeopardy!, got zonked by the card which requires answering a special question - which he didn't know, and thereby left with zilch.
This plethora of game shows, which dangle, and sometimes award, large sums to everyday individuals, are admittedly a cheap effort, overall, to attempt to woo viewers. Even if the host is well-compensated, and they give away six figures in an average episode, I suppose that the revenue versus costs can be favorable - since you don't have a sitcom cast where several stars are getting six or seven figures, per episode, with some big residual deals as well.
But I suspect even the better ones will wear thin before long. This one has already pretty much reached this point. I think his offerings, especially with James Spader, and the others on "Boston Legal" should give us a satisfying quantity of Bill Shatner's offerings.
Again, the above rating is simply appropriate to view Bill hoot and prance, perhaps one time; that should be sufficient.
I don't see enough TV game shows to understand the attraction of SHOW
ME THE MONEY, but I suppose it holds some appeal for undemanding
audiences. Ostensibly a quiz show, it offers contestants huge sums of
money for answering a few simple questions. However, its quiz elements
play only a small part in the proceedings, which I find tortuously
complicated. For example, before answering a question, a contestant
selects which question is to be asked by choosing from among random
"A," "B," or "C" choices. Does this serve any purpose other than to
slow the game down? It would be a lot quicker simply to start with "A."
Contestants can pass on questions, but must answer one of the three
questions in each category.
After responding to a question, the contestant is then asked to "lock in" the answer--another delaying tactic. The contestant's next task is to name which woman from about a dozen go-go dancers in cages is to unveil a card that indicates how much the question is worth. A correct answer adds the card's dollar figure to the contestant's running total; a wrong answer subtracts the same sum. This time-consuming step actually has some entertainment value, as it allows the audience to get a close look at the scantily clad and uniformly gorgeous dancers. Meanwhile, the contestant is reminded that an unlucky selection of the "killer card" will end the game instantly. This naturally makes the contestant sweat and causes further delays as the nervous contestant contemplates the sudden loss of the hundreds of thousands of dollars. My suspicion is that the possibility of sudden disaster is the show's chief audience appeal.
Meanwhile, the whole process is slowed down even more by a lot of empty banter between host William Shatner and the contestant, along with occasional routines by the caged dancers. All these delays burn up so much time that it might be possible for audiences to forget what the original question is by the time the correct answer is revealed.
A typical 30-minute episode of JEOPARDY often gets through as many as 60 questions. The first 30 minutes of SMTM that I watched got through only six questions (many of which pertained to other TV shows). No one in his right mind would watch this show because it's fun to play along by answering the questions at home. That leaves three possible reasons to watch the show.
A. To see how a contestant responds to being on the verge of winning as much as one million dollars, only to lose everything in one stroke.
B. To look at gorgeous young women performing sexually suggestive dance routines.
C. To enjoy William Shatner's scintillating banter.
My choice is "B," but the women aren't on camera long enough to justify suffering through an hour of this show.
Unlike endemol USA's two other current game shows (Deal Or No Deal and
1 vs. 100), the pacing in this show is way too slow for what is
happening on the screen.
DOND and 1 vs. 100 can get away with slow pacing because the games can change pace--or end--at any moment. There is risk involved in every action the player takes, the rewards are wildly variable, and it is difficult for the players to leave with a significant amount of money. Suspense is usually put to good use.
Show Me The Money, on the other hand, is just too slow-paced. When a question is revealed and it is obvious that the player knows the correct answer, you can rest assured that absolutely nothing exciting will happen in the next few minutes. It would greatly help the pace of this show to reveal the correct answer FIRST, and THEN have the player select a dancer, instead of Shat wasting time talking about what will happen if the player gets an answer wrong when we all know they're right. The random dancing is filler that actually feels like filler. Too much time is wasted while not enough is happening... and the fact that players cannot choose to quit the game early guarantees that there WILL be a lot of time wasted.
Oh, and I have NO interest in watching Shat shake his groove thang, especially right after I've eaten dinner.
I am a lifelong game show fan, but even I had a lot of trouble sitting through an hour of this. It either needs major changes or early retirement.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Trying to cash in on the success of Deal Or No Deal and 1 Versus 100
comes this lame excuse for entertainment - Show Me The Money, in which
12 sexy 'dancers' shimmy out in shiny red hooker attire. A contestant
is given the beginning of a phrase, such as "Which team lost . . ."
with three choices, A, B, or C, each which completes the phrase. The
contestant has three chances to give an answer to one of these 3
choices. The host - William Shatner, at his obnoxious smarmiest - asks
the contestant if he wants to "lock into the answer" and when the
contestant says yes, he picks a 'dancer', to whom he yells "Show me the
money!" She opens a scroll that has an amount, and if his answer was
right, he adds that amount to his winnings; if he was wrong, the amount
is subtracted. (So theoretically, it is possible for a contestant on
this dreary debacle to actually wind up owing Shatner money.) There is
also a "Killer Card" and if the contestant picks the girl who has that
vile scroll, but he has answered properly, nothing happens. If he's
answered wrong, the game goes into Sudden Death and has to answer
another question. If he gets that one wrong, he leaves with nothing.
Before going to commercials, Shatner yells, "let's dance" and Shatner, the contestant and the 12 dancers shake booty. At the end of the show, Shatner asks the ladies for "a last dance" and they all shake it some more.
I give this show 6 episodes at the very most, at which time hopefully this pathetic excuse for a game will be shown the door. (It could've been worse - they could've somehow bribed Cuba Gooding Jr to be the host, although I bet he's a better dancer than 'Shat,' as they call him these days.)
7/08: Guess what - I was wrong! It lasted for only 5 episodes. There IS hope for the world.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There was such a hype about a game show with Bill Shatner...and
especially right in the wake of Deal or No Deal and 1 vs 100. So, of
course everyone had to tune in to see what all the fuss was about on
the new game show. What a disappointment! As Ben Stein so stoically and
nasally says, "wooww".
The only thing likable about this show was the fact that you knew it would eventually be over. Sitting through a full hour of it was like going to the dentist...you find yourself looking at the clock in what you think are 10 minute intervals, only to find out that only a minute has passed (but seemed like an eternity) since you last glanced at the clock. So, why didn't I just switch the channel? Well, probably for the same reason most other people didn't...out of sheer optimism. I mean, no one really *wants* to think that a show with Bill Shatner could actually be SO BAD.
Personally, from the first 15 minutes, I never thought this was the kind of vehicle that would showcase the talents of William Shatner. My chief complaint was that the set was so dark. Watching it left me feeling depressed. You kept on wanting to get ahold of a little excitement, but there was just none to be had. There was not even enough light on the set to get a feel of energy from the audience (who you couldn't even see).
Dear Network: People do not watch game shows to cure their insomnia...they watch game shows to be excited and have a good time. Please do us all a favor and lose this in the vault.
My wife and I are semi amused by Howie Mandel's show.. I also like
Shatner - even when he's at his most pathetic..
But this is absolutely the worst show on television.
Please cancel this show. It sucks a**.
The only positive thing I can say is that the girls are hotter on this show and seem to wear less clothing than Deal or no Deal...
The questions are a mixture of way too easy and incredibly obscure. And watching Shatner or the contestant say "Show me the money" makes me want to vomit..
This one will not last.
I read thru most of the comments posted here & all I can say it that most of these posters have major problems in life. This show, unlike most game show, was fun. Mr. Shatner, whose brill in ALL that he does, was again the hit of the show. He's genuinely bubbly personality shines like a beacon where ever he goes. He's fun & makes you smile & that's exactly what the show does also. The dancers & questions, the round-about fashion they're presented only add to the shows appeal. And even though there's a Great deal of money at stake it's fun. The pressure (stress) that exists in most game shows does NOT exist here. Several people who posted messages complained how much time is waisted with the dancers & choosing questions, &c, like Millionaire doesn't have similar time wasters. All I can say is most of you have missed the whole concept. The idea here is to have FUN & ENJOY yourself. There's something for everyone. Qustions to test your knowledge, eye candy (the dancers), suspense, Mr. Shatner's wonderful fun-filled personality... well if that doesn't perk-up guys up then I feel bad for you; and if that's not enough, YOU CAN GET RICH! I really miss the show. Out of ALL the games shows that have ever been on, & to be quite frank, I HATE game shows, this is the one I really liked & truly miss. The only other game show I ever liked was Match Game.
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