This show attempts to make you laugh more than it focuses on the contestant's attempts to win money.
There. I've just said the only complimentary thing about it I can say.
Having read comments from people who have watched several episodes, I believe I can say that my experience of watching one episode on Dec. 17 gave me an accurate impression of the series. I would be glad to watch more episodes if someone were to pay me to do so.
There are two M.C.s and one contestant, who is there for the entire episode.
The M.C.s each read a statement and the contestant is supposed to guess which one of them read a truthful statement. There are "topics" before the statements, but they don't really serve any purpose, although the two statements are sort-of in a broad category that fits the topic. On Jeopardy, the categories give contestants a clue about the subject matter--a good clue, I'll add, and this is important because the contestants choose which categories to select. Here, there is no choosing, so it truly doesn't matter what they call the categories. After each statement is read, the two M.C.s sort-of argue against the other M.C.'s statement, trying to get the contestant to side with them.
The contestant then chooses which one to believe by having to awkwardly step around a railing in front of them and press on the railing in front of the M.C. he/she chooses to believe.
Then, for each question, one of the M.C.s repeats how the flashing board will reveal if the choice is true by stopping on green, or on red if it is false.
We wait with baited breath, while the board flashes the statement and the M.C.'s pictures off and on and off and on (the tension is almost too much to bear) and finally, about 8 seconds later it stops and we see if the contestant is right or wrong.
The first question is worth $1,000, the second $2,000--all the way up to $5,000 for the first five.
They did 2 questions before the first commercial break, 2 for the next, and only 1 more before the next long commercial break, finishing with 1 bonus round question for $20,000. So the last two questions are surrounded by three commercial breaks. Amazing.
The bonus round is a bit better. Five short statements appear on the board and to win the $20,000, the contestant must find the one true statement. If desired, they can spend $1000 of their winnings to eliminate one of the false statements. Then, for $2,000 they can eliminate another, and, then for $3,000, knock out a third, so they can, for $6,000 bring it down to a guess between just two statements to win the $20,000.
The contestant I saw spent $3,000 to bring it down to 3 statements. She stated that she was almost certain that the one about I Love Lucy was not true. So she really had a choice between 2 but spent $3,000 more--half of what she had left, just to have them eliminate the one statement she already knew wasn't true. Amazingly, she seemed happy to have spent $3,000 to learn nothing. She joyfully proclaimed, "I was right!" When left with two statements, she guessed wrong, so even though she had won $9,000, by trying to improve her odds, she wound up with only $3,000.
What we're left with really is a half hour game show with 6 whole questions and only one contestant.
It might work, if: Any of the statements that were true were of any real interest. The main reason Trivial Pursuit became so popular is because many of the questions revealed fun facts that people thought were interesting to know. This has undoubtedly been a huge part of what has made Jeopardy such a long running success for almost 50 years.
If you think it interesting to learn about what Dr. Ruth Westheimer did when she was a young woman in the military service for Israel, then you might find a few of the odd facts this show presents interesting. Final round statements were about such incredibly boring topics as the first "text message" ever sent, the first artist on a CD, and who was the first celebrity selected "sexiest man alive."
But you still have to be happy to only learn six facts in a half hour. I could read two trivial pursuit cards during one commercial break and learn 12 facts, at least 10 of which would be more interesting than the silliness I saw on this show.
From what I saw, there is little chance any contestant would know which statement was true, at least for most of them. Most people could probably guess 2/3rds of the time which one is a lie from the way it is written. But whether you guess right or not, the fact is just not anything you'd care to retain after learning it.
Here's a big reason to choose reading Trivial Pursuit cards--you won't have to worry about offensive language, such as I endured on that one episode. That's right. The kind of words you still cannot say on network TV--that I didn't think they let pass on TBS, but apparently was mistaken.
So there's no vagueness here, I will say that they used, without any bleeps or muting (like Hallmark channel does frequently on Frasier reruns), the infamous "S" word and "G.D." These words may have their place in dramatic movies, but they have no place in a non-premium-channel comedic game show.
I cannot imagine this show lasting long because there is so little in it that could possibly interest more than a tiny percentage of the population.
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