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Television is not exactly in dire need of game show.

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Over on ABC, which successfully devoted a chunk of its summer prime-time lineup to rebooted retro fare, Match Game and To Tell the Truth will return this week, while Big Fan — a new series in which celebrities test their knowledge of trivia about themselves!

Into this competitive landscape lumbers The Wallthe absurd yet undeniably diverting NBC series that debuts in its official time slot tonight at 8, after two preview episodes that aired game night and last month, respectively. That description would be accurate.


But so is this one: In many ways, The Wall embodies values that are distinctly red, white, and blue. It attempts to sell us something new, even though its concept is really based on old ideas that someone put in a blender and mixed up just enough so they would seem fresh, which is the same guiding principle tube has kept American capitalism running for decades.

That sounds like a totally new thing, right? Then give it a case of gigantism. The Wall is huge because, like all good things in America, this version of Plinko must be supersized and also made more complicated. In every episode, one half tube the competing game — so far, the contestants have show married couples — drops a massive glowing orb into a tube that then shoots the ball out of the top of the Wall until it lands in a slot that has a dollar value assigned to it.

Mornington Crescent (game) - Wikipedia

When the other half of the pair — who is in that isolation booth — answers trivia questions correctly, the board lights up green and dollars are added to the tally. But get the hills have thighs xxx answer wrong and the board turns red, then starts to subtract from the earnings based on where the ball drops.

In addition to being a carbon copy of Plinko, the way the Wall works is also vaguely reminiscent of watching a lottery drawing.

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