If you clicked on this with no previous knowledge of what Million Dollar Money Drop is, please allow me to make your day:
Million Dollar Money Drop is the new Who Wants to be a Millionaire? except with less Regis and more gravity. On each episode, a team of two players receives $1 million up front, and they must wager amounts on their answers to seven multiple-choice questions. Money placed on incorrect answers literally drops out of their grasp. Whatever is left at the end, they get to keep. If they haven’t jumped down the money hole in a fit of stress and anguish by then!
It’s going to be awesome. How do I know? Because I got to watch an episode in advance of the series’ December 20 premiere, and it WAS awesome. When I wasn’t laughing, gasping and clapping my hands like an over-excited church lady, here’s what I wrote down about why Million Dollar Money Drop is my new favorite gravity-based high-stakes quiz show:
1. The show starts out like a scene from The Dark Knight: We watch a pack of armed guards remove the million dollars from a “secret vault” while an ominous voice tells us that it will be transported to the show’s “secure set” with a full police escort. Dun dun dunnnnn. That million dollars is getting the Presidential treatment. And I’m getting chills.
2. Look, it’s a pyramid made of money! Kevin Pollak looks a little like Scrooge McDuck as he introduces the show while standing next to the pyramid made of $20,000 bricks, but he is very good at resisting the urge to hug it. I know I wouldn’t be able to.
3. The set, like the Internet, is a series of awesome tubes. The players, Kevin Pollak and their precious money pyramid stand on an elevated floor with four trap doors attached to four tubes below. “Where does the money gooooo?” you ask? No one knows! But it’s fun to imagine different scenarios each time they lose a bundle: A furnace! A crocodile’s mouth! A room in Willy Wonka’s factory! The slit in a gigantic piggy back!
4. The trap doors are called “the drops,” as in “You have to keep one drop clear at all times.” I love “drop” used as a physical noun! It’s so ominous, like they’re standing at the gallows.
5. In each round, the contestants see the answers FIRST, and then the question. Everything about this show is backwards-bananas, and I love it!
6. For each question, the contestants get to choose between two impossibly broad categories, like “Rock Stars” and “Internet.” The topics are always things that everyone, simply by living in the world, knows at least a little bit about, but so general that the question could be anything. This leads to hilariously presumptuous debates between the contestants over which category to choose. Look forward to lots of declarations like this: “Breakfast! No, seriously, we should pick “Breakfast”! Cereal, toast, I eat ’em all! I KNOOOOW BREAKFAST!” Good reasoning skills!
7. Each question lasts a minute, but the players can’t just spend all their time arguing and debating the answers, because they have to physically move up to 50 bricks of cash AT THE SAME TIME. So the show purposefully rushes them into dividing their precious money before they’ve made up their minds. Naturally, this leads to insane amounts of miscommunication and bickering from the very beginning. They are so confused and stressed! They’re screaming at the one they love! It’s delightful.
8. The money drop (verb) is so exciting and satisfying! You quickly become desensitized to watching these people move $20,000 bricks around like they’re poker chips, but the drop never gets old. It’s really the best part of the show. It’s like a mix between when someone pops out in a horror movie (because the players scream, AHH!) and when you drop off the edge of a roller-coaster. WHOOSH! Awesome.
9. The tops of the drops don’t all drop at once! Double-drop-top suspense!
10. It gets SO INTENSE by the end! Check out these clips (here and here) from the original UK version, Million Pound Drop, in which one couple wins, and another loses. So exciting! And that’s with British people. I’m reasonably confident that crazy Americans will make these moments even more intense in our version.
Below is another clip from the Million Pound Drop. I could watch these all day!
I know it’s silly, but I sincerely love this show. Million Dollar Money Drop premieres at 8pm on Fox December 20, and will air for four nights that week, for a total of SIX HOURS of MONEY DROP GAME SHOW MADNESS in the week before Christmas. Happy holidays, indeed.
(Image courtesy of Fox)