Joined: 07 Aug 2006
Location: Alexandria, VA
|Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:47 am Post subject: Downfall
|Caught the first episode on Hulu.
The basic structure is yet another "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" clone.
(From ABC. What were the odds?) Seven stages awarding from $5k to
$1M. Contestant chooses from a group of nine categories, 10 questions
each. They need to answer 4/10 in the time alloted to win round one,
5/10 in round two, and so forth. Each round is also shorter (and
assuming the contestant starts with the apparently easiest category, has
tougher questions). Win stage 3, and the $25k is guaranteed. Otherwise,
lose a round and lose everything.
The gimmick, if you haven't heard, is that bonus prizes and the money
(or admittedly replicas thereof) are on a giant conveyor belt, falling off
the open-air set at the top of a 10 story building to do a Gallagher below
as it advances. The belt stops when you get the requisite questions right,
and you win anything still in one piece.
Two lifelines, invoked by hitting the panic button. You get a redo on the
level; new category & questions with no bonus prizes but "something
else" on the conveyor belt. Either a personal item to go splat (they didn't
say if you get to keep the pieces, or confirm it was the actual item) or
friend (who can assist with questions until they go off the end of the belt
and take a ride down on the safety line).
It's amusing enough. The questions seemed a good mix, with about 5/10
being reasonable to know and 5/10 being tougher. With two panics that
gives a contestant 3 out of 5 tries to win $25k, and a couple prizes if they
do really well in the first two rounds and quit before gacking. (In later
rounds, with less time and more questions, the prizes are just there to go
Of course, nobody here would be watching it just as a quiz show. We're
watching because the host is Chris Jericho. I thought he did a pretty
good job. He played to the crowd a little bit more than hosts usually
do, but on the other hand the crowd started out polite and got a little
noiser as the show progressed so maybe that was a good thing. Both
contestants said they were "from" one city but both currently lived in
LA, and he kept talking about them going "back" to where they were
"from" -- hopefully he'll get that fixed in later eps. Other than that,
his patter was good and his facial expressions were excellent. He
did a solid job of reading the questions, reserving the vocalizations for
the interim banter. That said, there were a couple of significant edits
and you don't know if maybe he flubbed reading a question (and some
of those 'children of famous people' clues were tongue twisters). I
presume he sees the questions in advance because the disclaimers didn't
say he didn't.
If you're watching 2 hours of Raw to see 5 minutes of Jericho, spend an
hour watching this and get 40 minutes of him :)
Also worth noting: they made a point of not allowing any contestant,
friend, or Jericho himself to approach the edge of the set without
being on a safety line. (The models doubled as the safety techs. Bet
*that* was an interesting casting call.) Also, the conveyor belt never
moved with a non-tethered person on it, which must have been a safety
rule because I absolutely would have had Jericho, if not the contestants
as well, rolled out on the belt as they entered otherwise.