What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there's very little iffy content in this family-friendly game show. Contestants are eager to win and get prizes (which are mentioned by name and therefore serve as promotion for the companies that supply them), but that's to be expected. The spokesmodel co-host doesn't seem to have much to do besides stand around and look good, but she's not as sexed up as the women on shows like Deal or No Deal. There's a strong home-play component, with viewers encouraged to print out traditional Bingo cards and mark out the numbers as the balls come out of the machine.
What's the story?
BINGO AMERICA is a classic quiz show that has a lot in common with the version of the game played at Bingo parlors and church fundraisers all over the country: Balls come out of a machine, and players use the letters marked on them to spell out \"Bingo\" and win. The big difference in the TV version is that instead of marking a card according to the letter and number on the ball, contestants answer questions to win the letter printed on the ball and eventually spell \"Bingo\"; the numbers on the ball are added to the cash prize bank. The show's play-along element is more traditional; viewers at home print out cards from the show's site -- if you get a Bingo, you go back to the site to claim a prize.
Is it any good?
Bingo America is a pretty basic quiz show, but it's fun in the way that most similar shows are -- especially since it has the play-along angle. No, this isn't Jeopardy!-level trivia. The questions are pretty straightforward, although they do get harder as the game progresses. But there are always also a couple of questions that even a young child can answer -- such as "name the marble-munching African animal from the children's game" (answer, the hippo). And that helps make it fun for viewers of all ages.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about why companies would want to supply prizes for game shows. What benefits to they get from having their products shown on TV? How is this different than paid product placement on other shows? Families can also discuss the appeal of game shows. Why do people enjoy watching them? Can you learn anything from them, or is it just undemanding fun? Is it more entertaining to see contestants win or lose? Why?