NBC’s New Game Show: Meet the Press

Written by Chris Beaulieu January 16, 2012

I’m usually up to date with current events and trends, so I was surprised to learn that I had missed such a media event. Flipping through the channels on Sunday morning, I discovered that NBC had a new reality game show called Meet the Press, and that it was already in mid-season. I’m still playing a bit of catch-up on the show, but I feel I can give an adequate review of the series so far.

The show has its roots in six degrees of separation. The host, David Gregory, asks each contestant a question; the catch is that each contestant has been given a pre-determined, unrelated answer that they must use to respond to the question. The challenge then becomes to link the question asked to your unrelated response in less than 60 seconds. Another element seems to be the contestants’ ability to interrupt their opponents with personal insults as they try to answer in order to throw them off. Much credit should be given to whoever comes up with the responses, as they hilariously force the contestants to link the host’s serious questions to farcically bigoted replies.

Meet the Press’s true entertainment value comes from the contestants themselves. First, there’s Rick Santorum, whose name (I learned the hard way) should not be typed into Google. Newt Gingrich is the troublemaker on the show who bullies everyone around, self-sure in his own eventual victory. Then there’s the joker, Rick Perry, who always comes prepared with a gag. As always, there are sideshow competitors who nobody really pays attention to, John Huntsman and Ron Paul, but they’re likely to be eliminated in the coming weeks.

Contestant Ron Paul (far-right) being given his minimum required speaking time

All of these competitors seem to gang up on Mitt Romney in a Survivor-like alliance, as he is the strongest competitor in the game. Rick Perry was actually eliminated from the show before, but was brought back as a wildcard because the fans loved his crazy antics. Last week, Michelle Bachmann was eliminated, and before that was Herman Cain who, frustrated with his predetermined answer, bypassed all rules and merely said “nine-nine-nine” after every question—he didn’t last long after that.

Meet the Press has the potential to be a great show. It’s bold, in-your-face, and has just the right amount of dark humor. The only complaint I have is that it’s not too clear what these contestants are competing for. All I could gather is that part of the grand prize involves a trip to the White House to meet the President, although many of the candidates seem to be there just to angle for a reality show of their own.

My Rating 8/10

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About Chris Beaulieu

When Chris isn't studying film, reading English literature, fencing, or watching re-runs of Frasier on TV, it's because he's writing awesome reviews for We Eat Films.

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