Thursday, October 25, 2012

OK, The New Canadian Version Of Match Game...

A piece you can kind-of-sort-of recognize as the classic Match Game theme music welcomes host Darrin Rose and six Canadian celebrities you can kind-of-sort-of recognize (well, I knew Tom Green and Amanda Tapping...), followed by two contestants who appear to have also been chosen based on their ability to create good comedy (in the episode I watched, one was a stand-up comedian and the other was a kids book writer).

They are there to play three rounds in each half-hour episode. The first two rounds are what you'd recognize as Match Game - contestant picks Question A or Question B, host reads out bizarre fill-in-the-blank question, celebrities write down answers, contestant gives answer, every celebrity who gives the same answer is worth $50. After two rounds like that, the third round is a resurrection of Match-Up from the 1990 American version - the host reads something like "Pop ______ - corn or quiz?", the contestant locks in his\her answer via buttons on his\her podium, the chosen celebrity gives his\her answer, a match is worth $50. After each contestant has played Match-Up for 45 seconds, the contestant with the most money wins the show and goes to the Super Match.

The Super Match is played about the way you remember it - the number three answer is worth $500, the number two answer is worth $1,000, and the number one answer is worth $2,000, followed by the contestant spinning the Star Wheel, Double spaces and all. If you get the number one answer, spin Double on the Star Wheel, and match the celebrity you choose on the final question, you win the maximum possible prize of $4,000.

It can't be easy to revive Match Game. Yes, I suppose you could argue it can't be easy to revive any game show, but Match Game was such a product of its time and so dependent on the chemistry of its cast that it must be even tougher - Darrin Rose watched some classic Match Game after being hired to host this version and essentially concluded that everyone on the set was drunk. It doesn't appear that anybody is drunk here, and it's far from bad - but there's no real energy to it, the payoff is tiny (insert joke about the stereotype of low-budget Canadian game shows), and it really is only slightly better then the likes of Late Night Liars or Hip Hop Squares. If this leads to a new American version of Match Game, then great - but we won't be missing anything if it doesn't. Maybe all these really good British and Australian comedy game shows are setting my expectations too high.

I likely will have to write this review again soon, because Ryan Seacrest's production company is apparently considering a revival of Rhyme And Reason titled - get this - Rhyme, Rap, And Reason. I'm not sure there's anything I can say that can top that.


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