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Set for Life
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game show features the greed that's standard for the genre -- contestants jump up and down with enthusiasm each time they win another chunk of money. And in one episode, the host asks a contestant's 4-year-old nephew what he wants his uncle to buy him with all the money he wins.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, SET FOR LIFE is a game of chance. Fifteen cylinders rise from the ground on the stage. Four of them contain hidden red lights, and the other 11 contain white lights. For each white light contestants select, they win more money. For each red, they lose money. The twist is that the contestant's friend or family member acts as a "guardian angel" and -- from within a soundproof booth -- decides when the contestant should stop the game. So while contestants may take risks in order to win big, they and the viewers don't know whether the game has already been ended by the angel in the booth until the very end. The amount that contestants plays for is determined prior to the show (in a "qualifying round"). For each white light, the prize increases from one month's pay, to six months' pay, and upward to the final goal of "set for life" (up to 40 years).
Is it any good?
Set for Life has got to be one of the dumbest game shows ever. It involves no skill and only the very slightest common sense. In fact, in the first episode, the game was played with mastery by a 4-year-old (though the kid's uncle did the actual physical maneuvering). So the only test of skill is the contestant's ability to figure out basic probabilities, though Kimmel frequently does the simple math himself ("You've got a two in five chance of winning").
The show is pure chance, and frankly, not very interesting, unless you find the adrenaline-induced shenanigans the contestants partake in particularly fascinating. Aside from the standard game show greed, there's nothing in Set for Life that parents need to worry about, except for its utter inanity.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about games of chance. What's appealing about these types of games? Do your prefer playing and/or watching games of skill or games of chance? Do viewers have a favorite game show? If so, what do you like about it? Can you learn anything from game shows, or is it just undemanding fun? Is it more entertaining to see contestants win or lose? Why?