Please don’t make me watch Affari tuoi anymore
One of the most irritating things about living in Italy is having to pay for the so-called abbonamento RAI, the obbligatory and expensive television licence. It’s not just that the programmes are bad (and they are) but there’s so little value for money. There are very few original programmes for children, the rare examples of cultural programming are put on after midnight in August, and the three networks are dominated by inane shows with dancing girls and screaming C-list celebrities.
Another example of RAI entertainment I can do without is Affari tuoi, the Italian equivalent of Deal or No Deal. Like such classics as Grande fratello, Isola dei famosi, and La talpa, it’s a format our creatively challenged pals from RAI have bought from abroad and then left to fester and putrefy on air over a number of years.
For those of you who are lucky enough not to have seen it, Affari tuoi is a quiz show without the quiz. They open the boxes and people win money, without having to demonstrate any personal ability or knowledge. The sole challenge the contestants face is whether to keep the package up until the end of the programme, when they win the value of the contents, or exchange it for a cash offer along the way.
To keep it interesting, since it’s not their money, the producers continue to raise the levels of the prizes. But even winning €500,000 has got boring, since it’s on 7 nights a week. So they try and garnish the stale entertainment with ever more absurd antics from the hosts and contestants.
The only time Affari tuoi is entertaining is when the contestants take the first decent offer to give up their package. Instead of handing over the prize and calling in a new contestant, the hosts recriminate with the person who has taken the early offer for an half hour or so. From what I’ve gathered, however, the best strategy is to accept the offer, even though (or because) it destroys what little entertainment value the show had.