I got a call around 1AM in the morning a couple weeks ago from an inebriated friend in D.C.
Friend: “Dude (screaming into the phone over loud bar noise), what’s the name of that [buxom] (he used a different adjective) French maid in the move version of Clue?”
Me: “Actor or character name?” (Full Disclosure: I know everything about the move version of Clue.)
Friend: “Dude!! Just tell me wtf her name is!!!
Friend: “Yvette!” (Screaming excitedly. The receiver picks up another chorus of “Yvette!” in the background, and my friend abruptly hangs up.)
I thought the interaction was a product of typical bar banter, but it could’ve very well been part of a pilot for Buzzed, an upcoming, first of its kind, “TV-style game show” produced specifically for the web.
Variety reports that video-sharing site, Metacafe is teaming up with television production company, Endemol to create between 20 to 30 two-minute episodes of the show to launch in the spring. It will feature (drunk) bar and club goers as contestants on a trivia game where real money is at stake. In a play on “lifelines,” if a particular question surpasses a participant’s cloudy cognitive skills, he or she can “drunk dial” a clearer-minded friend for an answer.
No, it’s not classy and it’s nothing revolutionary. It’s Girls Gone Wild meets Cash Cab on the web instead of your TV. But so what?
Metacafe is no fractacular, testosterone-fueled Break.com, but it isn’t exactly the purveyor of high internet cinema. It does have the Steven Boncho produced, personal storytelling series, Cafe Confidential (Tilzy.TV page), but just a glance at its top channels will tell you what type of content runs rampant on the site (Hint: It has a lot in common with Yvettte from the movie version of Clue). I would put Endemol productions – including Deal or No Deal on old TV, and Joe Cartoon and the upcoming Gap Year on new TV– in the same category.
The majority of this stuff isn’t for cinephiles or film students. It’s specifically made to target teenagers; a market that’s already getting its entertainment kicks online. And if edited well, this new Buzzed might just be entertaining enough for older demos to tune in, too.
It’d be nice if everything created for the web used the tools of the medium to their fullest capabilities, but not everything has to. New media companies can still be entertaining when performing old tricks.