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1 Vs. 100: Pilot (series premiere)

by Joel Keller, posted Oct 13th 2006 4:41PM
1 Vs. 100(S01E01) If you're a fan of the risk-takers on Deal or No Deal, you may be a fan of NBC's new game show, 1 Vs. 100, which airs tonight at 9. Like DoND, 1 Vs. 100 is a worldwide hit produced by game-show conglomerate Endemol. Also like its game show cousin, it has a well-known stand-up comedian, Bob Saget, as the host. But unlike DoND, this show requires a little more skill from the contestant than just picking numbers at random. The problem: despite the lights, the imposing "mob" and the catchphrase -- "The money? Or... the mob?" -- 1 Vs. 100 moves too slowly, and the questions are too easy, to keep a person's interest for an entire hour.

Here's the gist: a contestant goes up against a 100-member "mob" in a pop-culture trivia contest. The object is to knock as many of the "mob" out as you can in each question; that's done when mob members answer a question incorrectly when the contestant gets one right. The contestant gets increasingly higher amounts of money per eliminated mob member, and between each round, he or she has to decide whether to take the pot or challenge the mob again. If the contestant challenges the mob and misses the question, the contestant is out and the pot is divided by the remaining members of the mob. There contestant can get help from the mob twice; the ways they do that are too convoluted than I want to explain here. If the contestant eliminates the entire mob, he or she wins $1 million.

It's really more straight-forward than I made it out to be, especially during the early rounds, when the questions are really easy. The writers have tried to make each question entertaining by asking them in a cheeky manner (like on "Which judge sits in the middle on American Idol?", the answer is "The former Laker Girl" and not simply "Paula Abdul"), and, despite the presence of a group of teachers, DoND models, and Ken Jennings (and, if you miss him, don't worry, they show him about five hundred times), mob members still get knocked out.

But the problem is, those early questions are too easy; both contestants in the pilot had no problems answering them, killing all the tension. It wasn't until about 20 minutes in, where the pot got into the six figures, that we got some tense moments, where Saget asking "The money? Or... the mob?" actually held some drama.

Saget himself does a good job; he's comfortable in these situations, given his stand-up career and his years on America's Funniest Home Videos. Don't expect a hint of the filthy Saget you may have seen in The Aristocrats; but, like Howie Mandel on DoND, he's got some free reign with the contestants, and is allowed to throw in some edginess every so often. For instance, when a cute technical writer tells him she's got a boyfriend of nine years, Saget shoots back "Wow. He's very young."

As with the first week of DoND, the production quality is a bit choppy, with a lot of edits and re-dubs of Saget's instructions. But that's something that'll get smoothed out in time. They just need to build the tension a little better; as simple as DoND is, it does a good job of conveying suspense quickly, even in the early rounds. People will tune out from 1 Vs. 100 if the producers don't fix this soon. Maybe they just need more Saget.

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Scott

I watched 1 vs. 100 last night and they had a question about a fitness product that Suzanne Somers endorsed. The show said it was the "Buttmaster" but my wife and I looked up waht we thought the answer should be and, sure enough, it was the "Thighmaster." Not only are the questions easy but it seems that the show can't even come up with the correct answers.

November 04 2006 at 10:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jebb

I'll agree that the questions are a problem. They were so weighted to pop culture that the relevance of having seven Mensa members, seven brain surgeons, Ken Jennings, etc. as mob members is pretty much negated. Still, the format is interesting, and I hope this gets more than five eps. And I love the stadium-like set.

October 14 2006 at 10:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Preston

I liked the show-- it was good. I was looking forward to seeing Bob Saget again-- he sounds edgier now than the goofy-looking image he had on the '80s hit Full House. Haven't seen him head a primetime show in nearly a decade. This is a little different from Deal or No Deal since Endemol produces both shows. A problem I've always have with watching Saget is his tendency to go into blandness in the middle of his hit TV shows. He does it ONCE AGAIN with this show. The show drags into blandness when the tension of the game fades out. When the easy questions shift to the harder ones, something is missing in the show's pace. I kind of dozed off during that part. It lacks the buildup tension factor that Deal or No Deal brings. I think that the studio set looks big--looks like a stadium to me. They need to cut down on the easy questions that all of us know.They make interesting answers for the multiple choices instead of giving the name of a person, brand or product. I think that Bob had some early first show jitters given that he hasn't done a primetime show in a long time. I hope that they don't overdo it with this show as they did with Millionnaire.

October 14 2006 at 5:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Guido

The show as potential.

1) Sagat is good .. especially when he's edgy (as much as he can be on NBC)
2) The studio looks too small, I know it's hard to fit a 100 person wall, but the whole show looks cramped. DOND is much more wide open
3) Ditch the easy questions. This was my biggest complaint about Millionaire as well.

The bouncer guy's questions were very easy. They got a little harder with the tech writer. There are some "easy" questions that aren't 100% easy. The American Idol question for example, anyone who doesn't watch the show, may not know the answer.

I like the show, because it seems like the questions will be more "pop culture" than regular smart people trivia.

October 14 2006 at 12:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TG

This show would have been better if the questions were harder. The hardest question to me what "On 'Deal or No Deal', out of the briefcase numbers 1-26, how many numbers were divisible by 3?" It was hard to me because it was a math question and I hate math, but it would have been interesting if it was given to some one other than a Technical Writer who works at a Software company. Bob Saget is funny though...

October 14 2006 at 3:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akbar Fazil

Defintely not my thing (im not big on any game shows) but Bob Saget is the man.

For proof, check out this vid

NOT WORK SAFE:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5I0U4P9Imis&eurl=

October 13 2006 at 4:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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