Anytime that there is a new game show on television these days, we are extremely skeptical about it. We are speaking from the perspective of a longtime fanatic of the genre, who has watched everything from “Jeopardy” to “Wheel of Fortune” to “Match Game” and more. Plus, we know what these contestants are feeling thanks to once being a contestant on the syndicated “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” many years ago, before they changed some of the classic rules of the game.
“The Million Second Quiz” may be the coolest idea for a game show since Regis Philbin came to “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” . Most of the game shows that air these days are incredibly lame and rip-offs of other shows. This was a completely original concept, one with an awesome apparatus in which contestants sit down, answer questions, and compete to sit in the money chair. The questions are simple, as is the way you earn money. It’s cumulative over the course of the amount of time that you are sitting in the chair. Therefore, it’s not really about finding an answer to one question; it’s a war of attrition.
The best part about the show? That the intensity builds as you near the end of the battle, as the contestants start to squirm and realize that as time runs out, there are only so many moves available to them. Ryan Seacrest is also a capable host here, quick to ask the questions and let the contestants shine. He explained to us recently that he signed on here thanks to the concept, and we understand why. You never want your host to act like he or she is out of control.
Now, we turn to the problems. We worry about some of the questions being so recent. For example, would the guy in the money chair really know something about last night’s football game? The addition of the doubler is a nice little twist to throw in there, but we’d like it a little bit more if it was in limited use. We’re just seeing way too much of it right now, and there should be a limit to how much you really go for it.
But overall, “The Million Second Quiz” is a very entertaining show, and something that we are thrilled made it to the air. Since the basic idea behind it is so strong, and it is only a two-week event, we don’t imagine getting tired of it in the same way that we have other shows. This show is great, and one of the best risks that NBC has taken. Watch it, use the app online if you want, and just prepare for an intense night of trivia.