Thursday, September 6, 2012

Back To Normal...

…hopefully, anyway…

Labor Day has come and gone, and I have a few items of interest to look at. First, Game Show Garbage just announced the “winner” of its annual Patrick Wayne Award for the worst game show moment of the year. Previous “winners” include Our Little Genius in 2010 and Love Triangle in 2011...and joining their hallowed ranks in 2012 is…

…the Australian revival of The Price Is Right, which beat out Who’s Still Standing by one vote. 
So what did I think about all this? I’ll tell you what I thought about all this: I thought this was a really, really tough one. Who’s Still Standing was absolutely the worst American game show moment of the year, but I actually cast most of my votes for The Price Is Right, if only due to the sheer desecration of a show that’s just as legendary in Australia as it is in America (and yes, I realize that in saying that, I sound like the hardcore American Price Is Right fans who essentially want Drew Carey to drop dead). As for the other nominees...

  • ·      You Deserve It was not a bad show in my book, but was deserving of a nomination for pushing the superior Million Dollar Mind Game to Sunday afternoons (of course, while Million Dollar Mind Game was better than You Deserve It, I didn’t think it was the world’s greatest show itself).
  • ·      I never actually watched Red Or Black, but the sheer amount of scandal surrounding it – to the point that it was one of two shows specifically mentioned in a proposed British government crackdown on game shows as illegal gambling – was worthy of a nomination by itself (of course, the other show specifically mentioned in that proposal was Deal Or No Deal!)
  • ·      I never watched Billy On The Street, and it doesn’t appear to have been in any way scandalous.
Moving to good (or at least better) shows, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire had its season premiere on Labor Day. The show has moved to a new studio (it actually looks smaller to me), but the rules haven’t changed in the least from the rules used last year…which is to say, it’s pretty far from the original conception. It’s not really worth it to complain about the format – this isn’t the original conception, but it’s still a whole lot better then a whole lot of other shows. What I am going to complain about…well, as good as the format still is, most of the suspense the show had at its peak is gone. I could name a few reasons, but honestly, the biggest problem is that if anybody wins a large amount of money, it is leaked to game show news sites weeks in advance, thus negating the need to watch every day.

As for The Price Is Right… or rather, the American Price Is Right…the fortieth anniversary special was good enough. The entire audience was composed of former contestants, nine of whom got to compete again, including a rather frail looking Paul Levine (the man who won the first ever Showcase with a difference of $4). Clips were kept to an absolute minimum, and there were no special guests – certainly no Bob Barker (he’s reportedly very upset about this). I could use this as a springboard to discuss my overall feelings about this show, but I’ll save that for the “normal” season premiere on September 24.

Next week – Family Feud!


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