Set Design- 10
Show Flow- 6
Potential Viewer Ratings- 5
Play-Along Factor- 1
Overall Rating- 6.0
Premise- A group of contestants will be engaged in a prank. Each contestant will start with $500 and as time goes by without them realizing that they are being pranked, the contestant’s in-game bank decreases. The sooner the contestants realize they are involved in a prank, the more money they will win. Each contestant can win up to $500, and as low as $100 if the contestants are told that they were involved in a prank at the end.
And now, for the review…
It’s not as interesting as Money With Strangers and it’s not as bad and cheesy as GSN’s Hidden Agenda was; this show is at par in terms of entertainment value. I do like the original premise of awarding people for realizing that they are being pranked. Other than that, it’s like watching an episode of Candid Camera. The cast of pranksters are doing a great job of sticking to their personas during each prank and for coming up with creative ways to make the contestants feel uneasy without crossing the line and being very careful about not making each prank too ridiculous to the point where that it’s easily recognizable to the contestants. I do have a couple of suggestions for the show to make it a tad more entertaining to watch:
Bigger Cash Prize: In today’s era of game shows, $500 for a grand prize just doesn’t sound appealing anymore as it had been in the 1960’s. For this show, the top prize needs to be between the range of $1,000-$2,000. I have seen at least one game where a contestant won the maximum prize of $500 and they did not seem that excited to win the cash as they would have been if they had won $1,000. The consolation prize of $100 is good, but the top prize needs to be upped.
On-Screen Counter: Throughout each game, I found it difficult to keep up with how much each contestant had left in their game bank and I would imagine that other viewers have a problem with this as well. Displaying an on-screen timer to show how much time a contestant has to realize that they are being pranked before it’s too late and in-game bank graphic to show their progress will give the viewers more to watch and keep them constantly updated on the contestant’s performance rather than just watching them getting pranked. This will keep the viewers tuned in for an entire game instead of flipping back and forth between another channel and MTV to see if the contestants’ had done well or not. I’ve seen on-screen timers often used on You’re On, Money From Strangers, and Game Show In My Head, and these elements should be employed for Totally Clueless as well.
Overall, Totally Clueless is average at best, although their premise differs from every other hidden camera game show. I believe this game show would serve better as a segment on another MTV show. I can see this show lasting for only a season, although I won’t be too shocked if the show were to be renewed for a second season.