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Series / Peer Pressure

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The Peer Pressure game board. Or -BLANK- Pressure if you're watching season 3.

Syndicated teen-oriented Game Show where, in the grand tradition of Video Village and The Mad Dash, three teenagers played a life-sized board game hoping to win prizes. Players consulted the Magic 8-Ball to learn their category (and in the case of 2 of them, how many moves they could earn), of which there were four in all:

  • Decision - correctly guess how a jury of audience members (the Peer Group) will appraise An Aesop, often involving peer pressure
  • Odd Job - a physical challenge.
  • Fast Track - a tougher physical challenge worth eight spaces.
  • Temptation - take a prize and move back two spaces, or pass to advance two.

Failure resulted in going back two spaces. Much like an actual board game, there were also bonus spaces that made the player go back or forward additional spaces. After every cycle of players was a "Pop Quiz" question, which was worth three spaces (and required running to the buzzer).

At the end of the game, the top two contestants advanced to the Pressure Cooker Bonus Round (which was basically a first-to-three version of the Decision questions), while the last-place finisher had to give out food to the Studio Audience as a comedy forfeit.

Peer Pressure ran for three seasons from 1997-2000. Well, sort of:

  • The "second" season was just repackaged reruns of the first, with a slew of edits to disguise the fact. The Magic 8-Ball was edited out (most likely for trademark reasons) and replaced by a generic set of category graphics, Nick's introduction of Valarie at the start of the show was cut, Valarie's reading of the Decision questions were replaced by pre-taped clips of random kids asking the same questions, and there was now Pop-Up Trivia scattered throughout. The episodes also all got a new set of credits, removing the Tyco plug and switching the copyright date to 1998. We'd say it was Edited for Syndication, if it wasn't already syndicated to begin with...
  • The "third" season was the same repackaged reruns with even more obtrusive editing. The show was renamed Pressure 2 to go along with an In Name Only Spin-Off called Pressure 1, the category graphics were replaced by ones that matched the new logo, and every use of the word "Peer" when referring to the title on-air was awkwardly blanked out, rendering the title of the show as "[Beat] Pressure". While all instances of the original logo graphic were covered up with the new one, no effort was made to blank out the prominent physical Peer Pressure logos on the set. Oddly, the 1998 copyright date was retained.

Game Show Tropes in use:

  • Bonus Round: Pressure Cooker, a race to get three more "Decisions" right to win a bonus prize. The audience was divided between the two players to serve as their Peer Group for the questions.
  • Personnel:

This series provides examples of:

  • Clumsy Copyright Censorship: Getting rid of the Magic 8-Ball and replacing it with generic category graphics out of nowhere for "season 2". The Tyco credit was removed from the credits as well.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The category graphics for season 2 only; Decision was written in black text, Odd Job was blue, Temptation was red, and Fast Track was purple.
  • Pop-Up Trivia: Introduced in "season 2" and carrying over to the Pressure 2 third season. They'd explain how certain stunts were pulled off, reveal behind-the-scenes tidbits, and dispense random jokes and trivia.
  • Public Service Announcement: The show was heavily sponsored by "Right Decisions, Right Now", an anti-smoking campaign. (On the surface, at least.) Not only did their ads air during the show, even running alongside the credits in many episodes, but it was a space on the board itself. Landing on it would present the contestant with a moral dilemma; making the "right decision" let the contestant move forward an extra two spaces, making the wrong one meant they stayed where they were.
  • Rearrange the Song: A slightly-remixed version was used as the theme for Outrageous!, another Wheeler-Sussman game show that debuted a year after Peer Pressure.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: The theme would be reused for Pressure 1 two years later. Especially noticeable since Pressures 1 & 2 were frequently paired with each other in syndication.
  • Spin-Off: Pressure 1 premiered in 1999, presumably to fill the gap left by the ending of Click, a Ryan Seacrest-hosted Merv Griffin production that was often paired with Peer Pressure. Besides the same theme and similar logo, the two had nothing in common; the new show was just a generic quiz show for teens with a final Speed Round involving a "Pressure Gage".
  • Word Salad Title: The nonsensical Pressure 2 title that season 3 used. Even in the context of the similarly-strangely-named Pressure 1, it doesn’t make sense to call it "2" when this show existed first.