On the matter of Howie Mandel…
Alright, so, Deal or No Deal. Is it groundbreaking television? No. Is it a revolution in game show programming? No. Is it an extremely difficult game of knowledge, strategy and skill? Hell no. But is it damn entertaining to watch? Yes. Watching someone’s hopes and dreams for the future slowly build up only to be crushed instantly by a combination of pure chance and their own bad choice is absolutely priceless. It’s like being a high school guidance counselor, but in convenient half hour episodes, twice daily on weekdays, once on weekends.
There is, however, one point in the show in which I absolutely despise. Usually, getting close to endgame, at around the 23 minute mark of the show, Howie Mandel turns to the contestant and utters what is quite possibly the most idiotic line in the history of television.
“Alright, [insert contestant’s name here], you’ve played a really good game…”
You have played a really good game. Of Deal of No Deal. Where to begin? I can play a really good game of hockey, or soccer, or even golf. That is to say, there was something I did of my accord, in which I overcame the circumstances and nature of the game to do well at it. It even applies to other game shows, you can play a really god game of Jeopardy! Or Wheel of Fortune. Both of which, though determined in the most basic sense, by chance, there is still some inner working of the brain which manifests itself in a stratagem or skill being employed which, if successful, can result in victory.
And I realize, al lot of you out there are saying “but there clearly is some skill involved, you can make a deal at a time which maximizes your chances of leaving with the most possible money.” True, in theory, but not in practice. The concept of basic laws of averages and knowing that luck will bite you in the ass if you continually play against it is definitely a good bit of knowledge to have, but is it a skill? I think not. Here’s a general rule, if my 8 year old cousin who is just learning multiplication in his Grade 3 class can make the right call on when to make the deal, it’s not a skill.
Nonetheless, Howie asserts, a good game has been played. Let me explain to you, what playing a good game of Deal or No Deal equates to. Suppose I take 26 bottlecaps, and number them 1 to 26, and arrange them on a table. At this point, I whip out my dick, and start pounding it against the table repeatedly. Some of the bottlecaps flip over, and are therefore removed. It is then my choice whether to leave, or to continually pound my dick on a table. This is the equivalent of playing a good game of Deal or No Deal.
At which point someone else walks into the room, and the conversation goes something like this:
“Some of the bottlecaps aren’t turned over.”
“Yeah, I got tired of the game, plus it’s kinda starting to hurt.”
“Well, you played a good game…”