Bullsh*t: The Game Show

STREAMING REVIEW:

Netflix;
Game Show;
Not rated.
Hosted by Howie Mandel.

You know how quiz shows typically require contestants to actually know something in order to win? Well, Netflix must have seen enough of that bullshit, and now presents the perfect game show for anyone who has no idea what they’re talking about but acts like the smartest person in the room anyway.

The appropriately named “Bullshit” gives one lucky player a chance to win $1 million by answering 10 relatively esoteric trivia questions. There are two ways to move up to the next level: actually selecting the correct answer, or convincing a panel of would-be geniuses that they know what the correct answer is despite being completely full of shit.

In emphasizing the explanation rather than the answer itself, “Bullshit” is like an ass-backwards version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?,” which often encouraged its contestants to annoyingly explain why they were choosing their answer.

On “Bullshit,” players are presented four multiple-choice answers on a touchscreen in front of them, and once they select an answer only they are shown if it’s correct or not. They are then prompted by host Howie Mandel to explain the answer to three challengers who have to gauge whether the player is telling the truth. If they got the answer right, they move on. If they were wrong, they have to hope at least one of the panelists falls for their bullshit of an explanation, or they’re eliminated.

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The prospective bullshitters are given two opportunities per game to lock in at a winning level, so that when they eventually get eliminated they won’t lose more than that amount. It’s rather amusing how many players actually choose to lock in at the basement $1,000 level out of fear of leaving without anything, only to not have access to that lock later in the game when the potential losses are exponentially higher.

The challengers serving on the panel of so-called bullshit detectors have their own incentive to correctly guess if the player is lying to them or not. When the game ends, the panelist who has been most accurate in calling bullshit gets to play for the million dollars next.

While this gameplay mechanic supposedly serves as a disincentive for a panelist always taking a player’s side just to see them continue to move up the money ladder, it does raise some questions about what the panelists might do when the player approaches the million. Some of them just like yelling “bullshit” on every answer. But if a panelist has no shot of advancing to becoming the main player, and a million dollars is on the line, would they vote just to see the person win? A game with a cynical title like “Bullshit” probably expects all its participants to vote out of spite.

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Mandel, no stranger to game show settings, keeps the proceedings appropriately absurd — no surprise given a premise that is obviously geared toward comedic reactions. God forbid anyone actually knows an answer.

The first season runs for 10 half-hour episodes. While some contestants’ runs are mercifully short, others are spread across multiple episodes, which are treated as cliffhangers by Mandel in typical game show fashion. This comes off as a bit odd given that it’s Netflix and the next episode plays automatically right away. But editing tropes and traditions are what they are, I guess — just as much bullshit as anything else.

 

Redbox Inks Streaming Deal With Game Show Network

Redbox has signed a content agreement with Game Show Network to bring its game shows and movie channels to Redbox’s free live TV streaming service.

Redbox viewers will be able to stream classic movies from the ’70s and ’80s, Westerns and game show action from classic shows to brand-new series. The channels can be accessed through Redbox’s streaming app, which is available on a variety of devices, including Roku, Vizio, Samsung, iOS, and Android.

Game Show Central features new game shows, including “Idiotest,” “Catch 21,” “Baggage” and “America Says.” Cinevault 80s will have movies titles such as Murphy’s Romance starring Sally Field. Cinevault 70s offers films such as The Deep starring Jacqueline Bisset and Nick Nolte. Cinevault Westerns features such films as Mackenna’s Gold starring Gregory Peck, Omar Sharif and Telly Savalas, and They Came to Codura starring Gary Cooper and Rita Hayworth.

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“Both the Cinevault and Game Show Central channels have fantastic content, which we know will be popular with our viewers, and we’re thrilled we can partner with Game Show Network to bring them to the Free Live TV Service,” said Chris Yates, GM of Redbox On Demand. “These four entertainment channels will bring hours of fun for the whole family.”

Sony Pictures Television Names Mayim Bialik and Mike Richards as ‘Jeopardy!’ Hosts

Sony Pictures Television Aug. 11 announced that Mike Richards and Mayim Bialik (“The Big Bang Theory,” “Call Me Kat”) have been named as the new hosts of the venerable game show “Jeopardy!”

Richards will kick off Season 38 as the full-time daily host of the long-running syndicated program. Bialik joins as the host of the show’s primetime and spinoff series, including the upcoming “Jeopardy! National College Championship” set to air on ABC next year.

“Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” winner Ken Jennings will return as consulting producer for the show. Richards will continue to serve as executive producer of “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune.”

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“We took this decision incredibly seriously,” Ravi Ahuja, chairman of global television studios and corporate development for Sony Pictures, said in a statement.

Ahuja said a “tremendous amount” of work and deliberation went into the selection process of selecting a replacement for longtime host Alex Trebek, who died of cancer Nov. 8, 2020. A senior group of Sony Pictures Television executives pored over footage from every episode, reviewed research from multiple panels, focus groups and input from Sony’s key partners and Jeopardy! viewers.

“We knew early on that we wanted to divide the hosting responsibilities and it became very clear that Mike and Mayim were the undeniable choices,” he said. “They were both at the top of our research and analysis. Mike is a unique talent, at ease behind the podium and a double threat as producer and host. Mayim has a wonderful energy, an innate sense of the game, and an authentic curiosity that naturally represents the “Jeopardy!” brand.”

“Jeopardy! National College Championship” will feature 15 colleges from across the country going head-to-head for two weeks of competition.

A series of guest hosts have each taken a turn at the Jeopardy! lectern this past season, including Katie Couric, Aaron Rodgers, Bill Whitaker, Anderson Cooper, Savannah Guthrie, Sanjay Gupta, LeVar Burton, George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, Joe Buck, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Buzzy Cohen and David Faber.

As part of each host’s appearance, a donation was made to a charity of their choice, with the amount donated equaling the cumulative winnings of the contestants that competed during the weeks they served as guest host. In total, Jeopardy! donated nearly $3 million to various charities this past season. Richards’ guest hosting appearances aired Feb. 22 to March 5, 2021, and Bialik served as guest host from May 31 to June 11, 2021.

Richards signed a multiyear overall deal with Sony Pictures in 2019. Prior to that, he served as executive producer of “The Price Is Right” for 11 years. A four-time Daytime Emmy Award winner and 19-time nominee, Richards also served as executive producer of “Let’s Make a Deal” and has produced more than 4,000 hours of game show programming. Richards is also known for his work in front of the camera, having hosted five series, including “Beauty and the Geek,” Game Show Network’s 2016–17 version of “Divided” and the 2012 revival of “The Pyramid.”

Outside of acting, Bialik is the host of the mental health podcast “Mayim Bialik’s Breakdown” and she recently wrote and directed her first feature film, As Sick As They Made Us, starring Dustin Hoffman and Candice Bergen.

“Jeopardy! will begin production on Season 38 in mid-August, with new episodes launching on Sept. 13.