Saturday, January 6, 2007

What I love about this show

There are certain things in life that just make you happy. For me, "The Price Is Right" is one of those things. I can't quite explain it, but when I hear that theme music, it puts me in a good mood. I know that's silly, but it is what it is.

Part of it, undoubtedly, is the psychological connection between "The Price Is Right" and being home from work or school. Throughout my life, the only times I've really had the chance to watch the show have been when I've had a day off, for whatever reason. Days off = good. Therefore, "Price Is Right" = good. Simple enough.

But there's more to it. I also have the deepest admiration for Bob Barker. Whatever he is off the set -- and you can make the case that at times he hasn't been the nicest man away from the camera -- he is a true gentleman and a professional on it. He knows the pricing games inside and out, and I think he really does root for the contestants to do well. That's despite the fact that half the time he's faced with obnoxious college kids or clueless lumps who make his job that much more difficult.

There's also a certain timelessness to TPIR. The set, as has been noted countless times by TV critics and game show fanatics, hasn't changed significantly in 35 years. There are still the same cheesy oranges and yellows, and Bob still talks into the same outdated, two-foot-long microphone. Years come and go, friends and relatives grow old and die, life takes it little twists and turns. But through it all, you can always count on hearing essentially the same theme music, seeing essentially the same set, and watching essentially the same show every weekday morning at 11. I like that.

You can talk about "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy" all you like. In the end, "The Price Is Right" is hands down America's most popular game show. For one thing, there's tremendous variety in the game itself. In any given episode, you're going to see six of 74 different pricing games (which is a lot more than they used to have...the pricing game roster has grown over the years). Also, the contestants are a lot like Mr. and Mrs. Joe Average American. They're college kids, enlisted men and women in the military, old people, SIWG's (standard-issue white guys - I hope to become one of these), and so on. You can identify with these people. Heck, you can be one of these people if you're willing to travel to California to attend a taping of the show.

I enjoyed being on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" a few years ago. I really did. But when it comes to "The Price Is Right," we're talking about a different level of game show experience. TPIR is, it's fair to say, an American institution in a way that "Millionaire" never could be. I run across few people who don't genuinely like the show, and many of those who claim to dislike it admit they still watch it from time to time. That's the raw animal magnetism of Bob Barker right there, folks. No other explanation for it.

In the end, it's almost irrelevant whether Dave or I end up being chosen as a contestant. Just the fact that I'll have the chance to sit in the icy cold, brightly lit, surprisingly small Bob Barker Studio in the cozy confines of CBS Television City is more than enough for me.


  1. I believe you when you say that it doesn't matter to you whether or not you're picked to be on the show. On the other hand, there is a competitive streak in you that can't be denied. I'll be happy either way also. If you make it on the show - super. If not, you'll have had the experience and be able to cross off another adventure on your life's To Do List. Good luck, sweetie. Jess, Jessica, Jasmine, Allie, Bob, Tiki and I will be rooting for you. And I have a feeling Dad is saying, "This kid is goofy, but he's mine. Have a great time, Scott."

  2. *ahem*

    we're studying syllogisms in school and your mention of days off=good therefore price ir right=good made me think of it...

    Price is Right
    A syllogism by Elissa

    Scott favorite show is The Price Is Right
    The Price is Right only appears on weekdays
    Therefore, Scott can only watch his favorite show on weekdays

    And to follow it up:

    Elissa has just made an awesome syllogism which sounds very smart
    Elissa is a very awesomely cool person
    Therefore, Elissa deserves the Nobel Prize

    Thank thank you, no autographs please