3 Things That Just May Be Wrong (and Soon Gone)

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This week’s post contains content that may be offensive to some readers.  Discretion is advised.

 

The new television season has brought us the umpteenth year of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”  A new year brings another new host.  This year we have “The Bachelor’s” Chris Harrison as the new host of the show.  This is the first white male host since the show entered syndication.  Unlike last year’s host Terry Crews, Harrison is much more subdued, almost comatose as host in a way not unlike the way Regis Philbin was during the network run.  It is unfortunate that this guy lacks personality because he might be a good host, but the show is plagued by going back to the old way of playing.

 

In the past seasons, the dollar amounts in the game were shuffled up with some easy questions getting big dollars associated with them.  Now, the show has reverted back to the stepladder approach, which means that the show can and does give away much less prize money.  Unless the player reaches one of the first of two winning plateaus which is $5,000 and they get a wrong answer, the player winds up with nothing.  In the past seasons, a player left with at least $1,000 just for playing.  Unfortunately, this year more zeros have been given away than normal so far.  I think they should at least give the player something for showing up.  Personally, I don’t see this show being as enjoyable anymore since they turned the show back to the way it was in its early life.  If this show survives this season, I would be surprised.  This show needs some refreshing along with a host with personality.

 

Next up, is the ABC/Disney show of “The Muppets”.  This is not your daddy’s “Muppet Show” nor is this any of the Muppet movies.  This is not a kid-friendly show despite airing at the family hour of 8pm EST.  After watching the first episode, I realized that all the jokes were presented in the preview of the show leaving nothing funny in the show.  Unfortunately, none of the episodes since the first have been the least bit funny nor would they appeal to children.  As a person who grew up watching the original “Muppet Show”, I am disappointed that this show even exists.

 

For those who haven’t watched this show, it chronicles the behind the scenes of Miss Piggy’s late night talk show.  Since children don’t stay up to watch late night talk shows (or at least they shouldn’t), this show would not appeal to them.  I just keep shaking my head wondering how this show could even exist.  Somewhere, creator Jim Henson is rolling around in his grave.  I believe that Disney should take this show off the air and either come up with something else or just kill it off completely.  I am hoping this show doesn’t last a full season – it does not deserve it.

 

Finally, if you have not already heard, Playboy is giving up on its nude women in its magazines.  The subscriptions for the magazine have dropped from over 5 million in the 1970’s to under 1 million today.  Now of course magazines in general have lost popularity along with printed books and therefore many bookstores have closed.

 

However, it always seemed that porn defied industry trends.  No matter the times, it seems that the thirst for naked women has never ended.  However, now given the internet, porn is readily available freely with a mouse click away.  Many of the pictures are much more explicit than anything that Playboy has ever published and now it seems that everyone is getting naked on the internet including minors.  With cellphones being so popular, children are posting inappropriate pictures of themselves at near record numbers.  What makes this worse is that many parents just don’t care what their children are doing anyway.

 

So with so much nudity available everywhere, it should be obvious that the time has come for Playboy to change to a more conservative magazine.  I have the feeling that the magazine will look a lot like GQ, Maxim, and those other provocative magazines.  With so many choices, how could a magazine like Playboy survive?  Possibly being unwrapped and placed at the checkout counter right by the TV Guide and People Magazine.  After all, if a child flipped through it, it would be like “been there, seen that”, even though it is still seems so wrong.

 

So will Playboy survive when it makes its changes next March?  I think the magazine will be history by year-end assuming it lasts that long.

 

Overall, I see two TV shows and one magazine that have gone completely the wrong way and yet the year is not even over.

 

What other things could possibly go wrong over the next few months?

 

Oh yeah, we have a Presidential election coming next year and that will certainly have a lot of wrong to it.

 

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Unlucky 13th Millionaire Season?

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This week premiered the 13th season of the show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”

 

Judging from how this season looks, it should be its last.

 

First off, Cedric the Entertainer is out as host.  In a way, this is a plus because he really wasn’t that good on the show anyway.

 

Now enter Terry Crews.  If you have never heard of him, he was a former football player, but he is probably best known as the guy from the Old Spice ads.  He is also a movie and TV actor.

 

Now he can add game show host to that resume, but this is not something he should be proud of.

 

After watching the first 6 episodes (it is being double run locally with 2 ½ hours between the shows), I have realized that this guy is noisy, very loud and noisy at that.  Every time the guy says “Let’s Play Millionaire”, the camera zooms in on him as he yells out that phrase.  Honestly, this gets more than annoying especially after every commercial and every new player is introduced.

 

As far as the game itself goes, gone is the long table from last year that both Cedric and the player stood at.  I expect that it is used as a lunch table again.  Now the contestant and host stand at podiums facing each other.  Even though they look like they would have monitors on them, it appears that either they are not used as such or going to be used later as those.  For now, the questions appear as they always have on a large screen between 2 sections of the audience.  I wish they would go back to the chairs back in the Regis Philbin days but I don’t expect that to happen at all.  As far as the rest of the set goes, it is still the same look that has been there since the show’s inception on network television.

 

The only major change to the show is in the lifelines of the show.  Gone is one of the “Jump the Question” and in its place is a new “+1” lifeline.  This lifeline allows the contestant to bring down to the stage a person that the contestant brought with them.  This is great as long as the person has someone brought somebody with them as some people have no audience member with them.

 

Also gone from the show, are the category names for the first round of questions.  They were sort of stupid and added nothing  to game play value.  To me, this was the only positive change to the show.

 

Now finally, back to Mr. Crews and his wardrobe.  On one recent show, he wore a white shirt that had a red collar and matching red pants.  This looked absolutely horrible unless you are a clown.  I seriously expected him to pull out a big red nose and giant shoes to horrific.

 

The worst thing overall is that this show is being double run in many parts of the country.  Some places are running the episodes back-to-back while others like locally are running them with a break in-between.    Either way, once a day is more than enough of this annoying host.

 

If this show expects to make it to a 14th year, here are my recommendations:

  • Scrap the tired set. It really needs a refreshing.  Certainly with all the money saved by not giving away the million dollars could be used to make a new set.
  • Start a completely new game format. Yes, this is what the game is known for, but it can be tweaked to a completely level.
  • Polish the host to not being annoying. There are certainly plenty of game show hosts that are unemployed who could use the work or return from retirement.  It is time to get somebody who can make this show be like those of game show heyday of the 1970’s and 1980’s.  If you remember those days, you will appreciate what I am saying here.

 

When I wrote this review last year of this show, I complained that the contestants were mostly black players.  This is not the case this year as there has been a fairly good mix of race and sexes of the contestants.  If there was one shining point to this season, this would be it.

 

Last year, I gave the show a score of 5.  My score this year has dropped because of the above mentioned complaints.  This show has much room for improvement since it has taken a couple of steps backward this year.

 

My score: 3

 

 

 

Disney Failures — One Ending and One Beginning

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Usually Disney doesn’t have program failures, but it now has 2 of them.

 

The first of them airs on their sister station ABCFamily.  The show is “The Vineyard”.  This show is sort of in the same spirit of shows like “Laguna Beach” and “The Hills” that lived on MTV years ago.  This time instead of sunny California, we are transported to the should-be fictionalized town of Martha’s Vineyard.

 

Over the last 7 episodes (the 8th and final one airs next Tuesday), we have followed a group of pretty privileged people as they spend a summer together in the tourist area.  Unfortunately, there is nothing likable about these people as the only thing we know about them is their first name and what little of the characters are presented.  Ironically, there is no swearing, not even a bleep.  This makes me wonder if this show was real or just a scripted show that was made to look like a real life drams.

 

The only good thing about this show is the scenery as this would make a great travelogue of the area, but beyond that forget it as this show offers nothing but a lot of crying, drinking and yelling.

 

I don’t know why I have continued to watch this show except that the scenery is pretty and the people are pretty, but the story is very, very ugly.

 

My score:  2

 

Summary:  Stay for the scenery, watch the pretty people, just mute the volume on the lousy storylines.

 

 

The second failure comes in what seems to be the 40th season of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”.  This syndicated show which started out as a few times a week show with Regis Philbin as host has become a now daily show that previously was hosted by Meredith Vieira.

 

Now the show has a new host of Cedric the Entertainer.  Quite honestly, this guy is the wrong person for this show.  As of the first three episodes aired, only 1 white person was a contestant on the show.  There seems to be a bias against white people on this show now that never existed before.

 

Beyond that, I know it is customary for Cedric to where his hat indoors, but didn’t anyone ever teach him any manners about that.  Add to this, his constant use of the word “man” with every male contestant and you get the feeling that you are watching a show that should be on BET instead.

 

Back in the 1970’s, we had just one colored game show host. It was television poet Nipsey Russell.  Today, the airwaves are filled with African-American hosts in the game show world.  It is no longer a white boy’s club.

 

Sadly, this show fails to keep my interest anymore as Cedric is NO ENTERTAINER.  Given that the show hasn’t awarded the top prize in years, this show has slipped to dismal at best.

 

It’s time for our final answer of goodbye once and for all.

 

My score:  5

 

Summary:  This show would play great on BET, but now this show has shifted away from being a show for the white folk.