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, July 10, 2006

More "glass half-empty" views

I really do like DOND and hate to sound pessimistic, but by its very nature the show gives itself a limited lifespan. Compare it to Countdown, that other teatime gameshow stalwart, and this becomes clear. Countdown has an equally simple structure, it's a game that anyone can play, with a set number of rounds and basic gameplay rules - make the longest word you can, get the target number, solve the conundrum. The reason it could easily stick around as long as the medium of television lasts is that a substantial level of skill is needed to properly succeed - in this sense the game is not simple at all.

Format-wise, very little has changed on Countdown. They've moved it around the schedules a few times, recently extended it to 45 mins and obviously had to make an enforced change of presenter, but even then the gameplay itself has not changed - the producers know they can't alter the core of the show because this is from where its popularity stems (and viewers have hardly taken to the above changes with universal enthusiasm).

DOND is a game of pure luck. As we know, the only possible element of skill is in attempting to receive higher offers by positively influencing the banker. It's an amazingly simple concept, and Endemol have cleverly packaged it in such a way as to make the programme highly addictive. But it's a concept with a sell-by-date, because however well they choose the contestants and however much you end up rooting for them, there are only so many times you can watch such a simple game without getting bored of the inherent repetition of it all. You can't play along in the same way as Countdown. The structure of the game absolutely can't be changed because this is what made it so successful in the first place, unfortunately this is also its greatest weakness. Giving the show a cosmetic revamp would be the proverbial deckchairs on the Titanic scenario (although that music isn't half getting on my nerves).

Endemol have arguably hastened the show's demise by pushing it too hard (I've certainly yet to find a person who thinks Double Deal week was a good thing), this is symptomatic of a modern culture where anything popular has to be relentlessly exploited for maximum instant gain, and long-term planning be damned. I suppose they might argue that if the show does have a limited shelf-life then they are simply milking their cash cow while they can. If you asked most viewers though, I think we'd rather see the show cut back to 2 or 3 episodes a week in order to try and get some of the old excitement back. There's still the promise of a 250K win to keep a lot of us tuned in. Once that goes, it really could be time to call it a day.

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