TV Surf-Minute To Win ItI’m not a big TV guy like I used to be. Mostly because the stuff that’s on TV now is generally crap. However one thing that I am a sucker for is game shows (See previous articles for 1vs100), no matter how good or how bad they are. It was during the Winter Olympics in Vancouver on the TODAY Show (Via Xbox 360 Video) that I heard about a new show coming to NBC called “Minute to Win It” where contestants performing simple tasks in under 60 seconds could win a whole lot of cash.

Last night I sat down and watched the show’s two, 1-hour premiere episodes and honestly could not believe how simplistic our culture has gotten to where we’re now being awarded money for pulling tissues out of a tissue box. That alone set up what I was in for, the disbelief of what people will do to earn a quick buck. More on that later on. So this is how the show works, one contestant has to endure one-by-one, 10 levels of seemingly easy stunts in 60 seconds or less. If they complete all 10 levels, then they walk away with a million bucks. If at any time they can’t complete the stunt, they lose a life. Lose all three lives and your game is over. (Don’t know why they don’t call it strikes or why they’re shooting for the video game approach). Contestants can walk away at any time after completing the stunt to go for the million, however if they lose all their lives they go home with nothing or the guaranteed spot of $50,000 depending on how far up the prize ladder they’ve reached.

Basically it’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire combined with physical challenges from the original Double Dare. I’m not talking about the Super Sloppy or Family versions where they ramped up the mess, I mean the original “both teams wearing red jumpsuits”, stunts you can do at home Double Dare. (Or Beat the Clock for you old school types, before Gary Kroger/PAX took a shit on it.) It’s theoretically Marc Summers dream job back when he had OCD. Instead, the show’s hosted by that goofball, Guy Fieri who I personally can’t stand on the Food Network. However he didn’t do too bad of a job, the only parts I found annoying with him was when he was talking into a camera off stage about whatever was going on before or during the stunt. Also, getting random people to host a game show isn’t unheard of, so before you complain about Guy think about who’s hosting the Price is Right:

Anyway, the stunts vary from pulling tissues out of a tissue box with one hand to stacking 5 apples on top each other to bouncing ping pong balls off of dinner plates into a goldfish bowl to wiggling an Oreo cookie from your forehead using nothing but your facial muscles. Of course the further you go along the tougher the stunts become like stacking 10 hexagonal nuts on top of each other without the tower falling using nothing but a chopstick or blowing a deck of cards off of a bottle with only leaving the joker showing. Both of which eliminated two contestants around the $75,000 mark but crossed the $50k mark so they went home with some money in their pocket. This is what sorta irks me. “Minute to Win It” has such an easy guaranteed amount that it blows the credibility of other past shows out of the water.

Take “Millionaire” for example, unless you’re incredibly smart you have to bone up on all sorts of trivia and answer 11 questions to reach the $50,000 mark. $25,000 is the guaranteed amount that you can leave with so if you blow it from there, that’s only half of what you’re guaranteed to walk away with compared to Minute to Win It.Which is easier to reach $50,000? Fear Factor, a show where you had to do crazy and outrageous things also known for the gross shit you had to eat and/or lay in gave you 50 grand if you were tough enough. Solitary, where contestants are deprived of sleep, food, and sanity to play the ultimate mind game with not only themselves and a computer, but with 8 other contestants for a top prize of $50,000.

Also with those shows, there’s very little to prep for. Sure you can study tape and get a general of idea of what to expect but you don’t exactly know what will be thrown at you. Minute to Win It actually has the balls to tell you each of the games and the stuff required if you wanted to practice the games at home by posting the game list on NBC.com (they wouldn’t shut up about it throughout the show). So you at least know what’s in store, you can train until you feel ready for the real thing where you can snag $50,000 if not more. It’s the ultimate fast track to quick easy cash, the only real enemy and detractor however would be the clock.

As long you can balance some eggs salted on an unplugged lamp’s light bulb or maneuver a gumball into a marked square of a tennis racket using only your legs (actual stunts) in the time alotted anything’s possible which sort of sparked the idea in my noggin of…what if past millionaires from game shows socializing around about their winnings? Something like John Carpenter saying “Yeah, that Laugh-in question for the million on Millionaire was a cinch.”

Ken Jennings replies with “That’s nothing, try spending 74 days with Alex Trebek and racking up over a million in winnings”.

“You kidding me?” says Michelle Loewenstein “Try keeping a lead, avoid hitting a bankrupt, AND landing on the right space in the bonus round to solve and win the final puzzle to snag a million bucks.”

Any of the above, “What about you? What did you do to win a million bucks?”

Possible “Minute to Win It” Millionaire: “Me? All I had to do was rearrange a puzzle from the front of a cereal box and keep a fine balance of coat hangers dangling off of a curtain rod to earn my million”

Point being, Minute to Win It is insultingly simple to win money but with its simplistic nature leaves the door open to being the next big hit game show to sweep the nation. I’m not saying it will, but it certainly has the elements of becoming the next “Deal or No Deal”. I for one am sort’ve hooked and will be tuning in each week. That and I’m sort of intrigued to the wild card celebs on Celebrity Apprentice.

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