Saturday, 21 July 2012
Million Pound Drop
Gameshows generally work on the principle that the more successful you are, the more money you acquire. What is striking about TMPD is that this process is reversed, that as you proceed, you lose money, and your aim is to lose less of it. It sort of suits people on fixed incomes or benefits, who are well used to the idea of dwindling assets, and is directly the opposite of Who Wants to Millionaire, which is about production, acquisition, TMPD is about consumption, lack of production.
The show asserts that being a millionaire is easy, it comes to you like magic, it's hanging on to it that is the problem. Eventually of course, since the task is all but impossible, the money drops back in to the hands of the anonymous donors for recycling. And of course in the mean time you don't get much use of it, Vic and John don't pocket the odd wedge.
I like to think of Newsnight's long suffering economics editor Paul Mason watching this show with lightbulbs going off above his head. He's tried to describe the European debt crisis in so many ways, but surely this show is not only apt for the unemployed, but on a much bigger scale, neatly illustrates how pouring money in to a country and asking them to make particular decisions with it, will usually mean the vast amount of money returning to the banks which lent it in the first place.
Of course in this parody of parodies, Davina McCall is perfect at providing a rather disturbing parody of her parodious self, and last night provided the ultimate drop, her trousers.