Not a lot of good it does you now, but today's Price was actually the first TAPED episode Drew did back in August. The intro was a little longer than usual but I don't think the casual viewer would have detected that it was his first from that. I only noticed due to the large number of hardcore game show fans in the front rows.
Other than Drew shouting louder than normal, it was a pretty good episode. He even nailed the spay/neuter plug at the end. I kind of wish they'd aired it as his first show and acknowledged it as such; the first episode they actually aired was awful.
The only downer about this show was the relative mediocrity of the gameplay, but that's never stopped a season premiere before (I think the 24th season premiere had no games won and a double overbid!)
God bless Price. First, they offered a trip to Vegas as a stage prize. Second off, the game was Double Prices and the low price was $1921 (!!) Third, for reasons unknown, Wayne Newton made a walk-on appearance. And finally, the dumb woman said $1921 was the correct price. Oy.
GSN did a good job with its Thanksgiving marathon this week. If you haven't watched it yet, stop reading! Otherwise here are the highlights:
Match Game -- The syndicated episode with the infamous "Cuckoo, Friend, and Ollie" answer. I'm sure this has aired before but I'd never seen the full one.
Family Feud -- Another hilarious blooper episode -- the "September" episode. Again, I'd never seen the full thing and I didn't realize how much Richard lost it.
Bullseye -- Hooray! First off, they aired a civilian episode (thank God). Second off, it had a 10-spin bonus win, which was super rare. And lastly, it had that weird disclaimer at the end that they were going to keep the game going after sign off even though it hadn't ended yet. I'm guessing they did that at the end of taping weeks so the players couldn't go home and study? Makes you wonder if they did that on Joker and Tic Tac Dough too?
Joker's Wild -- I'd seen the "Lucky Suit" guy before but had never seen that miracle spin that saved his run. I guess it was just luck but you always have to wonder when Barry and Enright are involved if something like that wasn't...ya know...scripted.
Treasure Hunt -- A $12,000 check in a cake and some bizarre prizes (a 1934 Rolls??)
Temptation randomly decided to air a 3-day tournament with three not-so-champions from the past. It was odd to say the least:
1) The format made little to no sense. While all players got to bank their money going from day to day, only the winner of the third show got to go shopping.
2) A random element found its way into an Instant Bargain -- a "10% off coupon" good for any prize in Shopper's Paradise.
3) All three contestants had apparently decided on a unique strategy for the 50/50 multiple choice questions -- buzz in immediately after the choices were read and just take a guess. It happened in every speed round, but most noticeably in the last speed round of the last game, where Carmen buzzed in on a 50/50 question with two seconds left, took a shot in the dark without hearing the question, and was correct, winning the game by $3.
The last episode was easily the most exciting of the series so far, which, admittedly, isn't saying much.
Deal or no Deal has made a science out of wasting our time, but no exercise has been more futile than the ridiculous Hershey's Kisses game they aired on Friday. I mean, picking 2 winners out of 150 cases? Give me a freaking break.
Family Guy must have some big-time game show fans on their staff. An episode last year had an extended Wheel of Fortune (shopping era!) spoof, and tonight's episode had a $25,000 Pyramid homage.
Peter was talking with an INS Agent and inexplicably their conversation degenerated into a series of Winner's Circle clues. Out of nowhere walks Dick Clark and, naturally, provides the single perfect clue to what the INS Agent was trying to get Peter to say. They then "go to commercial", complete with the actual $25,000 Pyramid theme and dimmed lighting. Gold.
I don't know about you, but Bullseye is by far my #1 guilty pleasure game show. Yes it's a rehash of Joker and Tic Tac Dough, but it just looked and sounded so cool.
I voted for it for GSN's Feast of Favorites and if their newest promo is any indication, it will be shown on Friday. The brief clip they showed was from a civilian episode I don't recognize, so there's a chance we might see an episode that hasn't aired since USA reran the series back in the mid-80s.
So for the 5 of us out there who share this same love of cheese -- fire up your Tivos!
EW released its list of the 50 Greatest Television Icons, and you'll be happy to know a few game show hosts made the cut (scroll down to see the full list). I count 8 people who hosted at least one game show -- did I miss anyone?
One of the biggest single pricing game wins on the Drew Price happened today. John took home a $52K Corvette in what had to be one of the longest playings of the game ever. Good thing is they kept filming as he breakdanced all over the stage and ran to the car, which makes sense because he was a good contestant.
But did anyone else notice that before one pull in the game both John and Drew were chanting "No Whammies!"?
Instant Cash has finally gotten semi-interesting on Temptation this week, rising to $5000. But in keeping with their bizarre decisions, the producers decided to cap the jackpot at $5000, even though it wasn't won on today's show. I mean, for a show that gives away absolutely nothing they didn't pay for, can they not at least let Instant Cash climb into the nether regions close to $10K?
The Richard Buggy episode of To Tell The Truth may be the most famous episode ever of that series. Joe Garagiloa's son, Joe Jr., showed up as an impostor in that episode, much to the surprise of his father.
Kudos to Price is Right for airing a pretty good Halloween episode. I was kind of surprised they went all out for Halloween; traditionally Christmas is the only holiday they really go nuts over.
Drew's bit with the teeth was a bit grating (thankfully he junked them early on), and Rich's vampire voice didn't do much for me, but the decorations, effects, and especially the model's outfits were top notch.
Speaking of models, is the show moving back to a more permanent rotation? We've seen a lot of Brandie and Phire this year, which I'm totally cool with. The revolving door of models never really worked for me.
As game show fans, maybe we should be rooting on the inevitable writer's strike that's all the news this week. Primetime lineups will start to look like a multi-channel GSN: Amazing Race, 1 vs. 100, Power of 10, more Deal or no Deal (sigh), and even Millionaire might be back in the picture.
So on the surface that's great right? Well, two things to keep in mind:
1) Burnout. If the strike goes on for months, viewers will eventually turn their backs in a concerted anti-game show backlash. We saw what happened in 2002 when Millionaire died a cold death in primetime, when only 2 or 3 primetime games were airing concurrently at most. Imagine a lineup full of games and reality? The cyclical nature of the industry could really bite fans hard here.
2) Remember your good friends in the industry. A lot of game shows are worked on by guild members, infamously including Temptation (which already had serious writers issues of its own). Just because games are in production doesn't mean that every hard-working game show employee is getting in on the action.
Looking at the numerics in this Futon Critic article, it's hard to not side with the writers, given the ridiculously small take they get in theses shows that often profit hundreds of millions of dollars.