I Feel Betrayed by the Feud

Friday, September 1, 2006 at 9:22 AM | Filed under ,

I'm watching Family Feud right now, and I must say that something I just saw shocked and disappointed me. The question Richard Karn asked the contestants was, "Name who comes out on top in a divorce: the husband, the wife, or the lawyer?" Now, isn't there something fundamentally wrong with asking a multiple-choice question in this show? It ruins the free association that the show is so famous for. You never know what the survey may have said! But when the show forces options on the survey, isn't it kinda pointless?

Now, this was during the sudden death round, so it's not like all three choices were on the board. Only lawyer was up there (with 77 points), but still, the question wasn't very fair, and this was to decide the game, too. Poor Mary Beth buzzed in early, and said what I bet most of the survey would have said without the choices: "the wife." But that was wrong. Then Karn read the question in its entirity, including the choices.

After the other contestant got it right, Karn aplogized to the losing team, saying that it was really a "trick question"—is it the aim of Family Feud to trick its contestants? The game's about racking your brain to think about what other people think of, not to determine whether the show is going to try to trick you. Should Mary Beth have expected the survey to say lawyer? When I think of a divorce, I usually think of the couple splitting up, not about the lawyer getting involved. If anything, Karn should have read the choices in advance instead of trying to trick the contestants.

On a slightly different topic, those of you who watch the Feud regularly know that Richard Karn—mainly known for his role of Al on Home Improvement—is going to replaced by John O'Hurley on September 11—in ten days. This is too bad, because Karn is really the best guy for a show like this. I hope O'Hurley is dignified about the game, though, like he was with To Tell the Truth.


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