Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Rigged

At Game Show Paradise I've been commenting on Game Show Forum's list of the 50 greatest game shows as it very slowly rolls out. I've gotten some pushback, which is fine. One of the harshest criticisms was about my dismissal of the rigged shows. So I added a teasing comment to the thread. It's a paraphrase of what Bill James had to say about Shoeless Joe Jackson (google him if you don't recognize the name) getting into baseball's Hall of Fame...

One of the roaringest debates about game shows is whether rigged programs should be honored with a place on a list of the greatest ever. My opinion is, of course they should. It's just a matter of priorities.

After all, we should also list radio shows from the pre-TV era, like Information Please and Quiz Kids, which paved the way for the television programs. And then we should include shows that committed no crime except short runs, like You're in the Picture and The Rich List. It's not these shows' fault that Nielsen was grumpy about them. And how about state lottery shows and Monopoly Millionaires Club? The association with government sponsored gambling should not be held against them. Then there are shows from foreign countries, including Great Britain, Cambodia, Uruguay, Luxembourg and Vatican City. We don't want to be chauvinistic, do we?

And then finally, when we have listed every honest game show ever broadcast anywhere on the planet, every honest show that helped make our genre such a great source of entertainment and enjoyment for countless millions of people instead of spreading the poison of deceit and fakery, then and only then should we hold our noses and put the rigged shows on the list.

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