Thursday, June 9, 2011

Far From Chuck Woolery's Version...

...but why argue? A-R-G-U-E.

Lingo has returned to Game Show Network with new host Bill Engvall, and if you read my post on April 7...yes, that report was correct. The game is played is three rounds. In round one, getting a word or a Lingo is worth $100, in round two it's $200, and in round three $500. Before each word is played, Bill reads a clue in a manner vaguely akin to the game show Scrabble, except the clues are a lot less appropriate. The team with the most money after three rounds plays a bonus round in which five words in ninety seconds is worth, incredibly, $100,000!

Now, let me make this clear: this is nowhere near the level of the Chuck Woolery-hosted version. Bill is trying too hard to be funny. The studio audience is too loud. The clues are terrible sexual double entendres, a fact not helped when you remember they're being read by Bill Engvall.When, as a clue to the word "spice", Bill shouts "Nice rack!", you can only imagine the reaction of the contestants.

The Lingo balls appear to be the size of bowling balls (OK, that's nitpicking, but it looks weird), the music is generic "light game show" music, and perhaps the biggest problem: read the rules to that bonus round again. Five words in ninety seconds for $100,000. Gee Game Show Network, ever heard of making the prize fit the task?

So why am I not declaring this show awful? It isn't. The actual game is still as good as it ever was, and while Bill is trying too hard to be funny, his enthusiasm is...kind of infectious. Oh, and moving to the big problem everyone seems to be having with this show - the contestants here are certainly louder than on the Chuck Woolery-hosted version (heck, the whole show is), but I don't think they're any worse at playing the game. Of course, this makes the fact that five words in ninety seconds is worth $100,000 even dumber (seriously, I have no idea how Game Show Network can afford that).

Is this Chuck Woolery's version? No. Can I find lots of things wrong with it? Of course - but I can find lots of things wrong with just about any game show under the sun. The actual fact is, I'll take a good show where I can get it.

My final verdict? Solid. S-O-L-I-D.


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