Trevor Block – Indy Writer
Remember the Price is Right? Of course you do. Who doesn’t remember catching that sweet 10 a.m. time slot on sick days for a little Bob Barker and good old fashioned consumerism?
It’s time we recognize the consistently entertaining production that is The Price is Right.
Our generation’s access to TV in all of its existing forms is limitless. With the creation of streaming applications such as Netflix and Hulu, television has shifted to a more fluid method of distribution. While the new form of distributing entertainment is more efficient and, quite frankly, outstanding, it has started to eliminate the relevance of fixed time slot shows.
Besides sporting events and news, most everything aired on cable television can be seen at the time of the viewer’s choice. Even news has gravitated toward a more Internet-focused method of 24 hour circulation.
So sports survive as the only legitimate television production that requires viewership at a certain time. Right? I mean what else could there possibly be?
More specifically, The Price is Right.
Now, I realize the 10-11 a.m. time slot is not ideal for your average American. But that just adds to the novelty of the production. No way could the average adult catch five episodes a week. Although, college students’ schedules are often pretty spread out. 10-11 every morning? No problem.
So why is it so great then? For those of us still hanging on to the way things used to be, one thing can remain consistent. One thing can be our rock. We’re looking at you, Mr. Carey.
Sure we miss Bob Barker, who doesn’t? But it’s fair to say Drew Carey has done an adequate job of filling in for a legend. I mean, Bob hosted the show from 1972-2007. That’s absurd. He’s a legend. Should you not enjoy the show itself, at least watch to pay tribute to Mr. Barker.
Anyway, aside from the fact that Drew Carey’s hair looks different every episode, the show has been remarkably consistent. We love consumerism in America. Our country’s economy depends on our natural ability to buy things we don’t need. So much so, that CBS challenges the public’s knowledge of how much stuff costs by airing this show.
Oh yeah, CBS? Try me.
And therein lies The Price is Right’s most significant factor. The audience can play along. We get to participate in a game that dares to question our knowledge on the one thing we know best. Watch it one day with a group of people and all play along. Arguments will ensue. How much is that shampoo? $4.99? Are you sure? We’re playing for Plinko chips here people this is no joke.
If you’re like CBS and still challenge our ability to match prices to a tee, chalking victories up to “luck,” then you have to at least appreciate the strategy. The beginning of each string of games involves four contestants in a segment called “One-Bid” items (I don’t know why I’m explaining this. Everyone knows how this works). Closest bid wins the prize and moves to the next segment. Although, you can’t go over the actual retail price.
This is when the hungry, competitive consumer comes out of that final bidder.
“What’s the highest bid, Drew?”
“OK. $601 Drew!”
Better not be higher than $601 other contestants. A genius tactic. Whoever guessed $600 is steaming right now, considering they have only $1 worth of wiggle room. Better be well versed in grocery shopping, pal.
I’m still waiting for the day I see the contestant who guessed one below the highest bid nail it. Hopefully he or she gives the highest bidder the finger and struts up to Drew like they belong there.
Which brings me to my next point. Nobody acts like they belong there. Most contestants run on stage, flailing their arms and screaming in Drew Carey’s ear. How did Bob Barker not get tired of that? Must’ve been the salary.
The Price is Right offers contestants a safe space to show their true personality by freaking out on a stage in
front of a couple hundred people because they won a new hair dryer. Oh, and everyone is watching when the episode is aired. The contestants make the show. Their enthusiasm for shopping is unmatched. Not to mention most of them have some emotional connection to the show.
The audience roots for the contestants. We want to see your reaction when that big wheel ends on the red “$1.00.” Nobody likes to see a disappointed contestant…except for the other contestants.
Lastly comes the showcase round. First question: bid or pass? You’re first, do you bid or pass?
Pass! Always guess last. Wouldn’t want to go over. Both showcases will be great, don’t be picky. You can thank me by giving me your paid vacations to Europe when you win the showcase.
The Price is Right is the perfect form of entertainment for an hour in the morning. Start your day off with a little consumerism and a little competition.
Time to start appreciating capitalism.