By Annie Barrett
Updated December 18, 2007 at 12:00 PM EST

With all of your favorite scripted shows disappearing from TV like holiday-colored M&Ms camouflaged against a holiday-themed tablecloth, you might be inclined to try something new, like ABC’s Duel. This is not a sexy/embarrassing soap opera about King Arthur’s court, as I was hoping. Rather, Duel, which premiered last night, is a treacherously slow-paced game show that’ll be on every night this week until Sunday, at which point one of the carefully fabricated “real people” contestants will win however much is in “the jackpot.” The show is basically trivia combined with poker combined with standing in line at the DMV with a full bladder for three hours. I was only able to get through last night’s 90-minute debut because I was also playing online crossword puzzles. It’s like I wasn’t even watching TV. Highly recommended!

The only reason to catch this nonsense live instead of play its mildly entertaining online version is that it’s fascinating when the contestants attempt to explain to host Mike Greenberg why they chose their particular opponents from a selection of three. Why even ask? They obviously just picked whoever seemed the dumbest. I’m hoping that eventually the well of euphemisms will run dry and they’ll just admit things like, “She struck me as a dim bulb,” or “That man’s clearly a hick.”

There’s also the added benefit of suddenly looking up at your screen and wondering if ESPN anchor Greenberg is actually playing a renowned faith healer, bestowing a magical stream of NFL statistics onto the damned (pictured). Nope, turns out Monica was just completely freaking out from the questionable glory of being on TV. Ewww, they’re touching.

Did anyone get through this show? How about this post?