Why I hate ‘Deal or No Deal’
So, er… someone choosing random numbers? No, wait that’s just idiotic no one would watch that……oh sod it that’ll do.
This is how the birth of ‘Deal or No Deal’ must have panned out. Picture the scene.
You work for a broadcasting company. You’ve had a long hard day and you’ve been told over the phone that your wife has just taken everything in the divorce – including the dog.
You’re seeing the doctor for a stress-induced peptic ulcer tomorrow and that annoying new guy at the office who’s half your age, better-looking than you, and is a real hit with all your co-workers is really getting on your tits.
As you notice it’s nearly time to go home and drown in your sorrows you see a badly written note on a scrunched up piece of paper on your desk – ‘come up with an idea for a game-show by Wednesday’ Dammit!! Tomorrow’s Wednesday!
You sigh loudly and quickly decide to just come up with the first stupid thing that pops into your head as you have enough to deal with right now.
‘So, er… someone choosing random numbers? No, wait that’s just idiotic no one would watch that……oh sod it that’ll do.’
Channel Four’s ‘Deal or No Deal’ has now been on our screens for what seems like the last millennium and there’s no sign of it ending. Ever.
Somehow, a person blindly choosing twenty-two numbers constitutes a game-show. They aren’t required to answer general knowledge questions, oh no. Just have the ability to count.
In case you’ve been asleep for the past five years here’s how it goes: a contestant has one of twenty-two boxes. In these boxes are concealed amounts of money ranging from 1p to £250,000. They then eliminate the other boxes one at a time whilst being offered cash for their own box from a mysterious banker who is in contact with the host via a phone.
It’s simple. Really simple. In fact it’s so simple it’s incredibly boring. How can they not realise that the order in which they choose their numbered boxes doesn’t matter and is never entertaining?
The show is not only dull it’s downright weird. For instance, the contestants get a bit too big for their boots and act like they are hosting the show. Yes it may be ‘alternative’ but there is a reason normal people don’t host prime time television – they aren’t very good at it.
I like the idea but, surely, the key to it is to have a half-decent host who can at least inject a bit of humour or well, you know, anything! But no, instead we have Noel Edmonds.
He is like the embarrassing dad at a wedding, but all the time. He comes out with the most excruciatingly awkward comments that are worthy of scenes from ‘The Office’.
He’s also introduced some really odd phrases into the game. Here are but a few – ‘The Power Five’, ‘Pilgrims’, ‘The 1p club’, ‘East and West Wings’, ‘The Walk of Wealth’. Nothing terribly offensive but they are often thrown about as if they are just part of normal conversation. A strange, awkward, weird conversation.
And it doesn’t stop there.
I think this is the only show I know of where they carry on playing after the contestant has won the money. Think about this for a moment. They’ve already won and yet they carry on still filled with the suspense that was at least a bit more justified before they dealt. WHY?!
This can lead to some quite bizarre moments. I remember watching a young couple get down to two boxes – £100,000 and £250,000. Pretty good game, right?
I’d be very happy but when they dealt on the banker’s offer and then found that they could have won £250,000 they started crying. Out of sadness! I was utterly amazed to witness someone who had just won an insane amount of money accept it whilst wiping away tears.
What the hell is wrong with you?! You should be dancing around the room! You’ve won more money than most people earn in a year and you haven’t even answered a single goddamn general knowledge question!
There’s also this whole ‘deal or no deal’ culture which is sickeningly embraced by every contestant. No show would be complete without comments like ‘Oh, Jed, you’re such an amazing guy I really hope this is a blue for you’ and when they’ve opened their box it’s always met with rapturous applause no matter what its value was.
And if it’s an amount of money that isn’t beneficial to the game the person apologises and genuinely feels bad! ‘Oh, sorry for standing behind a random number that I didn’t even choose.’
If we expressed the amount of emotion on display here for such random events in life we would all need therapy.
This idiotic madness is relentless. It is so fitting, then, that during the ending credits, whilst the winner is being mobbed by the other contestants with hugs and even tears, Noel has a little speech.
You can tell he really struggles to find anything original to say every show. So in an attempt to keep the viewer’s interest we get this bizarre monologue.
It usually consists of Noel’s in-depth analysis of what’s just occurred and the psychosocial implications of the result of this game on future ones. It’s almost worth tuning in just to see it.
It’s made even more cringe-worthy because you can tell he is blissfully unaware that he is suffering from chronic verbal diarrhoea. He rounds it off with a cheeky ‘You know you’ll be watching next time!’
No, Noel. No I will not be.