The new TV show, The Chamber
January 12, 2002 4:26 PM   Subscribe

The new TV show, The Chamber "involves contestants who vie for a chance to enter a torture chamber. The winner is strapped into a chair in the chamber and must answer game show questions while enduring such torments as 100 mph winds, earthquake simulations and extreme heat, Fox Entertainment President Gail Berman told reporters today."
    Is there any depth to which Fox won't stoop? It premieres tomorrow night.
posted by Steven Den Beste (37 comments total)
 
These are desperate times.
posted by fleener at 4:34 PM on January 12, 2002


"enduring such torments as 100 mph winds, earthquake simulations and extreme heat"

and how would that be worse than being four feet away from Regis?
posted by machaus at 4:44 PM on January 12, 2002


Just sounds like they're continuing to steal from Japanese TV to me.
posted by elfgirl at 4:49 PM on January 12, 2002


Coming soon to fox:
"The SUPERDEATHHURTKILLSTABSTABSTAB Room". Contestants are beated stabbed and gennerally brutalized until they are dead.
In other news, we are catching up with the Japanese in the fucked-up-show contest that seems to have started.
posted by fuq at 4:49 PM on January 12, 2002


I say toss them into a pit with Carrot Top, Dennis Miller, Adam Sandler, Jerry Lewis, Robin Williams, Christina Aguelrirlaala, the Pepsi girl, Kato Kalin, and Rick Rockwell. Now that's entertainment!
posted by Mach3avelli at 4:54 PM on January 12, 2002


Is there any depth to which Fox won't stoop?

Well, the entertainment division is currently being out-buffooned by the News division. This may swing the balance back, however briefly. Either way, I enjoy watching morons degrade themselves for money, so I have no problem with it.
posted by Optamystic at 4:59 PM on January 12, 2002


I go into a torture chamger, get strapped down and am subject to all sorts of abuse. It is called D/S.
posted by Postroad at 5:04 PM on January 12, 2002


Is there any depth to which Fox won't stoop?

No.
posted by phalkin at 5:06 PM on January 12, 2002


anyone read all the way to the end? Ben Stein gave Arianna Huffington the finger on CNN's Talkback Live.

"CNN does not condone Mr. Stein's gesture."

Ha!

*gives CNN the finger*

The funny thing is tomorrow night at 8 pm there will be an eerie silence on MeFi as you all tune in to watch.
posted by David Dark at 5:14 PM on January 12, 2002


Y'know I'll give you 2-to-1 odds that during this show or "Fear Factor" or "Survivor:Tora Bora"(I can dream, can't I?) some contestant is going to die. I mean, that is the logical conclusion of all this insanity, isn't it. But judging by the people I've seen on the abovementioned shows so far, we may be doing the gene pool a favor. Natural selection for the digital age, I guess.
posted by jonmc at 5:25 PM on January 12, 2002


Wow, this sounds identical to ABC's The Chair.
posted by noisemartyr at 5:46 PM on January 12, 2002


Is there any depth to which Fox won't stoop?

Well, I will ignore that this is just Fox-bashing, but this is hardly a Fox-centric problem. ABC is bringing us "The Chair" as stated above... we just endured Survivor 3, Weakest Link is on every weeknight now in syndication, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire won't die, Touched By An Angel is still running, and most of these are just copies of British and Japanese shows...

Fox really hasn't done anything out of the ordinary.
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 6:46 PM on January 12, 2002


according to reports, who wants to be a millionaire? has actually wrapped up filming of prime-time episodes. so maybe it will die (or just move into syndication).
posted by jimw at 6:55 PM on January 12, 2002


The correct gripe is: is there any depth the American public won't stoop to?
posted by five fresh fish at 7:00 PM on January 12, 2002


"You will never go broke appealing to the lowest common denominator."
- Lisa Simpson
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 7:15 PM on January 12, 2002


People are dumb.
posted by FunkyHelix at 7:24 PM on January 12, 2002


But dumb people are funny.
Especially when we get to watch them be dumb.
posted by Grum at 7:43 PM on January 12, 2002


> The funny thing is tomorrow night at 8 pm there will be an eerie silence on MeFi as you all tune in to watch.

Join me Dark, lets watch and comment while it's live

On second thoughts, I just don't think I can sit thru it...[runs to remote...]
posted by bittennails at 7:49 PM on January 12, 2002


The funny thing is tomorrow night at 8 pm there will be an eerie silence on MeFi as you all tune in to watch.

You are so wrong. Many of us have TiVos.
posted by Dirjy at 8:05 PM on January 12, 2002


Great. I've been waiting for someone to see the game-show potential of Milgram's obedience experiments.
posted by NortonDC at 10:15 PM on January 12, 2002


Sounds lame. I'm sure it'll be a huge success.
posted by fakenamex at 10:21 PM on January 12, 2002


I'll be watching. But then again, I tuned in for all of Murder In Small Town X. What a piece of poo.
posted by noisemartyr at 1:37 AM on January 13, 2002


I wonder though. Is watching people be degraded all that exciting? I mean, without some sort of hook. Wouldn't it just be boring after a while?
posted by davidgentle at 9:22 AM on January 13, 2002


I wasn't clear in the above post. What I mean is: are TV companies being driven to more extreme forms of TV torture by the false idea that watching humans suffer is interesting?
posted by davidgentle at 9:26 AM on January 13, 2002


Forced to sit in a chair and endure unbearable tortures...wait, are those the contestants or the viewers?
posted by gimonca at 10:11 AM on January 13, 2002


What I mean is: are TV companies being driven to more extreme forms of TV torture by the false idea that watching humans suffer is interesting?

TV Companies are being driven to whatever they do by ratings which determine advertising rates.

Bottom line is: They make it because we* watch it. If feature length tele-movies of compassion and love rated as well and suffering and torment, that would be what we watched in our primetime lineup.

As a sad aside, the show 'The Chair' was developed by New Zealand production company Touchdown (you ought to see the crap they make for the domestic market) - NZ also has one of the best documentary film units in the world (Natural History NZ) but you don't their stuff at 8pm on Friday nights. Yey for us (NZ).

* By 'we' I mean television audiences as a whole, you and I of course only watch Discovery and CNN - or something.
posted by sycophant at 5:38 PM on January 13, 2002


Still waiting for Richard Dawson to sign on for "The Running Man". This one gets pretty close.
posted by briank at 5:48 PM on January 13, 2002


such torments as 100 mph winds, earthquake simulations and extreme heat

... "and pilot episodes of new Fox programs," Harry Shearer said on "Le Show" today. He also said, seriously, that ABC and Fox were suing each other over "The Chamber" and "The Chair." One of them is accusing the other of stealing the idea, and the other one is accusing the first one of stealing a key employee. Gawd.
posted by diddlegnome at 6:04 PM on January 13, 2002


Harry Shearer is a god. Plus, he gets to boink Jamie Lee Curtis.

He's right, though. Every time I go up or down the dial, I try to telepathically urge the remote to go faster when I get near Fox. I feel ritually unclean if the remote craps out and leaves me stuck on their channel for more than a second.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:36 PM on January 13, 2002


Harry Shearer is a god. Plus, he gets to boink Jamie Lee Curtis.

If there's any boinking of Jamie Lee to be done, it's Christopher Guest doin' it.
posted by KLAX at 6:55 PM on January 13, 2002


So Mr. Crash just got the wrong Spinal Tap member (ahem). An understandable mistake.
posted by diddlegnome at 7:25 PM on January 13, 2002


This is what I get for not reading the linked article before posting myself. The WashPost story, I just discovered, leads with the suit Mr. Shearer discussed today. Sorry 'bout that.
posted by diddlegnome at 7:51 PM on January 13, 2002


"You will never go broke appealing to the lowest common denominator."
- Lisa Simpson


Mencken never gets any credit anymore.
posted by norm at 9:49 PM on January 13, 2002


I am stuck in Bakersfield, California on a business trip and was mindless surfing the TV last night (as one is wont to do on a business trip to this dump) and had the misfortune to run across this show. I watched it, out of sheer disgust, for a whole 5 minutes (about how long the woman lasted in...THE CHAMBER...)before turning off the TV completely in disgust.
The.Dumbest.Show.Ever.
posted by aacheson at 9:46 AM on January 14, 2002


The show was (predictably) awful. Not even the schadenfreude made it worthwhile. Unlike Celebrity Fear Factor, where I got to see Donnie Osmond covered in scorpions and millipedes (too bad they weren't the incredibly poisonous agonizingly-slow-death type). Now that was TV worth watching.
Next on Fox: live naked executions.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:41 AM on January 14, 2002


You will never go broke appealing to the lowest common denominator."
- Lisa Simpson


"Oh my! Fox turned into a porno channel so gradually, I never even noticed." - Marge Simpson
posted by quonsar at 4:11 PM on January 14, 2002


Here's the saddest part:

Seeing the "guests" of the show interviewed on Good Morning America or some other crap morning bit. This is almost as annoying as the "analysis" of the Survivor shows once they are completed.

Indeed, Running Man and other Sci-Fi stories have presaged this stuff for decades.
posted by 4midori at 10:36 AM on January 15, 2002


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