Every once in a while, a program on regular commercial television leaves me feeling better—really better—than I did before I sat down to rest my weary bones. I had one of these moments tonight watching ABC’s “You Deserve It.”
It is a brilliant concept—think “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” meets “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” Regular viewers apply to come on the game show to play for prize money, not for themselves, but on behalf of a loved one who really deserves it. The show’s host is Chris Harrison, the soft-spoken host of the wildly popular Bachelor/Bachelorette reality shows. Tonight’s program featured Stacey who joined the show to win money for her lifelong friend Michelle who recently lost her beloved husband, the father of their two young daughters, in a scuba accident.
The “game” is simple (along the lines of 20 questions), but challenging enough to generate some good adrenaline. Meanwhile, Michelle is being secretly taped in a remote location, unaware of the attention being showered on her. “You Deserve it” climaxes with Stacey accumulating more than $100,000 for her friend’s nest egg, which will provide for things like basic health insurance for her family (they are obviously part of the 99 percent). And for the finale, Brooke Burns, the cohost, swoops in to make the announcement to our unsuspecting Mom, being videotaped off-site. Awesome.
Some may find it schmalzy, but I love this stuff. As we ramp up for the ever-more outrageous Black Friday (which has now become Black Thanksgiving Night), it sure is nice to see a real act of thanksgiving and charity. If you want to apply to be on the program, here’s the link!