"The Line" Review

Set Design- 8
Gameplay- 6
Show Flow- 7
Potential Viewer Ratings- 6
Play-Along Factor- 8
Hosts- 6
Overall- 6.8

Premise- A series of potential contestants wait in “The Line” to go inside “The Vault”. Once inside The Vault, the contestant must answer eight true/false questions correctly to win the progressive jackpot, which increases $250 for every correct answer given. If a contestant answers one question incorrectly, their turn ends and the contestant leaves with nothing. Contestants in the line will also have the chance to win incentives including a trip to the front of the line and other assorted prizes by competing in physical challenges.

And now, for the (relatively short) review…

Considering the show’s premise is primarily based on watching people wait in a line to play a three-minute single-player trivia game, this is not the worst show GSN has ever developed. This unique game show event combines combines elements from Beat The Clock, Let’s Make A Deal and BBC’s Perfection. The game’s format is simple and the questions are relatively easy for the most part making this show easy to follow and fun to play-along with as well.  Here are a couple more reasons why I’m defending this show to a certain extent and why it’s worth checking out:

Feel-Good Show: The absence of conflict and drama between competitors due to the main game’s single-player format makes this show enjoyable to watch. With this being said, I’m not saying that there weren’t any scuffles, complaints or even cases of people attempting to cut in line given the fact there were those who have been waiting and standing for hours at a time in the hot sun in Nashville. I’m glad the GSN original series didn’t exploit those opportunities to “spice up” the show. The Line captures the genuine spirit of everyday people getting a chance to get their 15 minutes of fame to win big money without being too gimmicky like Deal or No Deal was years ago. 

Good Balance: For a show like this, one would expect to see more human interest packages than actual gameplay. With this show, I was pleasantly surprised at the good balance between the gameplay and the emotional backstories featured between games. (The Million Second Quiz could have taken a few pointers from this show).

Now that I have covered the good, I will now speak on some the drawbacks to this event. I can see how most viewers could be turned off by this show due to its redundancy after watching the first few failed attempts at the jackpot accompanied by the slow-paced gameplay. Even the hosts appeared bored and uninterested at times. I also wished we could have seen more physical challenges than the three we had seen within the two-hour show.

Overall, while The Line is not terribly exciting to watch, it’s not completely uninteresting. It’s the type of show to watch if you have some down time and just want to relax and view a positively-stimulating program or if you’re doing work at home and you need something on in the background to fill the silence. This show has the similar appeal that Pawnography has: a low-budget game show with a simple format. It’s one of the few American game shows where the low prize budget is not a deal-breaker. Let’s keep in mind there are plenty of British game shows whose prize budget didn’t match the game’s difficulty and few people have balked about it. If you’re a typical game show fan, this show is worth a watch. If you’re an average television viewer, not so much. I’m going to go out on a limb and hesitantly predict The Line will be back for another two-hour special because it’s cheap to produce and I can envision this traveling game show filming in another random city next year.
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