a borderline teacher: Deal Or No Deal

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Deal Or No Deal

It feels good to do this! I haven't updated for so long because I felt afraid and needed space to get my life together after the Therapeutic Community experience. Well, now I have been back on track for some time, I feel it is time to tentatively update my blog.

Updates won't be frequent, I won't go into much detail about what I am doing and I will try to keep the blog as impersonal as possible. Suffice to say that I am in a better place in life now than I was when I last wrote here and a hugely better place than before the TC. I have been reflecting on the TC's influence on me and my recovery and I am convinced it worked for me.

Today's entry is about Deal Or No Deal (aka DOND).

As an alcoholic borderline (albeit recovering from both), it is not strange that I develop obsessions. In the past, these have ranged from imbibing gallons (I don't do metric!) of shloer to the overfrequenting of a certain postgraduate bar. My current obsession is DOND. I cannot live without it. Really! I hate Sundays because they are the depressing day when it isn't on.

I discovered DOND when I was doing supply. I would get home well before 4.15 (the weekday starting time) and flick on the TV. Slowly but surely I found I was making sure I had Channel 4 on by 4.15. When I returned to "proper" teaching I realised I would have to set the video! So I do. Now I have Telewest again, I see that More4 repeat it at 6.10pm. Still not really good enough, as I often don't leave school before 6 and, anyway... videoing it means you can fastforward through the adverts.

If you haven't seen it and have no idea what I am on about, please follow the links. The quickest description I can give is Noel's introduction: "A quarter of a million pounds. 22 identical sealed boxes. And no questions... except one: Deal or No Deal?".

Wikipedia is a good place to find all the facts and fun things about the show. I was especially amused by the following list of show catchphrases:
"Risk, reward and timing." - the three key steps to success in Deal or No Deal, according to Edmonds.
"Blues Cruise" - opening several "blue" numbers in succession.
"You're still obsessed with the reds!"
"The Power Five" - the top 5 sums of money.
"Open the box!" - usually accompanied by a flamboyant gesture.
"The right deal, at the right time!"
"Keep it low, keep it blue."
"Play the money, don't play the game."
"I think you'll be back."
"No! No! No!"
"Let's have a rapid/quick round." [recently, this has become “can I have a quickie please, Noel?”]
"It's your show." - Edmonds likes to emphasise that the player is in total control
"Channel 4 is all yours." - another phrase that Edmonds likes to emphasise that the player is in total control
"We know what we don't want to see!"
"NOT the quarter of a million, NOT the hundred thousand!"
"Did I say break?"
"We do not want to see a quarter of a million in that box."
"That's the safety net gone!" - when the second highest amount left in play is revealed, leaving the largest value exposed.
"We have a one-box game!" - when the safety net has gone; a 'one-box game' means that there is only one prize left worth winning.
"We are now in damage limitation territory."
"The '1p Club'" - Noel's name for the group of 1p winners; presently there are three members: Nick Bain, Trevor Bruce and Fadil Osman.
"Welcome to our unique entertainment drama." - normally used at the beginning of the show
"Good afternoon/evening East Wing. Good afternoon/evening West Wing." - Noel's greeting at the start of the show.
"Some people call it an entertainment drama, some the red box club." - An introduction to the show used frequently by Noel. In fact, Noel himself appears to be the only person who uses either phrase.
"We don't want to see one of the big numbers!"
"Take the Walk of Wealth!" - to selected contestant
"Don't be seduced by the board!"
"This is the best game we have ever had."
"(Name), Welcome to the game!" - Always said to the newest contestant when it is their turn to open their box.
"This could potentially be the highest offer we have ever had!"
"Let's keep it blue, (name)." just before a box is opened.
"I'm calling a break." - Noel has taken to saying this before breaks recently.
"You've got the red mist!"
"It's now all or peanuts" - often said by Noel when it is a "One-box Game"

Contestants have also taken to saying "Ask me the question please, Noel" when they have decided whether or not they are going to deal.

Finally, the two sides the contestants stand on have been nicknamed the "West Wing" and the "East Wing".

It really is the most amazing game and has made me laugh and cry on many occasions. Any good fan will feel tearful when you mention Lucy who, finally making it to the chair on her 50th show, went away with just £5. The infamous 1p club recently got a new member, when poor old Fad took the gamble... and lost. JT’s show and the hokey cokey… as the DONDUK blogspot reminds us:
"Fadil had box 12. JT smiles at him, 'the best man to do the hokey koke in the hotel bar, if its 1p I'll do the hokey cokey myself'. Guess what - 1p - this was just brilliant. JT did a very lonely version of the hokey cokey, with the audience singing the tune."

Kirsty was so close to being the first quarter of a millionaire. I made so much noise when she no dealed with £75k and £250k left that my parents asked me later “how much did they win, then?”

You get to know them. Unlike Weakest Link, in which the players play, leave and are forgotten, in DOND you find out things about them over a period of time and even (dare I say it?) start to think of some of them as friends. It is pure escapism and I was amused recently to read that DOND “is like putting heroin in your remote”.


Blogger cobob said...


Lovely to have you back online. I've missed you! ;)

I too, like you, developed an infatuation for the hirsuite Edmonds and his red boxes of delight. However, I opened all the red boxes of delight in quick succession and now all I can see is the 1p box of Noel's smugness and can't bear it any more. Oh well.

They have DOND in Canada, funnily enough, but it's a completely different beast. As it's an American show, of course they have to do DOND BBMV (Bigger, 'Better' and More Vulgar). I've only caught one episode, but it seems to me they've recruited all the auditionees for America's Next Top Model to open the 'cases'. It really is quite sick-making to watch.


Anyway, really glad you're doing so well! And nice to know my persistence in checking your blog has paid off. I knew that wasn't the last we'd see of you... ;)

Welcome back.

6:48 pm  
Blogger mayhemcontinues said...

thanx for updating. its great to hear life is still survivable. ireally hope things ARE better for u now.

1:17 am  
Blogger Lis said...

Welcome back to blogworld Cat and great to see a post about DOND. Glad someone finds it utterly addictive, everyone seems to think I'm a bit weird for liking it so much.

Have to say I quite like the sadistic element of it (i.e. seeing people deal/not deal too early or late and losing lots of money) but only if I'm feeling miserable myself. I think it makes me feel better, in a warped way, that someone just lost say 75K. I think that's just me though.

L x

8:47 am  
Blogger R said...

Nice to have you back Cat, I've missed your blog.

I have fallen out with DOND, it's far too "American" in my opinion, and just irritates me...!!

Glad to hear you're well though


9:03 pm  
Blogger kate said...

Glad you are back too :) Hey I am american !!!

4:58 pm  
Blogger R said...

No offence meant :-P

it's just the audience participation, the big reactions, the applause to absolutely everything that happens, the other contestants holding hands etc... Overall, it's a good show though!!!

It's been the butt of a few jokes in my house though:

Do you think when comedian Frank Skinner had been offered a solo contract, that he asked himself: "Baddiel or no Baddiel?"

;-) they get worse

9:55 pm  
Blogger Polar Bear said...

Good to see you back. Hope you update again soon.

5:19 am  

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