Thursday, April 17, 2008
When I was on my weekend trip I flipped through the TV and on state broadcaster CCTV 2, there was a game show on that looked eerily familiar.
It was the Chinese version of The Price is Right, but definitely no Bob Barker. I have to admit I haven't seen Drew Carey hosting the show so I can't make a comparison there.
The Chinese host didn't have the charisma of Barker nor the looks. He wore a strange green suit with a patch of gold brocade on his left shoulder and the headphone mic wired on his head.
Meanwhile the rest of the show layout was basically the same as the American one. Guests were picked out of the audience (not wearing crazy clothing) and they ran down to the front where they had to guess the price of household objects.
Once someone was close to the actual retail price, they got to come up and play a game. The one I saw had to guess the price of a cabinet set by picking out billiard balls with numbers on them. If he took out a white ball, it was a "bomb", and if he took it out three times he'd lose.
In the end he did win and moved to the finals.
The three winners, interestingly all men, got to spin the wheel, again looking very similar to the American one but not as glitzy. Even the kitsch floral design was almost the same.
And not to be outdone, this Chinese game show had lovely ladies in shiny pink dresses caressing the fridges, washing machines and other fine home furnishings.
It was fascinating to watch and I wonder if the Chinese really understand the concept of game shows, or are they too worried about not winning and losing face?