Aug 15, 2007

The Subversive Game Show: Drew Carey's Power of 10

Okay - so I was just flipping the channels to pass some time while I ate dinner tonight, and I saw this game show that Drew Carey is now hosting called Power of 10. I thought it was the same stupid show that you always see - harmless questions that an idiot could answer. But then I watched, and not only was it more interesting questions about where the American public surveyed stood on questions like "Should a girl be able to try out for the high school football team" (which Carey introduced with a brief factoid about Title XI). Anyway, so the woman was from Alabama, and one of the questions was "How Many Americans think the United States is the Best Country in the World." In what really seemed to me to be light jabbing about the South, but then turned into his bold assertion about how things with the war and everything else made people unhappy about the country was pure genius.

He made a number of comments when one of the participants said he was from New Orleans, Carey launched into a few wise snaps about FEMA, the government owing people, and at one point, saying he hoped the contestant would walk away a winner because he wanted anyone from New Orleans to walk away with dough. "Heck even if you can get what the government owes you, that would be a good thing." Few of the audience laughed, but the contestant got it and so did I.

The first question to the contestant was about immigrants - Carey started with "you're from New Orleans, and you know that there are a lot of immigrants there, rebuilding. This question is about what percentage of Americans polled think that an immigrant has to speak fluent English before they can become a citizen." In his little comments to the contestant, Carey said there were a lot of people in the US who were sick of immigrants "even though they are helping to rebuild New Orleans." It was pretty clear where Carey sat on this issue, and he even kind of made the contestant uncomfortable because he was just speaking the truth. I loved it. His awkwardness reminded me of myself in many social settings when I'm not surrounded by people open for a little healthy debate.

As long as the ratings remain high, I think he's going to have this innovative way of educating the American public about things like civil rights and making political commentary in a way that goes right past the hallowed (and cleanly separated) halls of the bloggiemart. With all the talk about how much influence blogs will have on elections and all things political, people only tune into blogs that echo their own beliefs or interests. Network TV is still a far more powerful tool. And by focusing on things a little less erudite than the Jeopardy topics, Carey's show may be making a deft play at something that only some animated shows have been able to get away with: bold political commentary in the middle of "entertainment" drivel. I'm impressed.


stacey said...

very cool---didn't realize a game show could be educational, i'll have to check it out.

Rage said...

I know. Although it could be that I was just looking for something between the lines, but whatever. I was still shocked... it must be my wholly lowered expectations for network television at this point.