Full of cold, i’ve worked from home today.
Accompanied by a bowl of Tomato Soup I flicked through the channels, looking for something to watch as I ate. I settled on Channel 4, lured in by the lairy opening credits of gameshow Deal or No Deal.
I’ve not watched the programme in two years. Gone are the days when I used to work in TV and it was my job to keep an eye on daytime television. There are lots of the show’s elements that have changed. There are new elements to the game play. More interaction with the banker, more decisions make and an all new 23rd box that awaits each player at the end of the game.
It so happened that it was a terrible edition to watch, from the contestant’s perspective. He went away with a pound, having eliminated all the red (high value) amounts immediately.
The one constant though was the level of spiritualism exhibited by everyone; by Noel, by the contestant, by his co-contestants. There is an almost unbelievable level of belief that this game is tactical. That the player can impact the result and that faith in a system will prevail.
True, there are tactics. Knowing when to deal, for instance. But, the game is luck. You chose a box. You deal with the consequences. There is no skill. No greater force at play.
It reminded me of Jon Ronson’s killer article about the whole thing. How amazing the cult of Deal or No Deal is. What it does to people and how the producers create the camaraderie that we see on screen. Its remarkable. The article is one of my favourite pieces of journalism. Its always worth a re-read. Especially when confronted by Noel’s strange, spiritual spiel.