Review: Downfall
Originally posted: June 25, 2010

Text by: Cyndi Seidelman

Normally, when I do reviews, I try to add some sort of back story, but this time I can't do that. Mainly because I don't know how this show came about, or why it got on the air. But, Downfall debuted after Wipeout this past Tuesday. To my surprise, and to others that watched it, it's actually a pretty decent show. It's not going to blow you away by any means, but it's a good watch.

The premise is simple, answer questions in a category before your cash and prizes falls off the conveyor belt. If the cash falls off the conveyor belt, then the contestant loses the game and they are ceremoniously dropped off the roof as well. Sounds easy, right? Well, the contestant is placed right near the edge of the roof, so they see first hand their prizes falling off the roof, adding to the mental torture they face being 100 feet off the ground. And yes, like most primetime game shows out there, we have a money ladder of sorts going on here in the same vein like Million Dollar Password's Money Ladder. Well, I should say more like the ladder from Every Second Counts. The first step is having to get 4 out of 10, then 5 out of 10, 6 out of 10 and so on and so forth. I don't remember the money ladder off hand, but It went something like this: $5k/$10k/$25k/$50k/$100k/$250k/$1M. If you reach $25k, you get that no matter what.

Now, let's talk Chris Jericho. If WWE ever decides to can him, then he has nothing to worry about when it comes to TV. He's proven himself to be a good host here, and quite capable of coming up with stuff off the cuff & is a good question reader at that. He has the energy, without being pretentious.

Now, while the show itself is good, it does have its flaws. Mainly having to deal with the Overall presentation of the show. While it is slick and stylish, the main component of the conveyor belt doesn't really have that much going for it. Another thing that irks me is the constant instant replays of stuff crashing down. It's fun to see it fall, just not in super slow motion. The time that they spent recapping everything that fell in slow motion, they could have easily snuck in another round or something like that. What also irks me is the Panic Button. You're allowed to use that twice, the first one requires you to put up a personal object, and the other one is an actual friend you'd put on the conveyor belt. To me, this is just for schlocky cheap thrills. If I could change the Panic Button, I would have the Panic Button be used to move the conveyor belt back, but you would forfeit half the money that is up for this stage.

With that out of the way, the show is still watchable, and it's a good counterpart to Wipeout. The ratings for the debut drew about 6.5 million viewers, so hopefully it will keep those viewers for next week. It deserves to last through the summer and should be given a chance by people.

Grade: B-

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