Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Reminiscing About Game Shows Past... Part 1

This will not be a long post. It is too sad to be a long post. I just wanted to share a few memories of my childhood.

I was flipping the channels on the television today and went past the bonus round on Wheel of Fortune. Now I was never a huge fan of Wheel of Fortune. I always thought it was a little stupid. But I found myself thinking about when it would be on in my great aunt's house when we would stop by in the evenings. Fond memories. Even made me a little weepy, remembering those times.

Then I looked at the screen again and realized that this is NOT the same Wheel of Fortune from my memories! In fact, it appears that some alien race came to Earth, stole the Wheel of Fortune, returned to the planet Suckass and then beamed the show back on the air.
I don't care about the fancy lights, or the new wheel, or the fact that the contestants gets about 48 letters before having to guess in the bonus round. No... all of that is minor. But there are two huge differences that are causing me this grief. And I am sure they changed long ago, but remember that I don't watch this show...

1) The shopping portion of the bonus round is now gone?!?! Remember that part of the show? It was so much fun watching people try to do math in their head while trying to buy a vacuum cleaner or an endtable with their winnings. I would think their heads were about to explode. They were "smart" enough to solve the "puzzle" in the game, but couldn't subtract 40 from 100. That was actually the most fun part of the show.

2) The game board is all digital now?!?! I'm normally okay with updating things with new technology, but the new board creates one MAJOR problem, not only for me, but for the universe. By changing the game board, the Wheel of Fortune has made Vanna White's existence irrelevant. It is scary when a game show can obliterate an individual's reason for existing. Not just living, but existing. It was even in popular culture. Say "Vanna White" and someone said, "The chick who turns the letters?" Not anymore. The new game board only needs Vanna to touch the letter. And even that is questionable. I am sure it could be done remotely. Vanna White used to have to walk over to the letter and spin it around for all to see. She had a purpose. And she fulfilled her purpose every day. Now, she is simply a meat puppet, animated by the memory of what used to be.

With these two changes, Wheel of Fortune has gone from a mindless diversion where anyone could laugh at the idiocy of the contestants to a soul-sucking nihilistic robot game show. In doing so, it demystified the allure of the game show hostess and attempted to eliminate all elements of consumerism in our society.

Poor Vanna.

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