September 28, 2022

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Watson Reviews: Perfect Bid: The Contestant Who Knew Too Much (Spoiler Free)

I hate Price Is Right. I hate Bob Barker. He can burn in Hell. You need to understand that before we continue.

I hate Price Is Right.

I hate Bob Barker.

He can burn in Hell.

You need to understand that before we continue.

Not that the show is bad… Not that I have anything against Bob himself…

But I hate Price Is Right rules!

They are an abomination! They are a perversion of nature! They punish the person who is closest to the pin… if they went over.

What the fuck kind of arbitrary shit is that?

Someone bids $754…. The price is $753… and because some asshole bids $1, he wins?

You know who likes shit like that? Asshats!

When I first started working at my current company, a co-worker had a contest to predict something on a new big launch. On an email chain, we all made our predictions and had some fun banter. I was excited to be in a place with such fun and quirky people.

MBA that I am, I took this serious, so I built a model to quantify my prediction. I sent my prediction in to the guy in the office running the “just for fun” guessing game.

I had just met this fellow, but we had hit it off right away so I noted that his desire to use Price Is Right rules was sloppy. We joked via email for a bit and when the launch finally occurred, I almost entirely nailed what we were predicting.

Buuuuutttt…. I was a few points over. A measly few digits.

No one else was within a thousand.

So I fucking LOST!

I still hate that guy to this day! His capricious adherence to an archaic game show policy marked him as a complete and utter asshat for the rest of his days. Always the asshats! Always the douchebags!

In other words…

FUCK, RYAN GARCIA!

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

What was I writing this article about? Oh, yeah. The Perfect Bid.

The doc is about Ted Slauson, a super fan of Price Is Right. He started as a child memorizing the prices of everything and getting in the audience of the venerable game show dozens of times. He even built computer programs where he played games at home about estimating showcases.

After winning a small prize package during the Bob Barker era in the early 90s, he was no longer eligible to appear.

But a tweak in the Drew Carey era said “this Rain Man Guy”, as Carey calls him in the documentary, could come back after sitting out a decade.

That’s when things get interesting…

WHAT I THOUGHT:

  • It’s not just about this guy’s story. This is a story about one of the most success show in the history of television. The doc takes you into the production, people, and psychology of a show running for generations.
  • I love a documentary that has a hook! The documentary is about The Price Is Right specifically; and game shows in general. But it is also about an obsessive Superfan who memorized every possible permutation of the prize values. The best documentaries have incredibly quirky characters. This one has a big one to focus on to tell the overarching narrative.
  • The quirky subject of the documentary is actually a great story teller. Most of the time, these quirky characters are guided by narrators or video clips because they can’t tell the full story themselves. Not so here. The Perfect Bid benefits from the storytelling of Slauson. He’s compelling and spins one heck of a yarn. His explanations of the showcases and how the games work are a master class in daytime gameshows.
  • Bob Barker might have been the finest game show host ever… and that pisses me off.  Barker has been the subject of some controversy, but my god the clips of this man’s mastery of the MC game is legendary stuff. The guy’s repartee with the audience and contestants is flawless.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Man… this is a strong documentary. I love smart looks behind the scenes in show business. This is a great take on something we all grew up watching in sick days home from school.

Definitely a fun time. I loved it.

And that pisses me off a lot…

So….

Fuck Bob Barker!

Fuck The Price Is Right!

And Fuuuuuuuuck Ryan Garcia!!!

Come on down…

Overall, I give Perfect Bid: The Contestant Who Knew Too Much 9 “Spades and Neuters” out of 10.

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