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  • the chamber
    FOX
    by ericS

    I was sucked into watching the entirety of Fox's new, completely over the top game show called The Chamber (no, not The Chair, hosted by John MacEnroe). For those of you who were spared, here's the deal: It starts off with two contestants (both wearing black Chamber jumpsuits) who are forced to stare each other in the eyes, while trying to complete (Family Feud-style) lists, such as: States that begin with the letter 'I', Shapes of Marshmallows in Lucky Charms (obvious product placement, and there is a lot of this). When one person is wrong, or fails to answer, the other has a chance to clinch it by giving a correct answer. The winner then goes on to...The Chambeeeeeerrrrrrrrr!


    The idiot who is to be put in The Chammmbeeeeeeerrrrrr! takes off his jumpsuit. I guess the person decides what they wear beneath the jumpsuit. One dude had on boxers and a wife beater, but the two broads who followed him wore spandex exercise attire. I was hoping for a bikini at least once (if you are going to be this over the top, you might as well ratchet it up a notch). They are strapped (by a 'medical staff') into this thing that looks like a cross between the electric chair and the lethal injection gurney. Then the announcer guy says a bunch of spooky shit about how the contestant was checked out by doctors and how they are signing a release which spares the show from any responsibility. The chamber doors close. By now, there have been at least seven commercial breaks. The chair retracts into the chamber and one of the following happens: A) There is intense h! eat of up to 150 degrees, fire, hot air blown in their face, earthquake-like vibrations and other annoyances. B) Freezing cold (I saw it go down to -5 degrees), water blasts, snow blowing in your face, earthquake-like vibrations. Basically these people are tortured. But that's not all! Questions are asked (we can't forget this is a quiz show). Most of the questions revolve around basic knowledge and a lot of product placement consumer knowledge about Mountain Dew, General Motors, and Chef Boyardee. The contestant either goes through 7 "levels" of this shit, or says "Stop The Chamber" to stop. If they miss two questions in a row, the Chamber stops. If the chamber is stopped as a result of wrong answers or to stop the pain, they win half of what they have accumulated (usually ends up around 10K). If they go all the way, they win something like 250K.


    The funniest part of the show is, while these people are being shot in the face with hot air, and are convulsing like an epileptic (and simultaneously answering trivia questions), they are narrating what they are feeling. "Oh man, the heat is unbearable" and "My legs feel like there are hot irons on them." You just know that they have been instructed to do this, just like people on Weakest Link are told to say something mean about their fellow contestant when they are voted off.


    After seeing a male contestant do the hot chamber, then a female do the cold chamber, I was done with the show forever. This was forty minutes into the thing. Now if they had varied the chamber (dust and pollen chamber, chamber of shit and human gas, chamber of snakes and vomit, chamber of flying rotting flesh and phlegm), I might have watched for a little while longer. This show sucked hard, and reminded me of the game show in The Running Man. Fox actually has gone too far. The scary thing is that I think this is just the tip of the iceberg.