November sweeps are here which means it is time to inundate the airwaves with big, BIG ideas. CSI:Miami had their tidal wave. Fox has both a Big Fat Obnoxious Boss and an insanely charming British Billionaire. So of course NBC has to toss more than Tara Reids fun bags on Scrubs in the mix.
In their never-ending quest not to be out done by TV executives with good ideas, NBC has thrown their hat into the “Long Con” format in the form of THE $25 MILLION DOLLAR HOAX. Sounds exciting doesn’t it? I mean it’s not just a hoax; it’s a $25 million dollar hoax. And they even dug up Ed McMahon for the premiere episode!!
Man he looks good
So, with such stellar hope and hype for the show, why didn’t it….well, why didn’t it not suck?
What it amounts to is simple really. NBC is creatively bankrupt and desperate. However, financially, they are anything but bankrupt and can afford to pay absurd amount of money for anything they feel is in the vein of what is hip and trendy even if it just misses.
My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé was clearly the father of the network long con. It was a new way in to the old “Bachelor concept. What happens when the show is over and it’s time for the families to meet their seeds new love? More specifically, what happens when they hate him, and they are engaged?
This is hysterical!!! Great concept, great casting of the fiancé and even better casting of an uptight conservative loving family. It also was a little cruel. However the cruelty was offset by the humor of the situations the fiancé would get into, making it more than tolerable…enjoyable.
In HOAX however, it’s just brutal. It’s a fun concept. What if you could convince your parents you have already won at least $5,000,000 and possibly $50,000,000 but you can only spend the cash on yourself? Interesting concept. I can see the appeal. Hell, I got a little pudgy from the promos. But the execution…brutal.
Not only is this woman lying to her whole family. Not only are they forced to watch as the loving daughter/sister they know and love blows them off, but NBC has written in really mean characters meant to insult the family and their interests at every turn.
The con is fantastic! It is an effective, compelling lie with a huge budget behind it, making it quit believable. Which sucks. This family really thinks they have just won at least 5 Million bucks!!! When they find out it is a lie and all they are getting is cash and prizes worth almost $400,000 they will be crushed.
Let’s go over that for a moment. Cash and prizes worth almost $400K. That means less than $400K and that’s in cash AND prizes. Cash could be nothing. Let’s assume it is $400,000. We will say $200k in cash $200K in prizes. Half the cash is gone to taxes. That leaves $100k and $200k in prizes. Oh and don’t forget that one must pay taxes on any and all gifts earned on game shows (which this is). So that $100k remaining should cover the takes on $200k worth of gifts. So now we are looking at about $50,000 and a bunch of NBC UNIVERSAL swag. *maybe even an appearance on the TODAY SHOW.
I wouldn’t scoff at that by any means. $50,000 cash, some extra stuff to put on eBay and the opportunity to touch Katie Couric and not get arrested would be great for 5 days of work. My problem comes at how much shit the family has to go through to get it. And how misleading the shows title is to all of us, and how unfunny the concept is.
It’s just Big Fat and Obnoxious. It is missing the Funny Fiancé to keep it together, without him, its just mean.
Mean I am no stranger too, I mean…look around some classic TVgasm posts and you’ll know. But mean and lame? well that I have a problem with. The bar is set by some of these networks and should met and surpassed, not limbo’d under.
If this column is more earnest than many of you expect from me, you should know….Im constipated.