It's supposed to be one of the best game shows on television.
The Emmys certainly think so - if I have my information right, it's been nominated for best game show at the Daytime ceremony every year since it began (in 2005). I've heard many, many people talk about this show - and I had never watched it, until today. That's right, I'm talking about...Cash Cab! I don't know what show you thought I meant.
Cash Cab is an interesting idea, to say the least - a game show filmed in a New York taxicab, with contestants who don't know they're on a game show until they get in the cab and are told such. Once that happens, host\driver Ben Bailey asks four questions worth $50, four worth $100, and if there's time for any questions after that before arriving at the contestant\passenger's destination, those questions are worth $200. Every wrong answer gets a strike, and three strikes means the contestant not only goes home with nothing, but must get out of the cab immediately, where ever it might be at the moment. To help the contestant, there are two shout-outs - mobile shout-out (Phone A Friend) and street shout-out (a bit more interesting - the contestant can pull over and enlist the help of whoever is nearby.) If the contestant makes it to his\her destination, he\she is offered the chance to go double or nothing on one final question, without the use of shout-outs.
Sounds like fun, right? Well...I don't know, it just seems like a one-joke show to me, more suited for a ten-minute segment on another show than a show of its own. There's no game mechanic here that hasn't been done before, and the novelty of it all taking place in a moving taxicab quickly wears off. Ben, while certainly deserving credit for hosting a game show while driving a taxicab, isn't particularly enthralling either, and the music is pretty bland. As I said, it might have worked as a segment in another show, but there are three games in a half hour episode and the Discovery Channel (yes, this show is on the Discovery Channel) frequently shows four episodes in a row. For the record, I gave up after two.
What...you thought I was about to rate the set of Cash Cab? You must be out of your mind.