Last night, the first of what I really hope to be the last episode of The Goodwin Games premiered and it was so blah. So, so very blah. And I don’t mind wasting my next 11:11 wish on hoping that this show ends because it feels like that’s where it’s headed, anyway; everything that you can reasonably expect from a show that turns out to be successful is missing from this show and you can already sense it in the first episode.
The idea of the show is that three siblings who are all polar opposites of one another (can you have three poles? I don’t think so, but whatever) are forced to return to their hometown after their father dies. They’re actually forced because, as it turns out, none of them had any interest in attending his funeral. I should note that when setting up a show that you hope to be long-term, it would probably be in everyone’s best interest to include at least one likeable character. But, unfortunately, it was clear that that wouldn’t be the case when we were introduced to Insufferable #1, #2 and #3. I’m sure that they had proper names but I was so annoyed by them that I didn’t even want to know them. But in case you do, they’re Chloe, Jimmy, and Henry. Also worth noting is that the original Jimmy (the one in the photo) was replaced with the blonde curly-haired guy who is sometimes on the roundtable at Chelsea Lately and now I can’t help but wonder if Original Jimmy would’ve been less irritating.
Once they’re home and get all of that pesky death stuff out of the way, they find out that their dad has left them an inheritance of $23 million. And now the real games begin. No, really, the actual board games must begin in order for them to receive the inheritance. They discover this ridiculous fact after speaking to the controller of their dad’s estate, otherwise known as the controller of their future finances, plans, and probably happiness. No big deal, those are completely appropriate stakes to leave up to the outcome of board games. Wait…it really is not. I realize that TV that’s identical to real life isn’t any fun but my disbelief is only so flexible and refuses to suspend as far as this show needs. My disbelief is so stubborn, ugh.
This show also plays out like an idea that the show’s creator had in the middle of the night, quickly typed out in the notes on his iPhone and then couldn’t understand his own ramblings in the morning but just went with it, anyway. It just doesn’t feel very well-thought out. There’s even one character who gets about 6 minutes screen time before he’s awarded $1 million and is sent on his way. But I mean, in that 6 minutes, he happens to deliver the most classic line spoken in every competition since the early 00′s: “I’m not here to make friends, I’m here to win.” (!!!!) This show is actually scarily similar to America’s Next Top Model but instead of receiving “Tyra Mail!!” in their awesome loft, the siblings are forced to watch videos of the ramblings of their deceased dad for clues. It all feels morbid and creepy. Like, I can’t express that enough, how creepy the video thing was. Did they all forget that they were watching their dad who had suspected he was going to die and therefore made these videos juuust before that happened?? Also, I kept trying to figure out why no one was mourning even a little bit –and therefore, saddened by these videos– until I realized that all three of them are unlikeable and only care about their dad’s money. Ahh, that’s right.
It ends with them finally finishing a game of Trivial Pursuit (which I’m pretty sure no one has ever done before) and receiving a video clue from their dad telling them that in order to continue playing his postmortem game of torture, they’d have to move back to their hometown and into their childhood home. Hehehe, I’m just so excited for all of their funny antics like putting shaving cream on the hand of the first person to fall asleep and tickling them until they smack themselves with it. Oh, the possibilities are endless!
But they actually are not endless and that’s the biggest problem. I feel very strongly that this show is going to get repetitive and not in the comforting and familiar way. I mean repetitive as in I probably just successfully predicted the next episode of this show, which, even though I consider myself a very skilled watcher of television, is a little sad. Maybe if they had just made this into a movie instead (I’m thinking something like a less horrifying Jumanji), I wouldn’t have hated it. But they didn’t and I do.