Friday, December 22, 2006

My Five Reasons NBC Should Drop 'Identity'

The game show Identity with Penn Gillette as it's host is so bad it makes Show Me the Money, and Deal or No Deal, tolerable. I know this is a down time of the season for the networks, and they are trying to get by with cheap filler programming, but this show is beyond mindless, it's infuriating.

5. Slow pace - This, show, moves, at, a, snails, (let's go to a break before I finish this sentence) pace. And I am not exaggerating, Penn makes Regis look like an auctioneer. I am a Penn and Teller fan, and have seen this guy say more in his thirty second intro on his Showtime series 'Bullshit' than he does in an entire show here. I know they are trying to stretch out time, milk it, but this is insulting.

4. The experts - A cross between the American Idol panel of nitwts and the panel from the match game, the 'experts' available to consult as one of the help options are a joke. They are supposedly an FBI interrogator, a body language expert, and some other important sounding title, offer what the contestant is already doing, a guess.

3. They're Cheap - The stakes of winning a prime-time game show have raised, but nobody told these idiots. You take Deal or No Deal to the limit, it's a million, you can win more than that on Show Me the Money, I am told. I really can't stand that show either. The Price is Right gives away more money than this poor excuse for a Prime-time game show, $500,000 if you win it all, ( but you won't, more about that in number one).

2. The premise - This is Deal or No Deal without the hot models holding the briefcases and the banker on the phone. At some point it is just guessing, half of them are obviously easy and there are always at least two that it is simply a toss up. The wait for the 'stranger' as they are called, to tell if the contestant has guessed wrong is as annoying as Penn's slow paced talk, and their catchlines if correctly chosen are worse than campy. This is simply a guessing game, which moves at a snails pace and doesn't pay off.

1. They reneged! - Yes, they reneged, they welched, they cheated, they broke the only rule that should stand in these cheesy game shows, you pay off when they win, and that is why I think this show should disappear like most of its' predecessors. If someone is going to win, despite the odds stacked against them, let them win.

On the Thursday, December 21 episode, the entire hour was a young woman who went though the motions of the excruciatingly annoying show, and I watching her, to play a perfect game through 10 contestants. She guessed 10 identities correctly! Now, the three helps you have are; Ask the experts - which I've spoken of, Tri-dentity - where the field is narrowed down to three(also almost no help), and Mistaken Identity - A bogey, you get to get one wrong, and you're not out of the money.

Let me state that again, as Penn does many times throughout the show,using up time and pushing us toward that alway important next break, you get to get one wrong. Nice, you say, so if she is down to two people with her 'Mistaken Identity' still intact, she wins, it's simple, even if she misses her first guess, she gets another. Wow,cool, this girl played the game good.

But NO! After the commercial break, they come back on and say, that NO, the helps are no good if she is going for $500,000, that she has to guess straight up and risk everything to win it all. As Penn would say on his other, much better television show, BULLSHIT!!!!!

You can't change the rules at the end of the game. Someone is about to win and this comes up? I couldn't have been more annoyed.I mean, just the show is annoying enough, but there simply wasn't anything else on, and the girl was likeable, and winning. Then they stick it to her like that?

Maybe this was in the rules from the beginning, maybe it does make sense even from an excitement standpoint, but you don't drop it in like that. Somebody dropped the ball on this. He either should have been telling her that she would lose that help in the last round so she could use it to guess on those two that could be either one earlier or let her keep it, she earned it, she saved it.She could have taken the chance on the last two people, the ones that were simply a guess. The identities were a 'CSI Investigator' and 'Organ Donor' and the two people left were two middle aged women. It was a toss up even if the one that turned out to be the 'CSI Investigator' did look as if she idolized Marg Helgenberger.

If properly handled, the girl would have known that she should use her mistaken identity on an earlier round. Then she would have known which was or wasn't the 'CSI Investigator'. However, it was never pointed out that she needed too. Everything else was pointed out, elaborated on, drawn out, but not the simple fact that she needed to use her mistaken identity before she lost it.

That's why Identity is bullshit. For now on, I am going to backlog every program I can think of, or egad, not watch television during the time that Identity is on. Really NBC, if you want to go the cheap route at least use the time doing good civil service trapping sexual predators or exposing government corruption with a known to be cheap news magazine show.

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