Monday, 23 May 2011

Be-ready-to-ditch-your-dignity TV

Popped in to see my old grey-haired Irish Mammy today; and of course the TV is on with an unashamed Noel Edmonds resplendent in his timeless retro dress style sporting a slightly-changed-with-the-times bouffant and his trade mark highly stylised beard – rumoured to be a vegetarian mafia boss.

The man, the legend, and the mullet!

‘Deal or no Deal’ is obviously popular; it must be if the likes of my mum devour every box opened whilst hanging onto the banker’s offers as though they’re messages from above. Look, if my mum wants to listen to Noel Edmonds pontificate about ‘psychological’ games, or of ‘intelligent’ games, or even ‘mystic’ games, endowing upon a game which essentially calls upon people to point to numbered boxes as they inwardly pray it’s a lower number than £250,000, then great. But Edmonds is cute; and he’s managed to elevate his somewhat boring slot in the TV listings with all sorts of esoteric flim flam.

Today’s programme, however, seems to have deviated from its standard fare of stodgy TV to seriously stripping a human being of his dignity. Sure, we know the programme is predicated on that human frailty, greed. You’re confronted with two columns of money ranging from a measly 1p to a tantalising £250,000!

You then begin to eliminate boxes numbered from 1 to 22. Each box contains a single monitory value from £250,000 down to 1p, incrementally spaced in blue and red columns. The aim of the game is to eliminate all boxes containing the blue amounts and the lower red amounts; you progress in tranches of three boxes at the end of which the ‘Banker’ (an invisible component of the show, painted by Edmonds as mean, but with a streak of good old-fashioned British fair play permeating from his judgements) makes an offer for the box the player holds.

Essentially, a contestant calls out a number from 1-22 and in doing so eliminates a money value from the board. The player who takes off the incremental values from 1p-£100,000 from the board and boxes retains the box with £250,000 is the winner.

Of course this is difficult; and so people often leave with a few score thousand, down to as little as a few pounds, or less. Contestants who have turned down £30,000 have walked away with a couple of hundred.

Where I believe the chicanery lies is with Edmonds’s manipulating the weaknesses of individuals. After all his interests differ from the poor mug who has agreed to come on ‘Deal or no Deal’ to win as much money as possible; and, if that means throwing dignity to the wolves of TV ratings, well it’s all for the good of popular programming – oh yes, and Noel Edmonds’s ego and bank balance.

What set today’s programme aside from others is the nature of the contestant ‘picked’ to play today. Here we had a young man who appeared to have quite marked learning disabilities. Noel Edmonds and the other wannabee contestants were treating him as though he were a youngster; when in fact he was a man in his thirties.

Not seeing the programme from the start I hadn’t heard the full extent of the gushing that Edmonds always pours out in an attempt to bestow upon his show some kind of intellectual highbrow-ed-ness – forgetting that it’s simply a game of chance; someone pitting their luck against a series of boxes containing sums of money; while an unseen and unheard banker is lent an air of mystery as he gets inside the minds of the players.

However, the player hits a bad run eliminating some of the high amounts from the game; and, the banker accordingly offers him £8,000. Uncertain of what to do the guy looks to the other contestants who offer advice. Knowing that he has recently turned down £14,500, mainly because Edmonds keeps reminding him and us, the home viewers, the man begins to cry. At this point the host invites the contestant’s mother to join them (Edmonds likes to wrench every drop of low dramatic effect possible).

Then his mother, seeing that her son’s distressed by the whole thing, begins sobbing. By now the two of them are in each other’s arms; and, this is where the snake Edmonds comes into his own. For, the game’s not over. Oh no; now the sap has taken the banker’s money it’s time to elicit the maximum humiliation.

Now we see people’s greed in high profile. Remember, the contestant has won £8,000. That’s a profit of £8,000. Not enough to excite enquiries from the tax man; but, enough to accomplish a fair few things. But this game isn’t about cheering the contestant on and wishing them well with their winnings; no, it’s about testing a person’s greed level.

Once the player has dealt (agreed) at a figure the game then continues, but in reverse. Now the player is trying to open boxes with high money values to prove they’ve stopped at the right amount themselves, thus beating the system – getting one over the banker.

So now after every third box is opened the banker tells the player how much he would have offered at that point; a figure lower than that dealt, grows a grin on the players face; a higher figure, a look of pure pain.

So, after accepting the 8 grand the offer the banker would next have made was over £14,000. The poor man is now sobbing uncontrollably, as is his mother who cradles his head; while Edmonds stands to one side sombre-faced, but cracking jokes about crying.

It didn’t end there. Edmonds milked it for everything it had; and, it had more. As the Banker’s bids went up; so rose the level of sobbing. The final act in this disgraceful dignity stripping show was when the contestants box was opened it revealed the £250,000! More tears.

I could be wrong; but that poor sod seems to have sold off his dignity for a poxy 8K; while that wanker Edmonds salivates over his ratings. If, and I’m fairly sure he did, this man had learning difficulties, was it right to expose him to this kind of be-ready-to-ditch-your-dignity TV programme?   

No comments:

Post a Comment