Review: Minute To Win It
Originally posted: March 19, 2010

Text by: Cyndi Seidelman

There once was a great classic game show called Beat The Clock. In that show, you had to complete a stunt in order to win either a prize or cash, depending on the version. It was hosted greatly by a murderer's row of emcees in Bud Collier, Jack Narz, Gene Wood & Monty Hall. It was revived in 2002 on PAX and it tried to recapture that magic, but it fell short a bit. While still a good show, it just wasn't up to par with the other versions that did it better. Now, we sort of have a spiritual successor in Minute to Win It.

Minute to Win It is hosted by Guy Fieri, who people may know as the host of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and Ultimate Recipe Showdown on Food Network. He is an enjoyable guy to have as a host and he does ok here. He isn't horrible, but he isn't exactly going to blow you out of the water either. The premise of the show is simple, complete events in 60 seconds to win cash. The Prize Ladder is as follows. $1k/$2.5k/$5k/$10k/$50k/$75k/$125k/$250k/$500k/$1M . Yeah, they imply a Millionaire-esque prize Ladder. The stunts are ok and some of them can be performed at home. Actually, a good chunk of the show is dedicated to getting people to go to the website and trying out the games, then coming down and possibly winning the big cash prize. I didn't take down times, but I can imagine that 10 minutes of the premiere was dedicated to this. Now, the set is just generic at best for the modern game show era. There's a big video wall and the only cool thing is the lights that are around the play area, but that is directly ripped from Russian Roulette.

Now, let's get to the biggest problems that this show has. The biggest problem for me is the horridly placed commercial breaks. I absolutely hate it when they get to start the game, they cut to a commercial break. I think this practice is insanely stupid and should be stopped. I want to see the game, not sit through people practicing the games at a fire station or at home for 2-3 minutes before seeing the actual show. The next problem that has been mentioned on various game show websites is that this is a simpletons version of The Cube, just minus everything that made The Cube cool. The British female's voice that they use is ripped from The Cube as well. The names of the stunts range from the good, to the downright stupid, like Hanky Panky.

In Closing, this show could have been better, provided if NBC gave a damn. It just seems like a generic stunt show, blown up to fill a hour of programming on the cheap. This would be better off as a daytime show, and would be miles better than that pathetic excuse of a 4th hour of the Today Show with Kathie Lee Gifford & Hoda Kotb. I can't give this show a passing grade because of the generic-ness of the show & the horrible placement of commercial breaks. It's ok, but it just could have been so much better. Here's hoping CBS picks up The Cube, but the way that Minute fared in the ratings on its debut, it might be a very hard sell.

Grade: D+

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