Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Downfall -- Best show title ever

ABC is ready to start their "Summer Season."  This entails requisite shows with crotch hits (Wipeout), reality "stars" who won't go away (The Bachelorette) and another unnecessary vampire show (The Gates).  But my least favorite part of their summer schedule is a show called Downfall.  In this game show, well I'll let Executive Producer Scott St. John explain it:
"Downfall is a new, hybrid, high-stakes field game show where fearless contestants have to fight and focus hard to keep their winnings from falling off the side of a building."
Now I have nothing against game shows.  Nor people winning $1 million for knowing obscure factoids.  Nor shows set on the top of buildings.  I'm even ok with bad quotes from show runners.  But I do have something against mega-corporations destroying perfectly good stuff -- cars, lawn mowers, washing machines -- all in the name of ratings.

ABC execs might not know this, but the economy is in the tank.  There are a lot of people struggling out there to find work, work that might ultimately help them buy a desperately-needed new car, lawn mower or washing machine.  I'm not suggesting that rather than demolish these durable goods ABC donate the stuff to charity instead (although that would be nice).  I recognize this would certainly change the show's tone and render Scott Ferrall -- the voice of every monster truck and tractor pull -- useless here.  But there has to be something other than the televised equivalent of "Let them Eat Cake."

Maybe I'm over analyzing this.  Maybe I shouldn't be so concerned about what a silly game show does.  And maybe people like seeing brand new stuff get destroyed.  But I can't help but wonder whether this is programming gone down the wrong path.  I'm sure Louis XVI didn't think his conspicuous consumption during economic turmoil was a big deal.  And I'm sure that Marie Antoinette just thought she was looking out for every Frenchman's dietary interests.  But we all know what happened next.

Come to think of it, maybe Downfall is exactly what this show should be called.


Shannon said...

I felt exactly the same way when I first saw the commercial for Downfall.

Chad Garland said...

I whole-heartedly agree. This is arsinine! And the commercial is annoying. Your idea of donating the lost prizes is novel and far more interesting.

Given the way ABC pimps SEARS as part of its Extreme Makeover Home Edition, a similar kind of giveaway would be excellent advertising for the manufacturers of the "prizes" on this show.

Chad said...

According to Lisa Horowitz on TheWrap.com, "Fabricated facsimiles of all prizes will be placed on the largest conveyor belt ever seen on TV..."

I suppose that's a little better than destroying the actual prize. But still, I like the donation idea.

Benji said...

There won't be ratings...that show sounds pretty awful. What's the matter with ABC's programming recently?

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