And so it was that I found myself last week, cold ridden and feeling generally more hateful towards humanity than I normally do. So I decided to embrace something I've been putting off for some two years now.
The Channel 4 marketing machine would have you believe that its cretin filled empty cardboard box guessing game Deal Or No Deal is a televisual phenomenon that "takes the tension of the game show to a new level". Equipped with evil bearded dwarf Noel Edmonds who was last seen sucking off Mr Blobby for coins outside Charing Cross tube station, this show is based on a kind of pre school nursery game concept wherein a contestant has to essentially guess what's inside a box. There are 12 red boxes and 12 blue ones, each containing an amount of money from 1p to £250'000. Added to this high concept mix are a studio full of hyperactive contestants who appear to have been fed with cocaine and red bull before the cameras started rolling. They cheer and whoop the poor sucker who has been nominated to open the boxes whilst the bearded dwarf glides around the studio smiling like Harold Shipman.
What this is of course, is essentially a guessing game, but everyone, including the bearded dwarf pretend that there is some kind of system at work; some magical formula which, if cracked, will result in success and wealth. Given that most people seem to walk away with 50p suggests that the production crew are either selecting their contestants from a local care home or that the system is fucked and entirely made up.
Deal Or No Deal is like watching a zoo full of special needs children. They react hysterically to things that aren't funny and are happily lulled into believing that the conceit is real and that they, with the right amount of skill and the correct application of “the system” can outwit the banker and win the big money box. Edmunds is like an evil pied piper, leading the lab rats into the abyss that is a zero bank balance. There is something faganesque about him, something dirty and unwholesome. He says things like "well, you lost, but you played the game your way". What does he mean?! They fucking guessed and lost! "You had a system and you used it" Yup, that system was called guessing.