Game Show Central Blog
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
What would you say if I told you there was a service that allowed you to watch online, for free, every episode of daytime Wheel of Fortune from 1980 on? You'd probably say, "that's great". But of course those episodes are all destroyed.
Well thank God NBC had the forethought not to destroy the soap opera that once aired after Wheel. Yes, that's right, Texas. One of the most God awful soaps in history exists in its entirety and can be watched, for free, on AOL's Video on Demand service. They have around 200 episodes on there right now.
Watch the first one for a laugh...or a cry.
If anyone doubts that Megaword is the worst Wheel of Fortune category ever, I'd like to argue with them. It appeared for a second time on the GSN '94 run of the show today, the puzzle being HAPHAZARDLY. The wheel changed hands 11 times before it was finally solved.
When Pat asked the winner to put the word in a sentence she just laughed at him and let time run out. Good times!
The trend of awful, awful contestants on Temptation has been flipped on its head this week with the introduction of Connie. She's blistering through the game with over $640 in two shows! Contrast that with the woman who retired after 5 days last year with like $350.
Connie's mastery of Super Knock Off is the key here. She could win the car on the very next show if she keeps her pace up.
Meanwhile, one of Connie's vanquished foes was Barika, who found her way into a Temptation Tournament of (?) Champions late last year. Ah the joy of episodes airing out of order.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
New Giveaway Set!
Friday, January 25, 2008
Just got my All Star Family Feud DVDs from Amazon. I haven't opened them yet but here's a curious statement on the back of the box:
"Richard Dawson is the original and best host of Family Feud during it's [sic] almost thirty year run."
Some thoughts for BCI, the packager of the DVD:
1) Get a spell checker.
2) Isn't that a bit of a slight to Ray Combs? I guess I personally agree that Richard was the best of the 5 hosts, but you can't count any of the 3 hosts of the current version because they just never really hold a candle to Richard or Ray. But I do think at least some fans consider Ray to be a superior host to Richard, certainly in terms of warmth of personality (by 1983 Richard was becoming just obnoxious to anyone other than contestants).
I don't mind BCI trying to pimp their product -- God knows I definitely want to see more studio master quality stuff on DVD -- but can't they do it in a way that isn't sort of ... rude to a dead man?
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Cosmic event occurring on the current (well, current as of 29 years ago) run of Tic Tac Dough on GSN -- the reigning champion has played the bonus round 7 times and has won a total of zero. She's hit the dragon all 7 times. In fact, on today's episode, after much ballyhoo about how her luck was sure to change, she hit the dragon on the first pick.
On a side note, what genius invented the category "Maps of States"? I mean, it's the easiest category in history. Maps of Nations is a bit harder, especially if you get into sub-Saharan Africa and you're dealing with pre-independence names (Um, was it still called "Upper Volta" back then?) But identifying shaded outlines of U.S. states is elementary school stuff.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
A Moment Like This
I have the feeling that The Moment of Truth will be so awful that it merits a "watch and blog" post here. So here it is.
*The intro is ridiculously long. How many clips of questions do they have to show? I stopped counting at 13.
*The robotic voiceover woman who says if the answer is correct or not is just creepy.
*The fact that Mark asked the first contestant off the cuff questions (between the "game questions") that weren't actually part of the game was a bit weird. I was like, wait, is he forbidden to lie on these questions?
*Mark went to talk to the friends and family three questions into the game. I mean, the contestant hadn't even earned any money yet. Can we wait a little?
*There is definitely a Deal or no Deal feel to the game, in the sense that you know the contestant is not going to bomb out on the first level (otherwise his/her segment would probably be tossed). So the first 15 or 20 minutes of this episode were basically a waste of time.
*Also, when the contestant answers a question affirmatively that makes him look bad (i.e., "Would you ask your wife to get lypo? Yes!"), there's really no drama to the reveal, because if a contestant is already admitting they're a sleazeball, is it likely they lied about it? The more dramatic moment is in the answer, not the reveal.
*There is zero play along factor to this game, since you don't know the questions in advance. It's really about shoving yourself into a stranger's private life and judging them. Hmm, is this show sponsored by the GOP?
*The first 11 questions asked to the first contestant weren't really that "personal" at all, despite the ridiculous "oohs" from the crowd. Is it really shocking to find out that an ordinary American man is vain towards himself and his wife? Not really.
*Also, the fact that the contestant could get away with simply saying "Yes" on a question that made him look bad, but not really have to provide any follow up information to explain the supposedly controversial answer just makes the game look stupid and easy. OK, so we know you've done something that would make your wife not trust you. Who cares? What the heck was it? Oh you don't want to say? Cool, next question. What?
*And there should not be more than a 3 second gap between the woman saying "That answer is..." and the actual answer. In fact, if they try to have her start that phrase, pause, and then go to commercial, I might just head over to the Fox lot on Pico with some grenades.
*When the first contestant bombed out there was a 17 second delay between the beginning of the reveal and the end. Really??
I didn't bother to watch the second contestant. Mark "L." Walberg, why can't you find a good vehicle? You're a fine game show host, but with the exception of Russian Roulette, you've surrounded yourself with crap.
I realize that this show is right up FOX's alley -- big on the (supposed) controversy and water cooler factor. But the fact is, nothing on tonight's show was really shocking, and since the contestants aren't public figures, it's hard to really care about whether or not they flirted with someone while they married.
As for the little things -- the question switch feature really didn't seem that well thought out -- it adds nothing to the game, it's meant only for the friend/family of the contestant to feel better. Therefore it's essentially worthless. The set and music were fine, but they didn't really save what is essentially an awful format.
Final grade (out of 10): 3
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
After some thought, I've decided I don't mind the idea of Mob Regulars on 1 vs. 100. Seeing as most of the mob spots rotate per contestant there's no real harm in having 4 or 5 "paid" mob members playing for charity.
The problem I have is, with the notable exception of Oscar the Grouch, the Mob Regulars the show has hired are all obnoxious. The triplets are ditsy and have zero personality, the Tonight Show guy is an obnoxious stereotype, and I'm not sure if the other guy is really "America's Favorite Geek" -- but he's certainly the most annoying one.
I say keep Oscar (or rotate in other Muppets, a la '70s Hollywood Squares -- Big Bird, Ernie, etc.), add a comedian (who's taken over Kathy Griffin's spot in the D List these days?), and maybe someone who might actually provide some competition. I'd say for that last post Ken Jennings, but we've done that already. Thoughts?
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Did anyone notice that a contestant on today's episode of Tic Tac Dough was Scott Wyant? A year later Scott would appear as the first contestant (and champion) on Bullseye. In fact, he was also a contestant on the Bullseye pilot! Later in the 80s Scott actually worked on the staff at Barry & Enright.
I chatted with Scott briefly off ATGS a few years ago. If you're still checking out these sites...hi.
Speaking of Tic Tac, what's up with the bizarre prize showcases? They all start with an odd first prize...dinner at a local restaurant, once-a-week cover charge at a local disco for an entire year? Crazy.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
How Much is Enough?
According to my Tivo, the answer is, just one episode.
The game is basically a snooze. The game is overly simple and each money clock offers nothing different than the previous one other than a different value and an ascending vs. descending countdown. The play along factor is only minimal; I did find myself thinking, where would I stop this clock as it went on? But I also found myself not caring about the actual results. The only redeeming value is the end round, in which the contestants play a flinching game for the cash. I like that part -- in fact, I wish they used something like this as the end game for Shafted, Friend or Foe (a superior GSN show) or the UK's Golden Balls.
Corbin doesn't really bring much to the table here, although there's not much a host can add honestly. This is one of those games that could have had a 100%-esque non-host doing the show.
The set is fine for what it is, and the music is dramatic enough given the stakes. But in general this just really isn't that engaging.
Best Reveal Ever?
A lot of people were up in arms when 1 vs. 100 announced it was changing its format. But unlike most format changes (this was really a tweak more than anything), this one worked. The new set looks even better than before. And what I love the most is that crazy new reveal, where each mob member is knocked out one by one and the money tree expands as the 10th member is eliminated.
That trippy reveal really added to the effect of the big win at the end of Friday's episode. Did you see the looks on the mob's faces as they realized the "1" was going to eliminate them all? Ca-razy!
Monday, January 07, 2008
Weirdest Game Show Youtube Clip Ever
1 Vs. Nothing
It's great when you're competing against nothing. 1 vs. 100 did well in its return last night, winning highest overall and 18-49 ratings of the night, according to this TFC article. The problem for NBC is this... I only think they have 5 more episodes remaining, so they need to spend them wisely.
Coming Soon, The Mystery Date Game Show
Have you been clamoring for an out of fashion board game to be made into a game show? Well then Trivial Pursuit is for you! It will be coming back in Syndication this Fall.
Don't we all remember the horrible Trivial Pursuit show that Family Channel put on back in the 1990s? Interactive playbreaks everywhere (at some crazy rate like $5/call). The fact that there's an "America Plays" element to the title makes me fear they're going to try that again.
I'm just floored that that's the best new game we can come up for Fall (I realize Deal or no Deal will be in syndication, which I'm fine with, because in a half hour format it will be far more tolerable). Hell, there's even other board games out there I'd like to see made into shows. How about a well-done adaptation of Taboo (that TNN version was a mess), or maybe 25 Words or Less? But Trivial Pursuit is far past its prime.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
A Great Day to Own a PS3
Except not really. A new TPIR game is coming out for every platform imaginable...except my PS3. Luckily I own a PC.
The website is http://www.playtpir.com and it looks pretty good. It's certainly an improvement over the last licensed computer TPIR game, a 1990 abomination from GameTek that picked prizes at random (let's play One Right Price for a Car and a Hair Dryer!).
From the video on the website it looks like the best pricing games are included, although it may only be 12, and one of them is strangely Bonkers. Also there's audio of both Rod and Rich in there, which is interesting.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Cent of a Woman
Deal or no Deal is doing that stupid "desperate to give away a million" competition again. Funny how they only wound up giving away a penny tonight. Yes, that's right. A penny. One hour of show. One penny.
In traditional style, the woman passed up $71K with her safety net gone and immediately lost her last big case. Despite a chance at a reasonable consolation prize of $5,500, she played to the last case and took home the lowest amount ever won on the show. It would be more interesting if I really cared about the show anymore, but I don't. Bring on 1 vs. 100!
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
The Singing Bore
I'm an unflinching fan of The Singing Bee, but even I thought Friday's episode was a mess. First off, they did an hour long format. Instead of playing two full games and having the winners play a final round to determine the champion, they decided to play something like 5 games with six contestants, removing one each round. It felt like a Price is Right episode except a lot more boring.
Secondly, an all TV Theme episode, especially for an hour, is just bad. Most of the themes were giveaways, at least the portions the contestants were expected to sing.
One funny moment was the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme, which the contestant butchered mercilessly, with Alfonso Ribeiro on stage watching. The crowd booed the contestant for about a minute before Joey gave Alfonso a chance to sing it and make it right. Naturally Alfonso missed it as well. It was just that kind of night.
New Years in Vegas
Interesting that GSN chose all Vegas episodes for the Let's Make a Deal marathon today. Still a great show in 1976, but the canned music (instead of the live band) was a definite weakness in the last season. Also the layout of the ballroom never really seemed to suit the show, with contestants sitting at tables like dinner show attendees. They did try out a bunch of new games in the season though which was a nice change of pace, and Monty was on the ball as always.
I'm guessing GSN didn't reclaim the 80s syndicated version this go around, although they definitely aired it a few years back. While that wasn't as solid as the 70s version it was still watchable so hopefully they'll pick that back up soon.
What about Tic Tac coming back next week, along with Wheel? Maybe the people at Sony have finally relaxed a little bit about giving GSN shows (or vice versa). C'mon...Bullseye...