Monday, December 19, 2016

Up against the wall

Just watched NBC's sneak peek of The Wall, the Peacock Net's (warning, Variety speak) homage to Plinko. The contestants were a married couple, and the wife was the excitable type. I mean, she was almost literally bouncing off the wall.

The good news is that the rest of the show was better than she was. Sure, the basic idea is a blatant steal from The Price is Right's favorite pricing game. But NBC has souped up the gameplay with trivia questions, offers to bail out, multiple balls bouncing around the nooks and crannies, good balls that make money and bad balls that cost money, and heavy doses of impressive electronic whiz-bangery.

In the end things worked out just fine for our married friends, and they walked away with $1.3 million. I assume that NBC did not want a godawful wipeout in the sneak peek. But such wipeouts are certainly possible, which does add a nice edge to the proceedings.

Chris Hardwick hosted with enthusiasm, which kept him from being drowned out completely by the shrieking wife. The format built suspense right until the end, though we knew that the couple were either gonna win big or win really big. And that $1.3 million was really nice.

UPDATE: The show gets respectable numbers. 6.5M total viewers and a 1.6 18-49 rating. Not spectacular but decent.


  1. I really liked it, unlike the Buzzerblog commentators who clearly hate every million dollar primetime game show aside from Millionaire. The game's not perfect, and no game ever is, but it's a nice change of pace instead of just asking straight-up trivia questions. It's fun watching the balls drop down, sometimes more than one at a time, like in a pinball machine, and I actually don't mind the way they've set it up with the mandatory green balls and red balls in the later rounds.

    The fact that NBC has already started casting for a second season means that they have confidence in it. Whether the ratings hold up is another question entirely. Either way, it is the first primetime game show NBC has aired in a long time, so I hope it succeeds.

    1. I watched it on Hulu and I liked it. It's Plinko on steroids and with a lot more money involved. I do like the risk taking the game has. The only slight issue I have is the when they head to the commercial. Don't try to spoil what's going to happen. But overall 10/10. Thankfully there wasn't any sob story that stretches the time. But this is the first show, so who knows about that.

  2. The guy actually made the wrong decision if he believed that he got 2-3 questions right. All things being equal a contestant that gets 3 out of 6 questions right will break even because they will play the same number of green balls and red balls (if you ignore the double balls and triple balls) while a contestant with 2 right will most likely "lose" money. I'd say a contestant that knows they have 5-6 right should risk it, especially if they know they get the triple ball questions right which gives three green balls to better cancel out the red ones.

    Ideally I'd get rid of the initial green balls and red balls. You can get every question right and lose everything on a red ball (that happened in the first round). Just make it the questions only.