Welcome to donduk. A refuge for those who enjoy Deal or No Deal, the hit Channel 4 gameshow hosted by Noel Edmonds. The award winning gameshow Deal or No Deal has become a big hit for Channel 4 and marks a sensational return to our screens of Noel Edmonds.

Deal or No Deal is enjoyed my millions of viewers daily, where the contestants battle with The Banker to try and win a jackpot of £250,000. Here at donduk you will find full daily reports of each show, as well Deal or No Deal news and specials. Deal or No Deal although initially appearing very simple in format of just opening a few boxes for the chance to win some big money prizes, actually has some potentially complex decisions to be made at points throughout the show, the contestants occasionally try complex or simple gameplay in an attempt to give them an edge in beating the Banker.

Monday, May 15, 2006

A letter to Endemol

Dear Endemol,

There is something very special about Deal or no Deal, its a game show like no other and in the UK it has its own very special flavour. The studio is a converted paint factory, if you had put sawdust on the floor it would have been slightly less basic. The format is even simpler; a player has to decide whether to take the offer or open a box.

So why is this show so popular?

It is the association we, the audience, make with the player. The person sitting in the chair has to make a decision, and by the game's mid-point we are there too, weighing up all that has gone before, all the baggage that the player has taken to the desk with them - their children, their income, their ambitions - and we try to determine whether, given the same circumstances, we would deal or not. We subconsciously rate courage and cowardice according to this measure - Morris and Trevor were supremely brave, Michael and Flash were found wanting.

We are British not American, we do not hanker after glitzy studios, artificial whooping, gorgeous leggy models with cases (we have Sarah, Emma B, Emma D, Terri, Lucy, Saj....), and a plastic host, we simply want real people we can empathise with to go through a journey that we can feel. And most of the time you do exactly that!

But Saturday's show was a disaster. If what we saw was Maxine being normal then she only has herself to blame for coming across as a rude, bullying, self-obsessed shrew, but perhaps contestants are now being encouraged to go over the top by production crew trying to 'keep the show fresh'?

And the Banker's recent habit of 'making things personal' with some contestants for no apparent reason, seems to be another attempt to increase tension in the show - but it is having the opposite affect.

Please, if the production crew are becoming bored by rolling out three shows per day, then rotate the crew more often, or move to live format which, among a heap of other advantages, would keep everybody on their toes. Whatever you do, I beg you please do not change the show's original (for the UK) format, you got it right the first time.

And finally on the point of Maxine, I am not sure what you could do if this really was Maxine being Maxine especially if it was a live show, but as you currently record it, perhaps you could have stopped the game after the first few minutes and had a word with her, for her own sake.

PS to our readers - if you agree with the above please make a comment as Endemol do read this blog, and hey, if you don't agree then please comment too.


Phil Reynolds said...

"cowardess"? What's that - a female coward? :-)

I switched off Saturday's show at the point where Max started meditating - she is the first contestant I've seen who doesn't seem to have caught the "spirit", whatever that is, of DOND. If we actively dislike a contestant, how are we supposed to care whether they win big money or not?

√Ćain said...

Thanks for pointing out the typo Phil, I couldn't leave it there due to my own cowardice in the face of female wrath.

Adie said...

Good post Iain. Like Big Brother (back this week God help us), Pop Idol, The Apprentice or any reality show, "it's all in the casting." Good players, good show - it's as simple as that.

The trouble is that no-one really knows what The Public will like until it goes out on air. One man's Michelle is another man's Saira, one man's Chantelle is another man's George Galloway and so on... Pat M looked like an irritant waiting to happen, but in the end we all fell in love with her, that's the beauty of the game (when it goes right!)

"Toe-curling" is as good an adjective as any for Max's horrific performance on Saturday, but as self-centred and contrived as it was, for good or bad she was being "herself", and made the most of her 45 minutes in the spotlight.

The contestant vetting process is meant to weed out those who are more interested in being on telly than playing the game - this time Endemol dropped the ball and I hope more contestants like Max aren't on their way, but let's give them the benefit of the doubt until they start appearing by the coachload...

Steve said...

Maybe I have a higher tolerance threshold than others, but as I was watching this round my mate's flat, it became obvious that he loathed Max while I was quite indifferent to her.

Max's shrewish tendencies weren't particularly apparent until she made it into the hotseat... but I have noticed the trend towards the more eccentric/larger-than-life characters getting the Saturday show.

It's rather reminiscent of when The Weakest Link did big-money evening shows, when the standard of general knowledge among the contestants was definitely higher (and the personalities bigger) than in the daytime version...

jh said...

You said that you don't want the American system of models. Well if the show was broadcast live it would have to use models, as no contestant could be there for 4 or 5 weeks at a time filming one show a day.

Saving the current format would be much better than an American-style live version!

Gram said...

Steve makes a good point in that Max's behaviour changed from being behind the boxes to being in the hotseat. I have friends who are into new age phenomena and it's simply annoying. Chanting, crystals, tarot, homeopathy; it's all rubbish though basically harmless. In Max's defence she seemed genuinely fond of her partner even if he did look terrified of her at times.