'Million Dollar Money Drop' and A Brief History of Other Stupid American Game Shows
'Million Dollar Money Drop' and A Brief History of Other Stupid American Game Shows
A friend once told me about how his friend's rich parents would have their children play something they called "the money game," where they would throw bills of various high values into the air and watch their sons beat the crap out of each other to grab whatever they could. Upon hearing this, my first thought was, "I would love to watch that." I can't help myself. My favorite part of staying home sick when I was a kid was watching The Price is Right. I love watching people try to win money.

By the sound of it, Fox's new game show, Million Dollar Money Drop, aims to tap into that same guilty pleasure of our brains that made us tolerate Who Wants to be a Millionaire and gave old people the stereotype of loving Wheel of Fortune. Million Dollar Money Drop, hosted by Kevin Pollak premieres on Dec. 20 and gives teams of two $1 million up front and lets them wager amounts over seven multiple-choice questions. Money placed on incorrect answers will literally drop out of grasp (and into an alligator-filled cavern below?). [EW.com]

So basically we won't be able to keep ourselves from watching this show. There will be bickering, suspense, and questions that seem easy enough for us to say, "I could do that." More importantly: a million dollars! Million Dollar Money Drop will just be the latest installment in a rich history (over the last twenty years or less) of stupid game shows I find myself watching as often as possible:

Wipeout: We love watching people fall down. And that's all the show is: people falling down! They're competing for money and, amazingly, no one has died or been mortally wounded on the show yet.

Deal or No Deal: Once you start watching, you want to see what's in that case! There's even a desire to play along, which makes no sense whatsoever. Few people will openly admit that they like Deal or No Deal, but most people hate that one guy who's always talking about "the probability" of this and that and the other flaws of the show. Shut up and let me watch those girls open up the cases, buzzkill!

Minute to Win It: Contestants have a minute to complete a task using "household objects" (in a household that plays a lot of beer pong and has an employee discount at Office Max). Minute to Win It faltered right around the "girls of summer"-themed episode, when the tasks became primarily about what would make girls shake their boobs and butts.

Hole in the Wall: It didn't last long, but it was glorious while it did. I think this clip explains it all:

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Well? Are you? Contestants choose from categories like "4th Grade Nature Science" and can cheat off of 5th graders who still think that kind of stuff is important. You don't need math! You can create a game show and make lots of money. 

Downfall This show was short-lived, but involved people answering questions within enough time to save money and other precious objects/people from falling off the edge of a building. From the same network that brought you Conveyor Belt of Love.

I Survived a Japanese Game Show: America, desperate to prove that it's still on top, wants to show us that Japanese game shows are even crazier than ours! Can you "survive" one? But SNL did it first.

Dog Eat Dog: An oldie but a goodie, just made for Spike TV. They had to end it, though, when one contestant ended up in a coma. I'm not kidding.

The Singing Bee/Don't Forget the Lyrics: If you know the difference between these two shows, please enlighten me. One of them is hosted by Wayne Brady, the other by Joey Fatone? Either way, it comes down to who would be the best at fixing a malfunctioning karaoke machine.

Man vs Beast: I don't know how we got away with this, but it happened. Humans took on animals to prove that we are, in fact, still on top. Except that the animals won a lot of the time, despite the fact that THEY DIDN'T KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON. This was the best part:

(The New) American Gladiators: This show was so awesome! What happened to it? All the favorite competitions and class of the original with new Gladiators! Wolf, I'll miss you most of all.

What is your favorite game show?

(image courtesy of ABC, video courtesy of YouTube)