Hello. Happy belated Thanksgiving and Happy Festival of Lights. I’m not Jewish, but I do know a number of people are celebrating that right now. Today, I’d like to discuss a new show that’s on NBC right now. It seems every year, the Peacock Network attempts to give us a Christmas present in the form of a game show. Last year it was Who’s Still Standing? And this year, everybody’s favorite bald-headed Canadian, Howie Mandel, returns to host Take it All. Here are 2 clips from the show.
Yes folks, it’s “White Elephant” meets Friend or Foe? There is a lot going on, with everyone scrambling to either lock their prizes or take them or go to the Dream Screen. Yet, for me, it still felt padded. Howie still uses his classic “….when we come back” ploy to keep us glued to our chairs. There are only 3 rounds plus the Trust Box— er, Prize Fight. I tell you, when that woman took all those prizes from Santa, you could tell the audience was outraged. I mean, they were distraught. Thrown into despair even. In fact, one person from Concord, New Hampshire is so outraged, he started a petition to raise money so John (the Santa look-alike) could get his $50,000 in cash. If you’d like to contribute, here’s the link.
I was led to believe from the promos and everything else that hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and prizes would be on the line. Sure enough, the teacher won $420,900 in goods. I just thought there would be much more. I guess I got fooled by Howie constantly using the word “life-changing”.
Now here’s the clincher. The Prize Fight, aka “Howie’s Trust Box”. We know how this works. If both players pick “Keep Mine”, they both get the cash and the 3 prizes they picked up. One of them picks “Take It All”, that person takes it all. If they both pick “Take it All”, well, NBC takes it all. Now in the second clip, you’ve got to remember that Santa did take a lot from the woman. So for her to take it all, that’s poetic justice.
This show is executive produced by Howie Mandel and Scott St. John, whom you may know as the EP of Howie’s other game show claim to fame, Deal or No Deal. That is probably why it is so padded. Don’t get me wrong, I thought this was OK.
I like watching Friend or Foe. I consider it a guilty pleasure of mine. Deep down, doesn’t everyone like to see drama? Don’t we all want to stab somebody in the back at least once? But when you see the audience so disappointed and in agony like that, it just isn’t worth it. This game ultimately has no substance. It plays too much into human nature. The one person who does take it all has marked themselves as a heel. And it’s so close to Christmas too.
By the way, according to that other game show blog, it debuted to a 4.3/7 rating and debuted to 7.4 million viewers and a 2.2 in the key demographic of adults 18-49.
If NBC wanted Howie back hosting a prime time game show, I personally think they would’ve done better just to bring back Deal or No Deal. I mean, seriously.