A ranking functionary of America’s most durable TV game show offers some fleeting peeks backstage for the edification of its apparently indefatigable devotees.
An echt Goodson-Todman production, The Price is Right has been on the air for some 35 years—so far. It remains essentially the same: antiquated and loud. The author has been with the show for 28 years—so far—as music director, writer and “contestant coordinator.” (That’s the guy who selects the jumping, screaming competitors who get the thrilling bid to “come on down” to the stage). Armed with such insider credentials, Blits tells stories about a few contestants and describes the work of the show’s grips, models, writers, producers, announcers and directors. He maintains a respectful distance, however, from long-time host Bob Barker, who retired in 2007, and who, on the basis of this text, must be viewed as some sort of television deity. The rules of the game remain unexplained; the author takes it for granted that readers already know how to score a car, a fridge, a jet ski, a lovely set of fashionable pickle forks, maybe even a combination freezer-hair dryer in designer colors. Blits lavishes upon a cheesy pop-culture program such superlatives as legendary, epic, renowned, brilliant and iconic. Perhaps The Price Is Right is in some way emblematic of an aspect of the American ethos, but this volume is a sophomoric, blatant puff piece. The vocabulary is easy; apparently the author has trouble with big words. Of course, as obviously intended, his offering will do well with all the enthusiasts.
Simple malarkey, solely for the host of fans.