Perfect Bid (2017) – A Review
Come on down!
The Price Is Right has been one of the longest, most beloved game shows in history. It gained loyal viewers thanks to charismatic host Bob Barker, his group of lovely models famously dubbed ‘Barker’s Beauties’ and the chance for contestants to win money and prizes by just knowing the prices of everyday items.
One passionate fan took his love for the game show to a whole other level. Ted Slauson, a math teacher from Texas, loved The Price Is Right so much, he spent his time memorizing prices of the prizes through the years. His incredible knowledge became a real asset when he finally got his chance to be a contestant on the show.
It would also get him embroiled in some controversy leaving some to question – is it possible someone could be so precise with their pricing answers?
The Perfect Bid: The Contestant Who Knew Too Much is quite an engaging documentary. It’s not a big, all-important story about a major topic or event. It’s a relatively small tale about a game show fan, how it became his passion and his story of how he finally ended up standing alongside Bob Barker.
It’s a very well put together film. Director C.J. Wallis crafts a compelling tale of Slauson. We’re introduced to this average man who takes his fandom for The Price Is Right to pretty extreme levels – making endless lists of prices, memorizing them, creating computer programs of to test his pricing knowledge.
Admittedly, it does seem Slauson gets obsessed, but gradually you begin to admire his dedication and love for the show and want to find out where his story is going to go. You admire his persistence of attending many, many tapings of the show and never getting chosen to play the game he loves so much. You start to root for this guy!
The film takes us on his journey in a very satisfying way. Of course we hear Slauson describing the events and his story, and it’s complimented by footage of his appearance on the show, along with some wonderfully fun graphics and animation that help illustrate his tale.
For lovers of the Price Is Right the film also includes some of its history and insights by longtime producer Roger Dobkowitz and host Barker. Dobkowitz is particularly an entertaining presence as he describes his career and what went into making the show.
After Barker retires and Drew Carey was handed Barker’s really long microphone as the new host, there was almost a redemptive second act for Slauson being on the show. Unfortunately, it turned more disastrous than triumphant. That was a portion of the story I wasn’t aware (despite it being scandalous situation and making the news). It is an interesting ending for Slauson and The Price Is Right.
It might have been a dark mark for the show, but it certainly proved Slauson’s memorization and obsession studying prices paid off in a way. There is no arguing his last price guess wasn’t right. (I’m purposely avoiding going into any further detail about it, so as not to spoil things in case you’re like me and you’re unfamiliar with what transpired.)
This was a film I happened to stumble onto and decided to take a chance on it – and I am very glad I did. It’s not long, a bit over an hour, but it packs a lot of information in its time and ends up being a very entertaining and captivating tale of a man, a game show and the lengths it drove him to to get as good at it as he could.