ABC has ordered a gameshow called Downfall that’s set on a skyscraper, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Naturally, this gets you thinking that probably if a contestant loses, he or she is hurled off the side of a very tall building. That gets you thinking this is probably one in a long line of signs of our pop culture apocalypse. Where is our society going that we must drop people from skyscrapers for entertainment, etc., etc. …?
But great news! (Great for society, anyway, if not for interesting television.) It’s not that way at all. It’s just that if the contestants lose they’ll see their winnings dropped off the side of the building (which does seem a touch dangerous to those milling about below, but we’ll assume the producers will clear the area). There’s an off chance of some kind of “controlled plunge” scenario, so someone might at least get dropped through a trap door through a long chute or something, but that hasn’t really been worked out yet. Meanwhile, I’m not really clear on why it’s so extra-high-stakes to threaten to drop the money off the building. What do the players care what happens to the money if they can’t have it? Why not drop it out of the second-story window of a studio office building, or off the roof of a Brooklyn brownstone, or off the porch of a stately country home? I sense possibilities for a franchise here.
Can anyone explain the potential appeal of such a gameshow, please?