Friday , April 12 2024
Quite clearly, not every show can be a winner.

A TV Show That May Cause Me To Rethink My Worldview

I come to you today to talk about a national tragedy.  No, strike that, apparently it's an international travesty.  I sat down last night after Mad Men to watch a game show on FOX called Hole in the Wall.  To be kind, I'd rather put a hole in my head than watch it again. 

The game play is pretty simple, and while that's not always a bad thing, it hasn't done this show any favors.  The game features two teams of three players each.  The teams take turns contorting their bodies into odd shapes in order to pass through holes that are situated in a wall that moves towards the players.  Some walls are meant for one player, some two, and some three.  But, every time, it's pretty much the same exact thing… over, and over, and over again.  Whichever team scores more points over the course of the incredibly short match (there were only four walls per team before the winner was determined, though that may be because this episode was a mere half-hour instead of airing for the full hour the regular show will) wins $25,000.

And then, there's the bonus wall, the Blind Wall.  Yeah, after the winning team is determined, one member of the team puts on goggles that blind them, and their teammates have to verbally tell them how to make it through the a wall.  Make it, and the team wins an extra 100,000 dollars.

The show is quick to remind us (they did so several times) that this show is terribly successful in Japan (where it apparently originates) and in many other countries as well.  And here I thought that we, as a nation, were an embarrassment.  I'm going to have to radically alter my worldview if this show is a worldwide success. 

No, seriously.  The show features people trying to contort their bodies through holes in a big yellow wall and they end up in a pool of water if they don't make it.  That's supposed to be compelling television?  People all over the world are shocked and impressed and in love with it?  Really?

Did you watch it?  Did you enjoy it?  Come on now, be honest.

Frankly, I wonder if the people working on the show even believe in it.  Last night was their first episode (FOX says that it wasn't the premiere as the premiere is this Thursday when the show airs in its regularly scheduled timeslot), so one would think that they wanted the whole thing to be perfect.  One would think that they would want to put their best foot forward.  One would not expect there to be typos in the graphics.  And yet, there were typos.  In back-to-back graphics giving the stats for two members of one team, they misidentified the players as being on the opposite squad.

You might not think that's a big deal, but it is.  Imagine if you were watching the first football game of the season last week and when they showed you the stat cards for Eli Manning and Plaxico Burress, they misidentified them as being on the Redskins.  What would you think?  You would, rightfully, think less of the production.  If they don't care enough to get the facts right, why should you?  Why should any of us? 

At the end of the day all that we're left with is a bunch of grown people embarrassing themselves on (inter)national television and not even for very much money.  It's fast without ever going anywhere, loud without ever saying anything, and will never clog my TiVo again.

Thank goodness True Blood and Entourage both aired after Hole in the Wall, or I might have gone to bed with a bad taste in my mouth.

About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.

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