The worst show on television

Like any good fat and lazy American, I ate dinner in front of the T.V. last night. I channel surfed up and down hundreds of digital cable channels, eventually settling on NBC and “Deal or No Deal.”

I had never seen the game show before, though I had assumed from the radio ads that it fell somewhere between “Let’s Make a Deal,” “Gremlins 2,” and “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.”

So…I watched. I sat there for a good thirty minutes, embarrassed for every last one of my fellow citizens who make “Deal or No Deal” appointment viewing. There’s no strategy to the game at all. It’s essentially an hour of dumb luck and contestants making the kind of bad financial decisions usually driven by hours of alcohol abuse.

Oh, and lots of hot models with briefcases, in what has to be the most belittling and intelligence-insulting T&A exhibition since “The Man Show” first put schoolgirls on trampolines. And the host? Howie Mandel is as oily as Hollywood gets, projecting a level of smarm better-suited for televangelism than the already over-the-top world of game shows.

I guess I demand more from my empty network programming. The only way a 60-minute game based entirely on chance could become appointment viewing for me would be if it came in the form of live Russian Roulette. “Meet Merlene, she’s a mother of two from Duluth. Merlene, are you ready to play ‘Russian Roulette?’” “Sure am, James.” “All right then, Merlene, pick up that revolver, and let’s play!”

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