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9:42 a.m. - February 17, 2007
1 vs. 100!!!
Last year, when NBC debuted Deal or No Deal I was intrigued, but after a while I grew bored of it. It seemed a pretty easy show to beat if you had a little luck on your side – just hold out until near the bitter end if you still had a big money case on the board. And I really got sick of the contestants and their help gyrating like whirling dervishes at any ‘tense’ moment.

But its success has led to a minor rebirth in a form of television that I love – game shows.

ABC almost killed them off when they broadcast Who Wants To Be A Millionaire five nights a week, and then when they went to more celebrity versions after 9/11, that show really died, and took The Weakest Link along with it. Some other shows, like Greed and Twenty-One never had much of a chance, but they were quality.

But now, game shows are experiencing a renaissance of sorts. Sure, William Shatner’s Show Me The Money died, but the game play was complicated and the girls, there for ‘enhancement’ only distracted from the flow of the show. Identity, with Penn Jillette, seemed to be OK, but it’s just a freakin’ guessing game.

But there is one show that gives me hope.

It’s 1 vs. 100.

I LOVE that show.

For one, they have the perfect host. Bob Saget, who is a wickedly funny stand-up that was cast into the Hades of some bad shows on ABC (anything for a buck, and he made a lot of them). Saget brings a certain smarm that you need as a game-show host, with a cutting matter, but he does seem to have empathy for the contestants as well.

But the concept is brilliant. Bring together 100 people of various intellect, professions, and what have you, and have one player play against the other 100. Miss a question, and you’re out – and if the player misses a question, the remaining 100 split whatever winnings have been accumulated. If the one player beats all 100, he gets One MILLLLLION Dollars

They call the 100 ‘the mob’ and it’s quite apt. Sure, they ham it up a little bit, but facing 100 people must seem like a mob.

They have celebrities, of course, filtering in and out. But that’s only one or two out of the 100. The focus is on the mob as a whole.

The questions are a bit easy at first, of course, and Liz is always astounded by how many people get some relatively easy ones wrong. But sometimes they’re more pop culture questions, or have a little ‘trick’ to them so if you’re not thinking right and blinded by the glare of the TV lights, you can slip up.’

The game really gets interesting as the players dwindle and the cash accumulates. After five questions, there are usually only 20 to 40 people left, and the money can be up over $75,000 by that point if the right questions were missed. I’ve seen someone with over $300,000 just because of the timing of when the mass of the mob missed.

The player has three helps, all related to the mob. The trickiest is ‘trust the mob’, which I would only use on a pop-culture question that I didn’t know for sure. You can ‘poll the mob’ which gives the most popular answer of the three in question, and ‘ask the mob’, which gives the correct answer and one wrong answer, and players in the mob have to explain why they chose the answer. That eliminates the third answer, which is a big help.

I love this show – I would LOVE to be on it.

But I don’t know if I want to be the one player – or in the mob.

If you are the one player, you have a chance to win the most money, obviously, but it’s a one shot deal. It would be thrilling to knock down the entire mob, but the odds of that are pretty steep. However, a six figure payday isn’t out of the question if you’re smart and lucky.

But being part of the mob wields the most power. You can force the player into tough spots by just being right all of the time. On a typical show, I usually only have problem with one question, and it’s usually a tricky one. And you still have a chance for some cash if you hang in there and hang with it.

Really, what we need to do is get organized, and make our own mob. “The Smed Mob”. I usually have 90 to 100 individual hits a day, and I know more occasionally flitter in and out. But think of who I hang with – pop-culture geeks, metal empresses, college students of all ages, college professors, people who know the arts inside and out, lawyers, graphic designers, pirates, chocolate lovers, Bond girls, soldiers, people who make wonderful footies, mix CD masters, caramel makers, music geeks, music freaks, Wiccans, Christians, Agnostics, Jews, Muslims, cat lovers, smart cookies, people who have lived life to the fullest, mothers and fathers, personal finance coaches, and snark machines, among others.


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