Friday, August 31, 2012

It Wasn't

OK, the new Game Show Network version of Pyramid…

…no wait, it’s not Pyramid, it’s The Pyramid. The name of the show is “The Pyramid”. Right, I understand the need to take the money amount out of the title – how many times can you change it? – but The Pyramid? Clunkly, no? What, are you trying to differentiate yourself from the Donny Osmond – fronted version?

What sounds to me like a heavily sped-up version of the classic theme music welcomes the infamous Mike Richards and the usual two celebrity guests. I am absolutely not explaining Pyramid from the ground up; suffice to say that each team starts out with $10,000 in their bank. Every time you get all seven words in thirty seconds (and yes, it is back to seven words in thirty seconds, not six words in twenty seconds), you get an instant $500 bonus and an additional $5,000 in your bank, meaning if you play a perfect game, you’ll have $1,500 right off the bat and will play the Winner’s Circle for $25,000. The contestants switch partners in the second game, and, well, there you have it. It’s Pyramid. Sorry, it’s The Pyramid.

Look, I can see all the complaints coming. The set is too shiny. The clock music is too loud. Mike Richards…exists. He is not spectacular, I will grant you that, but I’d take him over Drew Carey (which is all I am going to say about this topic, at least for now).

Is this Dick Clark’s version? Of course not…but would you really rather have another generic Who Wants To Be A Millionaire clone hosted by another washed-up comedian? Game Show Network recently announced that their next original series will be Family Trade, a reality show about a car dealership that isn’t a game show by any stretch of the imagination. Take Pyramid – sorry, The Pyramid – while you can get it. This is a nice revival, and I’m starting to get the feeling it will be the last straightforward, traditional game show Game Show Network produces.

I really hope this is my last post in August.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Incredibly Massive News!

Yeah, I came up with some more stuff I need to mention before we reach September. Let's see...
  • Game Show Network has moved the premiere of its new version of Pyramid a little earlier, by which I mean tomorrow (August 30) instead of Labor Day (September 3). Wow. Considering that I'm leaving on August 31 for a few days out of town, I hope I have time to write a review. I was kind of banking on the fact that nothing would happen until Labor Day.
  • An almost completely reformatted new season of Family Game Night begins on The Hub on September 23 - I'll probably check it out.
  • Remember Fort Boyard: Ultimate Challenge? A new season has been taped, with the show expanding to an hour (from half an hour) and new host Andy Akinwolere (replacing Geno Segers). Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, it may not matter, as it doesn't look like said season will be broadcast on Disney XD in the US. Bummer. I'm holding out hope that some other US channel will pick it up, but given that Disney-owned channels in many other countries are running this show, it's a highly unlikely proposition.
  • Finally, I can't believe I didn't mention this sooner - The Price Is Right male model search! As far as I can tell, here's how it works: an open casting call for male models will be held in Los Angeles tomorrow (August 30), and the ones the producers like will advance to a five-episode online reality-competition show on On September 28, the finalists of said reality-competition show will be revealed on The Price Is Right, and viewers will have until October 4 to vote for the winner, who will be revealed on The Price Is Right on October 15 and stick around for a week. This I HAVE to see.
  • RIP Bill Rafferty. There isn't a whole lot more I can say.

...exhale. I really hope this is my last post in August.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

OK, Look...

The first thing you should know: I am a day late. I like to think it is not my fault this time - Blogger hasn't been working perfectly for me lately.

The second thing you should know: American Bible Challenge is far from the first bible trivia game show. I can think of several others, including some that, like American Bible Challenge, were not on dedicated religious channels.

The third thing you should know: Judged as a game show, American Bible Challenge is the most sickeningly sweet thing this side of You Deserve It.

Three teams with names like "Suburban Saints" and "Gospel Geezers" compete in each episode, with the winning team receiving $20,000 for their charity (which is described in quite a bit of detail) and advancing in a tournament in the hopes of winning the grand prize of $100,000 for said charity.

As with Oh Sit, I'm not going to bother giving a lengthy explanation of the show's rules and scoring system. It's a quiz show with questions about the Bible. If you're able to get past the fact that all the questions are about the Bible, the game is actually pretty well put together - but as with You Deserve It, the well-put-together game isn't enough to put the show past its overall feeling, at least in my mind, of "Aren't we great and charitable?" The theme song is sung by a gospel choir, for pete's sake. Jeff Foxworthy still isn't the next Bob Barker or something, but I liked him a lot on Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader and I like him a lot on American Bible Challenge. Of course, I liked Chris Harrison a lot on You Deserve It too.

Of course this isn't really a bad show or an early contender for the 2013 Patrick Wayne Award (at least in my mind), and I'm not its target audience either way. Apparently, its target audience found it, as the premiere got three times Game Show Network's usual ratings and is their highest rated broadcast ever. Whether this will hold up remains to be seen, but I'm guessing we'll soon have to accept the fact that Game Show Network's first genuine hit is American Bible Challenge.

I don't know how they're going to follow that, and I'm not sure I want to.

This will be my last post in August, barring incredibly massive news. I'll resume posting once a week - or at least attempt to resume posting once a week - in September.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

As Promised...

Here are the start dates for Fall 2012:

September 3: Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
Pyramid (the long-awaited new version on Game Show Network, hosted by the infamous Mike Richards. No, not Kramer - that's Michael Richards. I'm guessing a lot of hardcore game show fans would rather have Kramer, however).

September 4: The Price Is Right 40th Anniversary Special (in the show's usual daytime slot).

September 10: Family Feud

September 17: Wheel Of Fortune
Baggage (premiere in syndication of the Game Show Network show hosted by Jerry Springer).
Let's Ask America (test run of new syndicated show in seven markets; Boston, alas, is not one of them. If this goes well, the plan is to roll the show out nationally in Fall 2013. The host is Kevin Pereira).

September 24: Let's Make A Deal
The Price Is Right ("normal" season premiere).

There you go. I'll post on a more regular schedule in September in hopes of covering all this, but in August, I'll be back tomorrow...hoo boy...


Friday, August 17, 2012

Well, It's August

I'm back for a while and I have a few things to discuss.

I'll start with this: Game Show Garbage (which, in my mind, is one of the funniest sites on the Internet) has announced the nominees for its annual Patrick Wayne Award for the worst game show moment of the year. I'll discuss this in more detail when the "winner" is announced in September, but for now, here are the nominees:
  • The revival of The Price Is Right in Australia
  • You Deserve It
  • Billy On The Street
  • Who's Still Standing
  • Red Or Black
Now, forgive me for quoting a message board, but on July 6, I posted the following on the official Game Show Garbage message board:

One quick question: when are the nominees for the Patrick Wayne Award finalized? If something even worse then Who's Still Standing premieres in August, could it still be in the running for Game Show Garbage's main event? 

I realize that "worse then Who's Still Standing" is a tough order, but I wouldn't put it past Oh Sit (August 15) or American Bible Challenge (August 23)...

Game Show Garbage creator Robert Seidelman posted the following reply the next day:

The rules are that it has to have aired between August 2011 and July 2012. So American Bible Challenge and Oh Sit are out, but they can be contenders for next year.

That should give you a good idea of my expectations of Oh Sit, which I just watched the premiere of. The premise of Oh Sit is best summed up by the show's working title..."XMC: Extreme Musical Chairs". 

Yeah...Extreme Musical Chairs. 

I came into Oh Sit fully expecting to start thinking about the 2013 Patrick Wayne Award. There was no way Extreme Musical Chairs could possibly be good. 

I was wrong. That's not to say Oh Sit was a good show - it wasn't. It just wasn't a bad show either. It's a show I can't figure out how to review.

I could give a lengthy explanation of the show's rules and scoring system, but I'm not going to. What would the point be? A vaguely Wipeout-esqe obstacle course is set up in a circle around a bunch of chairs, a live band provides the music, and the scoring system is so complex I can just barely remember it . Honestly, the biggest reaction I had to the premiere of Oh Sit is that it was too violent. Most of the show seemed to consist of the contestants shoving each other, to the point that one contestant quit minutes into the show due to exhaustion, another severely twisted his ankle, and a third was disqualified for "unsportsmanlike conduct". 

I realize this sounds completely hypcritical - I gave a passing grade to 101 Ways To Leave A Game Show, and that show featured losing contestants getting thrown off speeding trucks - but the best description I can give of Oh Sit is "full-contact musical chairs", and the best reivew I can give of Oh Sit is "What's supposed to be fun to watch about full-contact musical chairs?" I could state that the hosts are awful - which they are - but somehow it feels wrong to judge "full-contact musical chairs" by its hosts.

So I can't figure out how to reivew Oh Sit. I'm sorry.

I'll come back soon with the Fall 2012 season start dates.