"Easiest Game Show Ever" Review

Set Design- 10
Gameplay- 9
Show Flow- 10
Potential Viewer Ratings- 6
Play-Along Factor- 10
Host- 8
Overall Rating- 8.8

Format: A team of two contestants plays three rounds centered around 20 True/False questions. In the speed round, the team has 100 seconds to answer 20 True/False questions, which each teammate answering 10 questions each. Once the questions have been answered or time has expired, the team will be shown how many questions they have answered in a vague manner (e.g.: More than half correct). In round one, the team has 30 seconds to decide which five questions are answered correctly, with each correct answer worth 500 points. If all five questions are correct, the team earns double the points for the round for a potential maximum total of 5,000 points. Round two is played the same as round one except the team is allowed to change any of their answers. Before the next round begins, the team will be vaguely shown how many answers are correct/incorrect and the team’s points have been transformed into cash. In round three (The Money Round), the team chooses five more questions, with no time limit and may change their answers, and each correct answer is worth the point total the team earned in the first and second rounds (e.g.: 6,500 pts. = $6,500 each). If a team answers incorrectly in this round, they lose 90% of their winnings. Answering all five third round questions correctly doubles the team’s winnings. A perfect game wins the team $100,000.

And now, for the review…

Unlike Ireland with The Lie and the U.K. with Perfection, the U.S. has not recent success in developing a long-lasting True-or-False/Spot-The-Liar game show with the failures of TBS’s Trust Me I’m A Gameshow Host and GSN’s Lie Detectors. For its first original game show, I think Pop TV might break the bad streak of poorly executed game shows within the format. Easiest Game Show Ever has an interestingly similar appeal like Idiotest with its excellent show flow, how the host adds a comedic element to the show and how the game seemingly simple on the surface, but the time constraints aid in making it more difficult to win a large sum of money. Much like the popular GSN primetime series, it is these attributes that provide Easier Game Show Ever with a solid and entertaining format, a great watchability and re-watchability factor and an excellent play-along factor thanks to the score of obscure trivia questions asked per show. The series’ fast-paced and seamlessly smooth show flow can be attributed for several factors including the host not dragging out answer reveals in an unnecessarily, gimmicky manner, keeping the episodes to a half-hour’s length and using an animated clip to creatively and quickly review rules of The Money Round, similar to what Who’s Still Standing? before each game began. Much like Who’s Still Standing?, it isn’t necessary, but I’m glad Easiest Game Show Ever included it anyway and did not utilize this element in a superfluous manner as the former NBC primetime game show did.

As far as the gameplay is concerned, the factor that stood out the most that makes the show enthralling is the whopping 90% hit the teams take on an incorrect answer in the Money Round. This not only tenses up the contestants competing, but the viewers as well, hoping they don’t lose a bundle due to second guessing themselves or failing to go with their gut instinct. This is what gives the show that “all-or-nothing” feel, while still giving contestants a chance to win a respectable amount of cash. The only minor issue I have is how the teams initially play for points. This aspect is essentially pointless (no pun intended) since they will transform into dollars anyway, regardless of the outcome of the previous two rounds, and has no effect on the game itself.

Overall, the group of Nigel Lythgoe, Eric Levy and Barry Poznick have done an excellent job with the development of Easiest Game Show Ever. From signing Michael Ian Black as the host, who’s doing great work injecting his humorous quips at the right time while moving the show along well, to the show’s engaging, fun and simplistic structure topped with a hefty $100,000 payout. As great as this pop culture game show is, because it airs on Pop TV, it will not garner a lot of attention as we have seen already last Friday night with both episodes garnering a miserable 97,000 and 66,000 viewers, according to ShowBuzz Daily. Of course it doesn’t help when it’s placed in the second worst day in the week for American television, but I digress. With this in mind, I am going to boldly predict that Pop TV will bring back Easiest Game Show Ever for a second season because it’s honestly too good of a game show to shelve.
Watch new episodes of Easiest Game Show Ever Friday nights at 9:00pm & 9:30pm EST on Pop TV!

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