#39: The Chamber
FOX: (January 2002)
Not many shows in this green earth make me so furious to the point where I just unleash obscenities whenever I see footage or still photos or am simply reminded of the show itself. So if my language is much stronger than I normally use in these inductions, then that's why because it's time to go to 2002 and Fox. They were in a mode where they would find a popular program, rip it off and put in some of their own flair. During this time, they had some real big rip-offs with Boot Camp & many editions of When Animals Attack or Caught on Camera featuring workers spitting in coffee or peeing in coffee. Such delightful pissant behavior there. But they all seem tame compared to what they did in 2002.
ABC was set to debut a new show on Tuesday, January 15th called The Chair. Hosted by tennis superstar, John McEnroe, the show would test the contestants abilities of concentration, general knowledge and other things, while trying to keep their heart rate down below the pre-determined heart rate given by about 6-8 hours of testing of written quizzes & various little surprises like alarms, exploding pens & spiders. It wasn't slated to be anything spectacular, just something interesting to have on the mid-season. Enter FOX: They already have a reputation of ripping off ABC's successful game show of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire with It's Your Chance Of A Lifetime. So, they decided to make a new game show like The chair, except amplifying the torture 5-fold and not even bothering to test stress levels among other things that the Chair did. Enter The Chamber.
When the show started, we were told that "Human Endurance would be taken to it's very limits" by placing contestants inside a torture chamber. Trust me, the torture has just begun for the viewers by showing us what the contestants in the chamber will be facing.
We'll start with the host, Rick Schwartz. Don't confuse this guy for the Rick Schwartz who produced The Aviator and Gangs of New York, two excellent films. No no, This Rick Schwartz is known for being a correspondent on Extra & the host for Movies for Guys Who Like Movies on TBS back in the late 90s. Not only that, he's a major toolbox and probably one of the most condescending pricks in game show history. He rambles off such bullshit when a contestant from Chicago entered the Cold Chamber, he said "It's going to make it look like the Bahamas." Not only that, he wastes too much fucking time when the contestant has gotten a question wrong. I've clocked it at about 10 seconds or so most of the time that Rick the Prick wastes on telling the contestant to focus and get their bearings together. Want to know what makes matters worse? He wasn't even asking the questions in the beginning. In the first 2 of 3 episodes, the questions were asked by an unidentified male voice. That voice guy is probably the luckiest guy in the entire planet. I doubt he was even identified in the show's credits at the end, thus not damaging his career whatsoever.
Once again, I apologize for the language used. But it's not going to get much better.
The qualifying round to enter the chamber was a blatant rip-off of Tic Tac Dough's Seesaw category. Rick the Dick would give a category and the two victim...I mean contestants would go back and forth giving answers that would fit the category. If one failed, then the other could get a point by giving another correct answer. The first to two points wins the right to enter the Chamber to win, as they put it...upwards of $100,000.
Wait. Putting up with Rick Schwartz, an evil chamber and all of this for maybe $100,000? What fucktard decided that payoff would be a good idea? We'll get back to that later. But now, let's talk about the chamber itself.
Yes, the main selling point of the show. The contestant would be put inside this metal monstrosity and would answer questions while being tortured. Yes, you read right, Tortured. By fucking god, why in the hell would Fox do this? Oh wait, this is the same network that cancelled good programs like Greed and Wonderfalls in favor of more goddamned runs of When Animals Attack & Busted: Caught on Tape. The contestants would be asked various questions in either open ended, either/or, and Multiple Choice. Each correct question is worth $1,000. However, the chamber would be on a dangerous setting. Hell, as if watching this piece of shit isn't already dangerous.
We should start with the Hot Chamber. So, what joy does the vict...I mean contestant face? Well, the heat in the chamber goes from 110-150 degrees, muscle contractors to tighten up your nerves, simulated earthquakes ranging from 5.0 on the Richter scale to 9.0, the chair that the contestant would be strapped to would begin to rotate in a full circle starting at level 2, wind gusts of 55 mph would kick in at level 4 and in the last episode, what could be described as foul odors would permeate the chamber. So great, you're hot, going to be dealt with bad smells and you're going to be in an earthquake. Couldn't this just be done at a horrific Mexican restaurant in New Mexico? I mean, this probably explains how the producers came up with this godforsaken show. They probably inhaled some foul odors from an opium den or some shit like that. But that's not the only chamber.
Nope, there's also a cold chamber. The people who face this one has to deal with temperatures starting off at 30 degrees and decreasing to around negative 15, the same muscle contractors that were in the hot chamber, the same earthquakes that were at the hot chamber, the same wind gusts. So, aside from the water blasts that come in at level 4, it's pretty much the same goddamned chamber. I mean, couldn't they at least have some Ice that would be pelted at them, or snowstorms? How fucking lazy do you have to be. I mean, they at least put some thought in the hot chamber, but they made the cold version as an afterthought. So, not only is this show fucking unbearable to watch, its also fucking lazy. Dear fucking god.
While the contestants are being tortured beyond belief, the chamber stops if they decide to stop the chamber by yelling "Stop The Chamber", if they miss 2 questions in a row, their stress quotient goes above the projected amount for 20 seconds, or the doctors said that the contestant can't handle the conditions anymore, for safety reasons. If that happens, their winnings are cut in half. If by some fucking miracle they manage to answer 25 questions & survive all 7 levels, their winnings are tripled and the chamber they were in was retired. If they do survive, but don't get 25 questions right then they keep all their winnings.
And that's pretty much the Chamber. They just repeated this entire fucking process for the hour. 6 episodes of this show were made, yet only 3 aired. They also hyped other chambers such as an Electric Shock chamber, Hurricane chamber & probably more repugnant than the show itself, an Insect Chamber with flies and bees and all other creepy crawlies. You know what, I've had enough. I FUCKING HATE THIS SHOW!!!! I FUCKING HATE THE PREMISE, I FUCKING HATE RICK SCHWARTZ AS HOST, I FUCKING HATE THE GUISE THAT THIS COULD ACTUALLY BE AN ENTERTAINING SHOW, I FUCKING HATE THE FACT THAT THIS ACTUALLY GOT PAST THE FCC AS IT WAS PRETTY MUCH THE CLOSEST THING TO A LIVE EXECUTION, I FUCKING HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE THIS SHOW!!!!!!!!!
There is some good news. One of the last contestants on the show, Scott Brown after winning $20,000 from the chamber actually sued the producers for $100,000 for medical bills and other ailments that he suffered throughout the show...and he won. So, well done Scott. You deserved that judgment. I hope to fucking god that the episodes got destroyed, but since FOX is desperate still for a summertime show, I wouldn't doubt that this show comes back.
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