Saturday, March 29, 2008

Happy 35th Anniversary, Pyramid!

Happy 35th Anniversary, Pyramid!

On March 26, 1973, The $10,000 Pyramid, the game show where a contestant could win $10,000 in 60 seconds, first debuted on CBS at 10:30 am ET. Its first celebrities were June Lockhart and Rob Reiner, with the first ever ten grand won on episode 1 by Rob. This week, my favorite game show of all time, Pyramid, is celebrating it’s 35th anniversary!

The show’s gone through many changes over the years, from orange shag carpeting and a winner’s circle made of plywood and trilons, to blue and purple colors with a winner’s circle made of rafters and flat screen TV’s. And of course, we mustn’t dare forget the ever growing money amounts. $10,000; $20,000; $25,000; $50,000... even all the way up to $100,000! This show gave away a lot of cash over the years!

My favorite part of the show is the winner’s circle. It can get rather nerve-wracking, but it’s still a lot of fun to play along. I think for me personally, it’s a lot of fun to try to think of clues for the categories. I’m terrible at receiving them.

Now onto the hosts… Dick Clark is hands down, my favorite Pyramid host. What I loved best about him was that Dick was being himself and wasn’t trying to be a perfectionist on the air. He was truly grand on the show but at the same time made mistakes just like any other person would. And he really made me feel good about myself, we both seem to have the same trouble with math. In the winner’s circle, it was always classic whenever he tried (and usually succeeded) in giving the perfect clues, usually making the celebrity involved feeling like garbage, as in “why didn‘t I think of that?”.

I've seen several episodes of Bill Cullen's 1970's $25,000 version. I thought it was really good. Of course, it didn’t have the same feel as the Dick Clark era, but it was very decent and Bill seemed to do a good job like he would do on just about any show. I love his uncle/grandfatherly personality. I'd recommend any Pyramid fan to get a hold of an episode if you can.

John Davidson to me was a different story for the most part... I remember watching this show whenever school was out when I was 6 and loving it. And the thing that did help this version out somewhat is that it was a Bob Stewart production. However, seeing a couple episodes, years later.. I just got this really weird vibe from him when it came to hosting. The same vibe I got when I saw him hosting Hollywood Squares. It’s a very uncomfortable one… I can’t stand to see him host anything. I see myself watching episodes pretty much for the celebrities and the game play only.

I really enjoyed Donny Osmond on Pyramid. No, this was not my favorite version at all. It had too many nitpicks. Like the strict judging for one. If it wasn’t for the celebrities, I wouldn’t have as many episodes on tape. This is a revival were even the minor nitpicks could get to you. But Donny to me was a very warm, outgoing person who knew the rules and really did a good job helping everyone feel at home.

I’d say my favorite version of Pyramid is $10,000/$20,000, with 1980‘s $25,000 as a close second. Both of those versions to me had some of the best celebrities on the show’s history. And I love the charm of the ‘70’s eras. David Letterman, Billy Crystal (who is hands down, one of the BEST players of the show), Nipsey Russell, Loretta Swit, Bill Cullen, Betty White, Dick Cavett, Vicki Lawrence… I could go on and on. My least favorite version is the 2002-04 Osmond revival. As I mentioned in my paragraph about Donny Osmond, the rules were way too strict. In many cases, it seemed like you had to say the entire category word for word to get it correct, and the 6-phrase-20-second system in the main game felt a bit rushed to me. The rules were so much better on the previous eras. Donny’s hosting and the celebrities are definitely the positives for me as far as that goes. I loved seeing Hal Sparks, Mo’Nique, and Melissa Peterman. There was also Betty White and Dick Clark for the special Dick Clark Challenge. This version had a very wide range of stars, they even got Jared Fogle! I admit all of them weren’t the best players, but many of them were certainly fun to watch.

Now it’s time to dig out some of my tapes and DVDs and squeeze in a bit of a marathon in honor of this occasion. Happy anniversary to my all-time favorite game show!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

ATWT: Sham Marriage

You know, I can’t say that this storyline has been perfect all the way or that it got off to a brilliant start. But at the same time for a while, even though in some cases detail was not paid attention to, the dialogue for Luke and Noah wasn’t a complete disappointment and could be pretty good. But today I really can’t say that.

Tuesday March 11th:

If there’s one thing I don’t get, it’s why most everybody in the Snyder house was so enthusiastic about this whole fiasco. Especially, Emma of all people. Like numerous other characters on Tuesday, she was just written all wrong to me. Emma from what I’ve seen is a very old fashioned person who wouldn’t go for this type of thing at all. I can see her being excited if it were a real and true wedding, but it was insane to see her all giddy about this. And I also hated that Holden and Lily would think it’d be a good time to renew their vows after viewing a SHAM marriage, and Lily saying “Hey, at least Luke got a party out of it.” NOTHING says a blast like seeing your man marry someone else. Yeah, those are some real good times, let me tell ya (cue the eye roll). Luke can put up a pretty good front, but we all know he’s heartbroken about all this. It’s not like anyone was taking pictures of this joke of a wedding or the Homeland Security people were there, so why the sudden apparent happy pill overdose?

I did like that there was another scene with Luke and brother Aaron together, because we know how rare that will be. And I loved how Aaron was to the point and put it out there the way it is in his conversation with Luke. He wasn’t all chipper like the rest of the family was. This isn’t something to look forward to, and it’s not something that’s a happy occasion.

And why does Noah still sleep on the couch? It was established a while back that he had a room of his own.

Wednesday, March 19th:

Funny how the Homeland Security person asked them all these questions about how Luke and Noah know each other and why they live together AFTER they got married. Today was another perfect opportunity for Casey and Noah to get into that awkward conversation about Maddie and it was missed yet again. I do like the idea of Casey and Ameera being together, and the bonus is that she’d be away from Noah! And Noah, OF COURSE this is going to be harder than you thought, especially with officials watching you all the time!

I found the scenes on the 19th to be rather short. I thought we were through with all that.

And are these the same scabs that wrote the show so well for the first week or so when they first came on? Because, seriously, last Tuesday’s and this Wednesday’s episodes looked like it was written by the regular writing team. If so, they’ve really let me down.

Also, funny how this is supposedly a front burner storyline, yet they haven’t been shown in previews this week and they’re apparently back to the once a week business.

More GSN Schedule Changes Coming

GSN’s having some more schedule changes take place by the end of March.

Here they are:

9:30 am Blockbusters (Cullen, NBC 1980-82) (replaces Love Connection)
10:00 am Tic Tac Dough (Martindale, Syndie 1978-86) (replaces Let’s Make A Deal)
10:30 am Wheel of Fortune (Sajak/White, Syndie 1983-present) (replaces Press Your Luck)
11:00 am Let’s Make A Deal (Hall, Syndie 1971-77) (replaces Wheel of Fortune)
11:30 am Press Your Luck (CBS 1983-86) (replaces Tic Tac Dough)
3:30 pm Friend or Foe? (replaces I’ve Got A Secret, GSN 2006)
4:00 pm Weakest Link (Robinson, NBC 2000-02) (replaces Weakest Link, (Gray Syndie 2002-03)/Chain Reaction GSN 2006-present)
6:00 pm Russian Roulette (replaces Lingo)
7:00 pm Bingo America (replaces Weakest Link, Robinson, NBC 2000-02)
7:30 pm Lingo (replaces Weakest Link, Robinson, NBC 2000-02)

Interesting that Blockbusters is back on weekdays again, and in the morning as well. As I said in my last entry, I kind of wish this would be put out to pasture after this cycle ends. I never understood them putting it in the afternoons last year in the first place. I love that Tic Tac Dough and Wheel of Fortune are going to be on at 10 am. I absolutely hated having to choose between those shows and The Price Is Right.

Not really a fan of Friend or Foe?. Many regular GSN watchers know that the NBC version of Weakest Link has been run into the ground, but it has gotten a bit of a rest and I would honestly take that over the current Chain Reaction any day of the week. I love that Russian Roulette is coming back. That is one of the three GSN originals I really care for, along with I’ve Got A Secret and Hollywood Showdown. Bingo America is GSN’s newest show. I think it looks good. Hopefully it’ll be better than National Bingo Night. Looks like Lingo is moving back to one of its old timeslots at 7:30 pm.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

ATWT: Noah's Solution

For the episodes that aired from the week of March 3rd-7th:

Monday, March 3rd:

Well, I thought the dialogue was certainly an improvement over last week’s. Though I’m sure that by the time this is all over, this will never be brought up again and they won’t bother to visit Colonel Mayer in prison. I was impressed with the fact that Holden didn’t try to gloss over the facts when telling Faith that Luke and Noah were gay bashed.

Thursday, March 6th:

I couldn’t help but notice more of the blatant censorship between Luke and Noah on this episode. Would it have killed them to show them kiss, even briefly? And I love that one can feel up another’s thigh but they can’t be shown kissing. Also, in my opinion, they missed a pretty good opportunity with Casey. I mean, there’s the potential awkwardness that could have been brought up by now since Noah dated his ex Maddie while he was still in the closet. Interesting seeing some character interaction though with Matt.

Friday, March 7th:

I love how Oakdale has a Homeland Security branch of its very own. It’s sad that I wasn’t even expecting a kiss when Noah told Luke that he loved him. I also really wish that it was said before all of this Ameera drama. There was one thing that I did like during their conversation outside. I did like that Luke mentioned that he thought Noah marrying Ameera would bring him back into the closet, and that it wasn’t said that he’d be “straight again” or something of that nature. I’m glad the writers made sure to get that message out there clearly and accurately. You can tell Luke’s heart is breaking because of all this.

I realize that it’s not the storyline itself that bothers me, but how it’s being done. How can Noah pass off this sham wedding if he was caught kissing Luke by Homeland Security Officials? How can they get married and have it be believable when it seems pretty much everyone in Oakdale knows that Noah’s gay? Also, I find that this storyline is going too fast. Noah’s known Ameera for only a few days and it’s like all of a sudden the marriage solution comes to mind. It goes way too fast, compared to Carly/Kit/Jack’s, which is moving at a snail’s pace. Then there’s the fact that this just seems to be like something that was made just to delay Luke and Noah being intimate even more.

The acting is pretty good though. Van and Jake, as well as Jon, Martha and Tala are doing a pretty good job with what they have to work with.

The media response to the lack of Luke and Noah kissing is pretty spectacular. I want to thank every media outlet for covering the story, especially The Associated Press and CNN Headline News’ Showbiz Tonight. Finally, Procter & Gamble is being called out on their hypocrisy. Thursday’s episode of As The World Turns aired the week that the media articles started being posted and the subject started being talked about, so now any new viewers who saw last week’s shows can now see what the other fans are so steamed about.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

GSN Schedule Changes for March

Looks like GSN’s shifting a few things around on its schedule this month.

Here are the changes, effective March 15th:
9:00 am ET Card Sharks (CBS 1986-89, Bob Eubanks) (replaces Child’s Play)
10:30 am ET Child’s Play (replaces Family Feud (Richard Dawson))

Card Sharks with Bill Rafferty (Syndie 1986-87), stays at 9:30 am ET and Blockbusters (NBC 1980-82) stays at 10:00 am ET.

Also the late Sunday night/early Monday morning line-up changes a bit starting this week:
11:00 pm ET How Much Is Enough (replaces Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?)
11:30 pm ET Family Feud (Richard Karn) (replaces Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?)
12:00 am ET Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? (replaces Super Password hour)

One thing that I really love about the upcoming weekend morning change is that it makes a lot of sense to have both ‘80’s eras of Card Sharks on in one hour. Though I don’t like it too much that Bob Eubanks’ version of Card Sharks will be starting over with episode 1. It hasn’t been off the schedule that long and when Body Language came back from its hiatus, they had no trouble starting from where they left off (I bring that up since both shows were taken off the daily line-up last year at the same time). And it’ll take a very long time to get to January 1987. But I’m glad that it’s coming back; you don’t start a show over from the beginning and then just yank it a few months later.

I’m mixed about Blockbusters still being on the schedule. I love it, it’s one of my favorite Goodson-Todman game shows, but it’s been on GSN for several years now and I wouldn’t mind it taking a bit of a rest. But it’s great that two shows hosted by Bill Cullen are going into the same hour.

I don’t like Super Password being removed from the late night schedule pretty much for selfish reasons. We were pretty close to getting to the end of the period in early 1985 where 12-13 weeks of the show were once skipped over in 2005. But alas, the daily rotation just started over so we’ll see the remaining episodes in a few months. There’s also considering what it’s being replaced by. I don’t know about anyone else, but I wouldn’t mind if Millionaire took a breather from GSN. Same with Karn Feud; there are already more than enough airings of that. There are three different versions of Family Feud that GSN has the rights to, and each consist of many episodes. To me there shouldn’t be an overabundance of any version over the others on the schedule.

Also good news next month for Russian Roulette fans, the show will be returning to the schedule April 1st!

Monday, March 3, 2008


Oy… either Jean Passanante and her team is back writing early or the scabs have really, REALLY dropped the ball and broke it into a million shards.

Wednesday, February 27th:

The problem I had with the part of Ameera questioning Luke and Noah’s sexuality was the huge lack of continuity. Luke said after coming out to Holden and Lily that he can’t remember not being gay, and Noah… well, first of all there’s he and Gabe’s awkward confrontation in Branson, and we had Colonel Psycho going on and on about him being with “the wrong crowd” and “those kinds of people.” With Wednesday’s scenes, we’re supposed to just disregard all of that. I don’t know if they just forgot about history, or if it was just plain bad dialogue. Either way, I didn’t care for it at all. And let’s not forget the big swerve. What were they trying to avoid? It was clear there was nothing on the road… nothing but air.

Thursday, February 28th:

You’ve just got to love closed-minded drunk guys with about 24 beer cans in their car. I felt there were good and bad things about the fight scene. The good was the fact that Luke can surely defend himself, especially when his man is in danger. I was chanting “GO, LUKE!” during that. The bad parts I felt were that it seemed like there was way too much going on, and at parts it was hard to follow. And why wasn’t Holden kicking any ign’ant frat boy tail?

One thing I don’t get is that why did Ameera say that Noah was her brother at the hospital and nothing happened? She said that, and the scene ended complete with Luke’s surprised expression. You can’t say out of the blue that you’re related to someone and nothing happen that day after the fact.

My problem with the whole religion/gay bashing bit is that Procter & Gamble is sending such a mixed message. It’s nice that they’re trying to show that it’s wrong to attack people because of their race and religion and that being a bigot is not okay… but at the same time, this effort gets canceled out because by not letting Luke and Noah kiss and show simple affection, they’re caving into the same group of people. And then throw the word faggot into the mix and you’ve got yourself a pretty sticky situation. The fans want to see the kisses… and after seeing the Public Service Announcement… not only do Van and Jake and the writers get the message, but even CBS does. Everyone gets it… except Procter & Gamble, who caved into the demands of the AFA. The AFA, of all people. They could learn from Brothers & Sisters. Kevin has kissed a guy on the lips on that series at least three times and the sun has always risen the next day. The world didn’t end both times Luke and Noah kissed either. By reaching this “compromise,” are the ‘phobes supposed to watch now and say “Yes! They didn’t kiss on the lips today! Score!”? I don’t get it.

What I am sure about as far as the storyline goes is that I do like the idea of there being angst between them. Angst when done right is always a great thing on soaps. They’re on more than once a week. But at the same time I’d be a lot less skittish if this didn’t seem to be such a blatant way of holding off on Luke and Noah’s affectionate scenes.

I’d also like this storyline if there weren’t holes in it already. I love my boys, I really do, but this week has kind of been just… wow.