In fact if it wasn’t for the slightly updated set and a new Banker you’d be hard pressed to discern it from the show ten years ago.
If you want to watch it I imagine you could probably find it on Youtube or Reddit or something, or even use the Dark Arts. The series will run on Wednesdays on cable channel CNBC, but a “holiday special” aired on the main NBC Network on Monday (making it surely the earliest Christmas Special for a gameshow since The Crystal Maze mid-advent Special last year).
In the spirit of Christmas, I’ll put some thoughts down underneath a cut so you can avoid being spoiled too much.
Nice Christmassy set decoration, although changing all the graphics to red on white and white on red for Christmas is a bit of a Christmas misfire I reckon, here’s something I tweeted, I don’t understand why the values that have been eliminated (red background) are easier to discern than the values that are in white that are still in play.
I get that they’ve decked the set and graphics out for Xmas, but should the eliminated cases in red pop out more than the ones still in? pic.twitter.com/YcfhdOV7td
— Brig Bother (@BothersBar) 4 December 2018
It’s less bad here close-up, but in a wide shot it doesn’t look great.
The big ‘twist’ in this new version, other than the fact that the Banker is now a female, is that once during the game the contestant can make a Counter Offer, and would be forced to play on if the Banker turns it down. I have two issues with the way they’ve done this – firstly, the Banker’s offers are already close-to-the-mean generous, which suggests that the amount of movement the contestant realistically has is minimal, which means we’re probably not going to see the kind of moves you would hope for – either the contestant is going to ask for a couple of grand more and there’s no drama, or they’re going to ask for something stupid and there’s no drama. Secondly for something that’s meant to be a negotiation, the Banker remains an almost complete non-character, a silhouetted algorithm in a dress effectively. I could understand it if there was any player/Banker interaction like in the European versions and there’s an element of mind gaming, here we just get Howie Mandel going “uh-huh… uh-huh, OK, the offer is $109,000.” In theory it’s an entertaining idea, in practice I don’t think the US set-up works to the twist’s advantage.
Also the guy lost over $330k and it was all “that’s a pity. Join us next time for more Deal or No Deal!” No! The game is inherently about living with the consequences of your actions. Milk it!
Anyway the show remains slick and watchable – and very American for better or (let’s be honest) worse. Better soundtrack than before I reckon. How easy it will be to watch when it airs first-run on CNBC I don’t know.