Come on Down!
America is on shaky ground these days. Ron DeSantis won’t let Floridians say gay. Congress is filled with corrupt, lying, cheating, racist homophobes like Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Madison Cawthorne, and Matt Gaetz. And what’s worse is there are no repercussions for their actions. Tucker Carlson is the number one news show nightly.
Biden is doing a stand-up job, probably the best job of any president in recent memory, yet half of America refuses to acknowledge it. Recently a dozen people were shot by a madman in the Brooklyn subway. As I write this, there have been 145 mass shootings in the USA—THIS YEAR. And it’s only April. Yes, things are pretty bad right now.
I will admit watching the news endlessly only depresses and stresses me out. I try to limit my news to Good Morning America and The View. Friends love to tell me those are “not news shows,” lol. These are the same friends who watch CNN and MSN on an endless loop. Every time I stop over at their apartment there is always news on. Hours and hours of pundits giving their opinions on whatever topic is being discussed. To each their own, but for me, my television viewing needs to be light and fun. Emily in Paris, Bridgerton, The Other Two—you get the gist. Throw in some reality TV—Survivor, Project Runway, Top Chef—and game shows.
Truth be told, I am very competitive. Love a good game night with friends. Cards Against Humanity. Taboo. Also love competing in 5k races, and obstacle course races. Not to toot our own horns, but my friend Noah and I placed second in the SunFestival Cornhole Tournament last year, and almost took the crown!
I have always loved game shows: Wheel of Fortune, $100,000 Pyramid. But the one that constantly fills me with joy and makes me smile endlessly for an hour is The Price Is Right. For me, The Price Is Right represents the America we strive to be.
First and foremost, anyone and everyone can participate. Older, younger, middle-aged, white, Black, Latin, gay, straight, trans, Muslim, Jewish, overweight, skinny, blonde, brunette, smart, dumb. The audience looks like a melting pot of every type of American in our great country. The inclusivity of The Price Is Right is the goal America should be working toward.
Taking the inclusivity a step forward, no longer are the models all female. TPIR has vaulted into the 21st century and employs two gorgeous male models to show off the luxurious prizes. There is a rotating cast of six models, two male and four female. Manuela was born in Colombia and she is stunning. James hails from Australia, and if he wasn’t straight and married, would be the man of my dreams—he is that hot. Devin, an African-American hunk, played college football, and Amber was a former Miss Washington Teen USA. Each of them is likable, personable, and interacts with host Drew Carey throughout the show. Again, the representation and inclusivity in this hour are hard to top.
Next, you would be hard-pressed to find a more joyful, exuberant, happy group of people. I mean why wouldn’t you be—you have the chance to win pretty amazing prizes: trips, cars, boats, cash. Even better—the entire audience cheers for everyone. High fives happen regularly, with strangers cheering on other strangers.
You get outbid in contestant’s row (aka bidder’s row) by a dollar? Yeah, that sucks, but it’s the name of the game.
Even the games themselves inspire raucous applause. Raising the curtain to see the beloved Plinko board? You would think Lady Gaga just walked out on the stage. The Mountain Climber is also a much-loved favorite. My favorite games are Ten Chances, the Clock Game, and the Race Game.
I love going on a cruise or group trip where we have matching shirts celebrating a birthday or a hometown. Last Atlantis Cruise for the white party, 12 of us wore our homemade “I LOVE NY” shirts.
That being said, the group/matching t-shirts in TPIR audience give me life! Some homemade, some bought from the show store. (Drew is not a fan of the t-shirts with his face plastered all over them.) Popular ones include “I called in sick to work to come on TPIR,” or “I am ready to COME ON DOWN.”
Jack MacFarland in an episode of Will and Grace suggested a game show for the new all-gay network he started working at: The Price Is Right AND GAY! Perfect for my t-shirt when I am called down to contestant’s row.
If you are looking for an hour of non-stop joy and happiness, give The Price is Right a try. You won’t be disappointed. COME ON DOWN, Letters from CAMP Rehoboth! ▼
Robert Dominic splits his time between Brooklyn and Rehoboth Beach. He writes for publications including Instinct Magazine and his own blog, The Gays of Our Lives.