Too stressfully exciting for its own good
New TV shows do their very best to excite the heck out of their prospective viewers, the better to “hook” them on a permanent basis.
But, that exciting prospect, if taken to extremes, can turn out to be counterproductive.
This is what’s happening on the reality challenge, “Exit,” which gets four teams of contestants each telecast to pit wits, skills and nerves with each other to come out as the winning pair for the week.
The telecast we viewed “pushed” the contestants so hard that, by the time the survivors reached the final round, they were all tuckered and stressed out!
To make the competition even more unnerving and hectic, the teams were “trapped” in claustrophobic rooms that featured passageways and doors that appeared to “shrink.”
One of the sets was a tank-like structure that had small pedestals that slowly retracted, until the losing contestants were forced to literally and physically drop out of the tilt.
Another set even featured a set of “metallic teeth” that clangorously “attacked” the contestants as they tried to answer trick questions in only five seconds a pop.
The teams that did least well felt really spooked out of their skulls, because the mettalic “jaws” kept threatening to “eat” them up!
It was so stressful and exhausting that, by the time the last two squared off, the viewer was as pooped as the participants!
But, the show kept the pressure up all the way to the bitter end, with a final square-off that threatened to “drown” them in a vat of—quicksand!
True enough, the team that answered the least number of rapid-fire trick questions instantly disappeared from view, leaving the victors feeling really relieved that they had survived.
Not so fast, though, they still had to do a “final-final” round that involved a giant vat of water before they could get their trembling hands on the tilt’s cash prize.
Ironically, it wasn’t as big as other TV bonanzas, certainly not enough to “pay” for all of wear and tear that the show had taken on its contestants’ physical and psychological resources.
Seen from a technical and TV insider’s point of view, “Exit” should be commended for being able to keep the pressure up so relentlessly. That takes a lot of work, creativity and sense of tempo, crisis and climax.
On a “human” or “humane” level, however, the pressure was sustained too “sadistically,” so the viewing experience was not as diverting and breezily entertaining as it should have been.
If excitement is as stressful as this, include us out!
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