There’s not much television watching at the Smiley house. I usually have my nose stuck in a book–one I’m reading or one I’m writing–or on the computer. My kids stay on the go with various activities, as does my wife (except for her weekly Grey’s Anatomy fix). I suppose this is good, not just for our more intellectual interests, but also because we only get two and a half channels and one and a half of those are PBS.
Still, we do get ABC and we do sometimes watch the local and national news, followed by Pat Sajak and the venerable Wheel of Fortune. The kids do enjoy watching this show, sometimes during dinner, and my eight-year old can usually solve the puzzles before the contestants on the show.
I have noticed a trend during my repeated watching of the show, however. Of the three contestants, there is invariably some attractive female seeking to cram as much money and prize haulage as she can in her fifteen minutes of fame. Thanks to the setup of the show, it seems, this is exactly what happens. I would estimate that the attractive female contestant (or the older of the two, if there are that many on the show) wins four out of five times. It’s as though Pat Sajak is selecting the puzzles himself based on pre-show conversations with the contestants, being sure to say certain phrases with deliberate slowness and volume and winking at the predestined winner. I’m not exactly sure how phrases like “Whistler’s Mother of Pearl” into such a conversation, but there is obviously something fishy going on.
If you need further evidence that Sajak is capable of such misbehavior, listen to the conversations he has with Vanna White after the show as the credits begin to roll. He expresses nothing if not suppressed sexual tension from working with Vanna for so many years, watching her turn those A’s and R’s in her alluring attire. Sajak has a dirty, dirty mind. You have to wonder what he says after the cameras are off.
Sajak (to winning contestant): So, congratulations on winning that trip to Barbados.
Winning contestant: Thank you! I’m so excited.
Sajak: If you need someone to go with you, I look great in a speedo.
So, watch Wheel when you get a chance. If you see a heavy-set, bald guy with thick glasses, you can rest assured that he probably won’t be the one given five consonants and a vowel at the end. At best, he’ll walk away with a few grand from the one lucky toss-up win he had and a hearty handshake. Put your money on the cute brunette on the end, the one who laughs a little too easily at Sajak’s jokes and who always seems to miss landing on Bankrupt.
As for me, give me Wipeout or the like over Wheel. Everyone, regardless of how pretty they were when they started, looks the same covered in mud and shame.