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A Good Deal
March 16

When is a done deal a good deal?

It's rare that I address other websites or members of the fan community, but I think this is the time. I've been watching most of the episodes of the daily version of Deal or No Deal this year. I think there's much to like. The game moves faster, the money is less stratospheric, there's a lack of obnoxious family members and other dopey gimmicks. But perhaps the best thing of all is that the Banker has turned evil.

Perhaps he's been watching episodes from Great Britain or Australia, but the Banker has been sticking it to contestants left and right. The offers are between half and two-thirds of what you'd expect an equivalent offer would be on the primetime show, and that is a huge plus point for the show overall. When the offers make the contestant think about whether to take the deal or not to, the show is working.

I mentioned that I was going to address some outside people, and now I'm going to. One blogger who would love to be named here (and so I won't) appends little things like "WTF?" when he thinks someone has dealt early. There's also some guy on the game show message board that I frequent: he thinks that the game boils down to numbers and that the players basically have to make the statistically correct decision every single time, otherwise they're complete tools.

Excuse me while I call "Longshot."

The only reason why Deal or No Deal is interesting at all is because it is real people playing for real sums of money, and that they are potentially life-changing. I've played versions of the game for "funsies," and there's no fun to it at all.

During a show from two weeks ago, someone took a deal for over $100,000, but it turned out that Marisol had $500,000 in her case. Yet people were jumping up and down saying that it was too early, and the safety net was still in place, and so on.


When you're offered a six-figure sum for standing on a TV stage, calling out numbers and saying "Deal!," you really can't call someone out. No one knows what happens next. Maybe the safety net disappears. Maybe it doesn't. But that's what makes game shows interesting. It's why we love them. You know how a sitcom is going to end. You know how an episode of House is going to end. But game shows have unpredictability. The not knowing is the greatest part. So when you see someone do what you think is a bonehead move on a game show, think twice. Maybe they're in a different place than you. Maybe they can't afford to take huge financial risks. Or maybe they can. Who knows.

Just sit back and enjoy.

Travis Eberle can be reached at