Show Me the Money, is a new variety/game show series hosted by over-actor William Shatner. Apparently I witnessed the “special preview”, on 14 November on the ABC Television Network, the day before I returned to Barcelona.
In Show Me the Money, contestants must answer a minimum of six trivia questions. After each answer, the contestant must choose from among thirteen “dancing hotties” on stage, each of whom holds a scroll with a dollar figure to be added or subtracted - for correct or incorrect answers - to the contestant's total.
A correct answer, combined with choosing a dancer holding big money, can quickly catapult a player's winnings into the millions. But a wrong answer, combined with the wrong dancer, can wipe out winnings in an instant. Contestants are tempted to take the money and run, but this rollercoaster ride of a game show requires that you play to the very end.
Adding to the “variety” aspect of the show are thirteen “Million Dollar Dancers” ready to break into dance, while emcee William Shatner spontaneously boogies with the beauties on stage. Shatner is well known for originating the role of Captain James T. Kirk in the original Star Trek television series.
My reaction to this show was utter disgust as it seemed to accentuate some of things I dislike most about culture in the US: pursuit of money and exploitation of women. It’s easy to figure out the target audience: young males. It reminded me of Deal or No Deal - on caffeine, or worse. Interesting enough, the Spanish version, Allá Tú, has much different tone and I enjoy watching it.
I did a little research and found that Show Me the Money is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. Endemol USA is a producer of television programming specializing in “reality” and non-scripted genres. The company produces series such as Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Fear Factor, and the aforementioned Deal or No Deal. Endemol Holding, headquartered in the Netherlands, has subsidiaries and joint ventures in 21 countries, including the major European markets, the US, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Australia.
Oh, and here is the Spanish connection. Endemol is a fully owned subsidiary of telecommunications giant Telefónica. It’s the old Spanish state-owned telephone company privatized and gone global!
¡Por favor, dame una otra cerveza!