17 Dec 2006
Alright, I confess. I read to try to get smarter. From my Millionaire posting a week ago you might have caught on that I recently read Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat. I suppose I should clarify that I actually listened to it on tape, er, what are the kids listening to these days - ah, right, cds. Huh? They're listening to digital media files now???? Pardon me while I put away my gramophone.
From my opening paragraph I'm sure you can guess what I'm going to be yapping about today...Yup, I'm talking about TV. Did you hear they're using intelligence vacuum tubes in those things now? Huh? They're not using vacuum tubes at all???? Yeah, real smart.
TV sure does get a bad rap. Tell your friends all the shows you watch and just wait for someone to chime in that you're wasting your life away. Tell them you don't watch any and just wait for someone to tell you to stop judging them! C'mon - TV's fun! Sometimes it's important to put away the books, to stop pretending that you're learning anything, and just give in to the mindless numb feeling of TV.
Those who know me well know that I just recently put away the bunny ears and purchased limited basic cable. Now I get CBS. Woo hoo, AFC football! I also get a couple of stations I'm not supposed to, like ESPN, GAC, and, best of all, GSN. That's the Game Show Network for all the judgers out there.
And so we come to the granddaddy, mother of all mindless, feel-good, brighten-your-mood TV shows in the land: Lingo. How do I describe Lingo? It's like Bingo and Scrabble combined, but just using 5-letter words (otherwise the contestant pool might get too thin - zing!). Two teams of two have five chances to guess the five-letter word that they're given the first letter to. (I'm not sure how this sentence got by our editors.) They then pick numbered balls out of a till and try to get a bingo-like thing called a Lingo. The winning team through two rounds gets to go to the speed round. They try to get as many words as they can in 2 minutes. They get to pull as many balls from the till as they get words right. If they pull a Lingo on their first try, they win the progressive jackpot (which starts at $10,000 and I've seen get up to $28,000). Otherwise, a Lingo nets them $5,000.
There really isn't anything groundbreaking about the show. It's simple yet you can sit there trying to guess words just like anyone else. Plus, Chuck Woolery is the host. Do you remember him from Love Connection, or, going way back, Wheel of Fortune? Learn about him! Providing the perfect compliment of bubble-li-ness is his sidekick Shandi. They seem to genuinely enjoy working together, which makes watching even more rewarding.
So put down your digital media file or book and flip on the TV. Watch Lingo!