This was a very curious game show to develop at a time when as many as half of all Americans believe the country is in a recession.
It’s debatable as to whether or not the timing for such a show could not be any better or could not be any worse.
To be fair, the game show itself is not actually bad. Unlike mot NBC game shows, It’s Worth What? requires a lot of thought, and it can be really difficult to accurately determine what does and does not qualify as value.
The show could very well have been inspired by Antique Roadshow. And if you enjoy Antique Roadshow, you should also appreciate It’s Worth What? to some degree. Most of (but not all) the items featured on It’s Worth What? do indeed have a fair amount of history, which is divulged to the contestants to help them try to determine its value.
The only true problem with the format itself that is readily evident is a problem all of NBC’s game shows have suffered: The requirements to be a contestant. There don’t appear to be any. So far, there have not been any who could even hold a candle to the rampant stupidity that was so frequently showcased on Deal Or No Deal, but it is still evident that they were chosen for their personalities and not because they passed an entry test.
So all things considered, this is one of NBC’s better recent ventures into prime time gaming. But the big problem is still with the timing. At a time when most Americans are worrying about losing their jobs, homes and good health, is now really a good time to show them a lot of expensive toys and wall hangings?
If the absolute lowest point in the show has already come, it had to have been when a couple were asked to guess which one of four items was worth more than a 2008 Bugatti (a million dollar car), and correctly guessed that the correct item was a three million dollar diamond dog collar.
Then again, maybe it is the right time for such a show. After the debt deal was subjected to the greatest hostility and the worst case of partisan politics anyone still alive in this country has ever seen, maybe America needs to see what the richest 1% are doing with their tax cuts.
Maybe future episodes could showcase items like Dennis Kozlowski’s infamous umbrella stand alongside other such items seized or otherwise reaquired from the greediest of the greedy. America may need that kind of enlightenment at this time.
But as much as America might need this kind of enlightenment, it is not necessarily what America wants. That is the core problem with It’s Worth What?