Suggesting something designed for people whose daily Twitter dives are way less automatically traumatic than ours, TBS released a trailer for its new game show The Misery Index tonight, inviting us all to contemplate the worst shit imaginable (that isn’t modern-day American politics). Hosted by The Good Place’s Jameela Jamil—putting her inherent delightfulness to what seems like the ultimate test—the series asks contestants to watch videos and news stories about the biggest bummers available, and then rate them against a psychologist-designed hierarchy of human unhappiness. Also, those wacky Impractical Jokers guys are there!
TBS is billing the series as “the only game show where contestants can make a fortune out of other people’s mis-fortune,” having apparently lifted its tagline wholesale from our old pal, capitalism. (Or our short-lived, extremely mean-spirited quiz program, Jeopardy!, But All Of The Questions Are About Gregs’ Parent’s Divorce.) From the trailer, the idea of the series is presumably to find the shared, communal cringe comedy in reading about ironic self-mutilations or watching a spider noooooooooooooooope out of its home in some poor, hapless dude’s ear. In practice, though, it mostly just seems to be a catalog of shitty stuff, and, again, we already have social media for that, so back off, game shows. (Even though there is a lot of shit we’d put up with to watch Jamil cheerfully crack some jokes.) And of course, it’s possible that this brief trailer doesn’t give a fully indicative look at the show. We might have to take a closer look when The Misery Index debuts on TBS on October 22.