Game Shows – Part 2

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Last week, I started discussing the TV Guide top 60 game shows.  This week I delve deeper into their list.  The listing can be viewed here.

 

While I have no problems with the top 10, I find it interesting that “The Newlywed Game” actually made it that high.  Personally it would have gone down much further on my list.

 

As far as the remaining 50 are concerned, most I agree with except “Studs” and “Masquerade Party” as these were just bad shows.  However, a few shows were missing that I would have put on the list:

 

  • “Face the Music” – This show hosted by former Tarzan Ron Ely was fun and yes a rip-off of “Name that Tune”.  The difference was that the endgame was guessing the mystery celebrity shown in pictures through the years.
  • Magnificent Marble Machine” – Somewhere in the basement of NBC studios there still lives a giant pinball machine which I thought was a great short-lived show in the mid-1970s.
  • Money Maze”   — This show hosted by Nick Clooney (George’s dad), like the previously mentioned show had a giant maze that covered pretty much the entire studio floor.  Another fun show to watch.
  • Celebrity Sweepstakes” – Played in a format that resembled a horse race track, it pitted 6 celebrities against each other to answer trivia.  Sadly, this show died at the expense of “The Price is Right” hour expansion.

 

Now my choices for the worst shows even though TV Guide hasn’t mentioned the worst:

 

  • “Deal or No Deal” (syndicated version) – Gone were the girls for the most part and replaced by real people opening the cases.  This show had all the fun knocked out of it.
  • The Better Sex” — This show tried to pit the men against the women in a trivia game show hosted by country singer Bill Anderson and Sarah Purcell formerly from “Real People”.  All this show concluded were that the sexes were equal and nothing more.
  • “Rhyme and Reason” – This dog was a “Match Game” rip-off.  It’s most notorious claim to fame was that the celebrities on the final show were so mad of the cancellation of the show the show, they wrecked the show’s set, which simply put was vandalism.  Many of these celebrities would never be able to return back to the ABC studios lot ever again.
  • “You Deserve It” — Hosted by “The Bachelor’s” Chris Harrison, this show was almost preachy in this weekly show that seemed to change formats on every show.  Sadly, each incorrect answer cost the player money until they went to 0.  We deserved better than this.

 

Certainly there are more that could go into both categories and maybe in the future I will discuss more of them.  But for now, it is a beginning of my best and worst game shows.

 

 

Special Notice:  In celebration of July 4th next week, there will be no blog post.  I hopefully will return the following week with a brand new and exciting post at that time.  As always, thanks for your continued support.

 

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“Wheel” and “Deal” and TV Guide too – 3 Anniversaries

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In celebration of TV Guide’s 60 best game shows of all time, I decided that this would be the perfect time to throw in my 2 cents or more into the fray.  In this week’s post, I look at 3 anniversaries and my connection to 2 of them.

 

First off, let’s say happy 50th anniversary to “Let’s Make a Deal”.  It turned 50 on March 1, 2013 and the series had the original host Monty Hall guest on the show along with model Carol Merrill.  The bad news is that the show has never been on consistently during all 50 years, therefore 50 years isn’t a true anniversary, just an anniversary of when the show began.

 

Way back in 1984, I was in Florida when this show was just beginning to start its tapings at the then Disney-MGM Studios.  A visit to the set from above was part of the studio tour at the time.  Honestly, I was surprised by how small the set actually was when compared to the many other game show sets that I have visited over the years.

 

My thought is that the current set must be fairly small as well since the show is filmed in standard version and not high definition.  If it was in high definition, the set probably would look extremely small.  Let me say that I loved the original show, but have never really watched the current version to any extent.

 

Next up is “Wheel of Fortune”.  They claim an anniversary of 30 years this season.  Again, this is a bit of stretch in the opposite direction.  The show actually has been around since 1975; however the night syndicated version has been around for 30 years.  So they are half correct or just don’t want to admit their real age.

 

My connection with this show was that back in the summer of 1983, I was in Burbank, California when the show was taping the first episodes of the nighttime version of the show.  I was there for episodes 3, 4 and 5 of this new version of the show.  At that time, it was taped at NBC studios and since the show was fairly new in this edition the tapings went a little longer than normal.

 

Here are a few tidbits about the show at the time:

  • Host Pat Sajak sometimes had to stop taping and have a redo when he forgot that he was doing the nighttime version of the show and not its daytime edition.
  • The puzzle board at the time required that each letter be put on the board individually which meant that it took about 5 minutes between puzzles for a new puzzle to be loaded.  To be fair, all the contestants had to turn their backs from the puzzle board during commercials and until each round began.  When the board became a bunch of monitors this was no longer necessary.
  • It took about 3 minutes to push the puzzle board from out behind the curtain where the letters were loaded onto it.  It also took that long to get it behind the curtain as well.
  • The conversations between Pat and Vanna White were ad-lib at the end of the show.  Nothing was scripted about what was said to each other during the end just told how long they had before they would be off the air.
  • The final spin of the wheel that Pat did sometimes landed on bankrupt.  In the last few years, the final spin has been edited only to show a perfectly landing dollar amount spin.

 

What bothered me most about this season is that the opening of every show had some little clip from the past.  Some were funny, some were just stomach churning and some were best left forgotten.  I guess you have to take the good with the bad.

 

Finally, we have the 60th anniversary of TV Guide.  This is the only true birthday so to speak despite the fact that the magazine went from a digest edition to a tabloid edition a few years ago.  Not only did it lose its size, but it also lost its thickness and many of the more enjoyable features such as alphabetical listing of movies, local channel listings and other desirable features.  Otherwise, the TV Guide is still a must-have even though the internet provides much more information.  Just having the listings on paper is the most important thing.

 

Next week (possibly) I will put in my 2 cents on that list of 60 top game shows and talk about a few that I liked that are missing from that list.

2 Shows From Nick Castmates

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The drought of the Dan Schneider era is over.  We finally have “Sam & Cat”, but was it worth the wait?  This show airs Saturday nights on Nickelodeon.

 

This show is double-edged spinoff of “iCarly” and “Victorious”.  Both shows ended last year with “iCarly” getting a real series finale and “Victorious” getting kicked to the curb leaving viewers hanging.

 

This story sort of takes place a couple of months after “iCarly” had ended because we see Sam (Jennette McCurdy) traveling on her motorcycle in the Los Angeles area.  Apparently she rode from Seattle to L.A. for a new life.  Of course, she really hasn’t even graduated high school yet given where the story should be at.  While in L.A. and getting a snack at food truck, she sees Cat (Ariana Grande) rescue an animal from a garbage can.  A garbage truck comes along while Cat is in the can and dumps her and its load into the truck.  Sam chases after the truck, jumps in to rescue Cat and thereby begins their new life together.

 

Further along in this pilot episode, the girls decide that they will roommate together and start a babysitting service.  They decide to do this after their daylong adventure with e kids they had taken care of.  Along the way in this episode, we meet Cat’s grandmother who Sam promptly puts into a senior living center leaving the girls to live in the grandmother’s house alone.

 

This pretty much sums up the story without giving away the whole thing.  However, honestly, after waiting for this show I was expecting more, a lot more.

 

I can’t really blame producer Dan Schneider for this show.  After all, most of his shows he produced in the past such as “Zoey 101”, “Drake and Josh” along with the ones previously mentioned started out slowly, very slowly.  In fact, most of his pilot episodes could be considered bad if not downright terrible.  Usually after the first couple of episodes the shows do improve significantly, but we have to get over the freshman slump of the series.

 

However the show could use some real tweaking now.  Here is what I would do to make it better:

 

  • Get rid of the babysitting idea.  Sadly, Dan Schneider is outside his comfort zone with this one as babysitting is already dominant on other horrible shows like “Baby Daddy”.
  • Have the characters go to school.  Both Sam and Cat are high-school age anyway so show them in that environment.  It has been the center of virtually all other of Dan Schneider’s shows so why change now?  Certainly it would be nice to see Hollywood Arts from “Victorious” in this show.
  • Bring in old cast members to fill in a much needed cast for this show.  There are several actors from the old shows that are probably unemployed right now looking for a new gig.  What a perfect idea for them to show up here?
  • Add an intelligent adult.  Missing and needed is someone mature who can lead the two girls into something meaningful in life.

 

With the above mentioned suggestions, this show could be a hit.  However right now, this show is barely passable, but I will give it a chance.

 

One the other hand, I cannot say the same for the show “Twisted” airing on ABC Family.

 

Avan Jogia , also of the show “Victorious”, stars as the troubled teen who returns to his old neighborhood after years from being away for committing a murder when he was 11.  Apparently, he murdered his aunt with a jump rope or something to that extent.  His mother is played by the seemingly misplaced Denise Richards.

 

Unfortunately this entire cast seems much displaced as this seems like a tired old storyline idea with nothing new going for it.  What’s worse is that Avan keeps looking over to the side as if he is reading off a cue card just out of camera view.  He also did this on “Victorious” as well, but it wasn’t so noticeable then.  Sadly, he reads his lines with no emotion and seemingly like it is his first time even reading them.  This became annoying to the point that it was almost funny.

 

If this was a comedy, I would say great idea.  Unfortunately, this is another wishy-washy forgettable drama like “Huge” and “Jane by Design” was.  Since it is airing during the summer, we can only hope that this show never returns after its run.  It is that bad.

 

Summary and scores:

 

“Sam & Cat”:

 

Worth a try and may become another Dan Schneider hit.

My Score:  7

 

“Twisted”:

 

Maybe good to see how acting should not be done, but otherwise this show is a disaster.

My Score:  1

Favorite Q & A sites

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When wanting to ask questions of me or anybody else, there are 3 places that I use and to some extent recommend.  However each of them have their caveats as I will discuss here.

 

First up is formspring.me .

 

This is one of the oldest of the Q & A websites out there.  Recently it was almost shut down, but it was saved by a new owner who claims they want to improve it.  However, I have seen really no improvement in the last month.  Occasionally, I will get a question in my inbox, but it is extremely rare now.  This site doesn’t seem to get as much action as it used to, but is occasionally fun.  You can follow me at http://www.formspring.me/louisbrownusa

 

Next is youreply.net

 

This site claims to be the new Formspring; at least that was their original slogan.  While this site is not nearly as pretty as Formspring, it is functional to an extent.  Instead of asking questions on a more private level, this site allows for public questions.  Unfortunately, this list of questions is long with a long list of answers following each one.  It would be best if the questions were somehow grouped together by a date lookup.  Only plus side to this is that if somebody replies to your answer, you get a notification.  Since signing up, I am following about 2 people and have really no followers of my own.  However if you want to change that go to http://youreply.net/user/LouisBrown and follow me.  I really would appreciate it.

 

Lastly is meetme.com

 

This site was originally called the less meaningful name of myyearbook.com.  It should be obvious that this was not in any way a yearbook site.  However, this site seems to be home to more creepiness than any of the other sites.  While this site has a Q & A section where I have received some of the oddest questions, it also has a secret admirer section and even creepier profile viewer section that others can view your profile and then you receive an email showing you the person.  So far, it seems that the only thing I have attracted here are older women and gay men, neither of which I am interested in becoming socially intimate with.  Certainly this site has a lot to offer, but like Facebook has some very dangerous parts as well if one is not careful.  You can follow me here at http://www.meetme.com/member/30320477

 

So how do I rate all of these sites?  Unfortunately none are perfect and all have serious flaws.  I will give each of them a grade of 7 with a caution as all of them have serious issues that keep them from being perfect.

 

Stay safe on these sites and have fun.