Kudos to the evil entertainment industry genius who successfully pitched the “extreme musical chairs” show “Oh Sit!” to The CW. Clearly, the man could sell ice to the Inupiaq. “Oh Sit!” may be the dumbest idea the idiot box has ever embraced—and this is a medium that aired “My Mother the Car” and “Homeboys in Outer Space.” Why, just last week, it seemed like “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” would be the pop cultural nadir of the decade. “Oh Sit!” easily limbos under that low-water mark.
In theory, “Oh Sit!” is “high-stakes, high-octane” musical chairs. Helmet-
Despite exuding the faint odor of other great, chair-based TV shows—NBC’s “The Voice,” ABC’s “The Chair”—the musical chairs aspect of “Oh Sit!” is relatively minor. It’s an obstacle course competition, pure and simple. The weird part is there don’t seem to be any rules. Competitors are encouraged to bump, jostle, push, hit, trip or even kick one another out of the way. As a result, female contestants get rather manhandled on the course. Get a few roller derby chicks on the show, and it will balance out right quick—but for now, the show’s faintly abusive nature makes it uncomfortable to watch sometimes.
Mitigating the fact that burly marines have a major advantage over reedy computer programmers is the fact that each of the chairs is assigned a random monetary value—from $0 to $10,000. You could do terrible on the obstacle course and sit in a chair worth five digits or you could do excellent on the obstacle course and sit in a chair worth nothing. So ... basically it doesn’t matter how well you perform on the show. It’s mostly dumb luck.
“Oh Sit!” seems tailor made for tired, brain-dead-from-work Americans who shun clever game shows like “Jeopardy” in favor of “I could do that!” fare like “Deal or No Deal.” (“Pick a number between 1 and 26. ... You lose!”) At the end of the day, though, “Oh Sit!” doesn’t try very hard. The obstacles are generic, the music sucks, the contestants are boring, and the hosts (some MTV Canada gal named Jessi Cruickshank and Jamie Kennedy, reminding us why he’s no longer on anybody’s comedy radar) are as colorless as possible. Go ahead and sit this one out.