Friday, April 25, 2008

It’s Been a Pretty Good Week for Game Shows

Not only am I finding this a great week television wise for Luke and Noah on As The World Turns, and for the fact that my favorite current series, Supernatural, is back for all new episodes after two months, but I’ve found this to be a really entertaining week for game show lovers like myself.

GSN’s been showing plenty of goodies this week. There was an episode of Eubanks’ Card Sharks with a $28,000 win, one of the highest amounts ever won on the series. Then earlier in the week we had a $40,000 win on Super Password, won by Betty White and her contestant partner. There was an episode of Now You See It shown where contestant Lyn Heath won $15,000 in the bonus round. There was also the final episode of Trivia Trap, where the juniors were able to help end the series on a good note by making it to the top of the trivia ladder and winning $10,000.

Also a couple of great episodes of the original I’ve Got A Secret were shown this week in the overnight. Both featured episodes from the To Tell The Truth panel, which consisted of Tom Poston, Peggy Cass, Orson Bean, and Kitty Carlisle at the time. One episode had a feature where they played a brief hybrid of To Tell The Truth, while the episode that aired the next night featured a panel crossover; the Truth panelists appeared on Secret, and the Secret panelists, Bill Cullen, Betsy Palmer, Henry Morgan, and Bess Myerson appeared on Truth. Kind of makes me wish we could have seen the Truth episode as well afterwards. It was pretty fun.

And Billy Bush has been subbing this week for Meredith Vieira on Millionaire. I’ve been so into Charmed on TNT that I’ve kept forgetting to check it out, but I’ll be sure to tune in today and see how he does.

It’s certainly been a fun week for this TV fan!

ATWT: Take that, AFA!

Wednesday, April 23rd:

Maybe it was just me, but I seriously am thinking that Ameera made up the fact that it was her birthday. It just seemed so random and out of the blue. It was also brought up right after Noah mentions how much he misses Luke. Coincidence? I think not.

You know, initially I hated the idea of Luke and Noah shopping for a present for Ameera. But then I realized it’d be a good way for them to be ALONE together for a change, though while the time, gotta love seeing Ameera give herself a makeover. And she doesn’t look so sad to me while doing it either. And towards the end of the shopping scene, oh, my God! Noah says in response to Luke’s question about the I.C.E.? “What about them?” and plants a kiss right on his man! No wait -- several. And we the viewers actually get to SEE it. A REAL kiss scene. How nice it is to see these two do something for themselves.

And we end the day with Noah going home to see Ameera all seductive-like in her dress with her lipstick on and her hair did. I’m not as miffed as I was last week with the second Noah and Ameera kiss. I mean, storyline-wise I hate it still, but considering that Luke and Noah’s affection seems to be treated like they should again these days, I felt better about it. Then there’s the fact that Noah was naturally taken aback, more like grossed out by it all.

Thursday, April 24th:

Yes! Go, Noah! “This can’t happen.” And Ameera running off to the bedroom to cry and pack a bag to go back to Iraq. Do I have sympathy for her? Nope. She knew all along he was gay and that there was no chance. I reiterate the key words from the previous sentence: Gay. No chance. Someone needs to sit this woman down and tell her that you can’t turn a gay guy straight, no matter how hot you look.

I know in some instances I guess I can be considered to be “too nice,” but in this instance, hell no. I would have let her leave after that. I don’t know why Luke kept asking if it was okay for him to move in with Noah and Ameera, especially considering the fact that it is a) Lucinda’s cottage, and b) not a real marriage. Ameera at least had some sense when she said they’re doing this to help her, and what she thinks about Luke’s plan to move in does not matter. Uh, yeah, can’t argue with that.

Now as far as Wednesday’s kiss goes, I seriously cried after seeing it. Not because of the kiss scene itself, but the beauty of it, especially considering how long it’s been. How Noah didn’t give a crap and just planted one on his man. How the fans of this show, the actual loyal friend and true FANS, who wrote in saying that the censorship that was going on with these two is absolutely unacceptable were actually listened to. And I seriously was not expecting it to happen, either. I was saying to myself while rolling my eyes, “Oh, Good Lord, not this crap again,” thinking they’d either cut to another scene as soon as the lips touched, or pan away to a shop sign or something. There was also that hot look that Noah gave when it was all done, which was basically “Yeah, that’s my man!” Then there’s the fact that it was interruption free!

I still don’t like this storyline. I’m sure that will never change. Yes, I still don’t like Ameera. I still hate the way most women are written on this show. Not a fan of the plot holes. I still want Jean Passanante gone like yesterday. I still think Goutman should have gotten down on all fours in order to grovel and beg Martha Byrne to stay on the show. But while I still feel the same way about all those other things, it’s finally nice to see that the show is listening to its fans about something for a change. All a lot of fans were asking for was for kisses and realistic affection when the scenes call for it and for once in seven months, it finally happened. And I certainly hope the show will keep this up in the future. Please, no more droughts. No more B.S.

Off to write letters of support to Procter & Gamble for a change, for what it looks to be like they’re finally getting the program with at least one thing on this show. Ta!

Monday, April 21, 2008

ATWT: No More "Cake"

Friday, April 18th:

You just gotta love the in-character bad acting for the movie they’re doing. And Ameera trying to be all meek. Girl, please. We all knew she wanted to be carried by Noah in the house. And then that ad-libbed kiss she planted on him. Ugh, there are several reasons why I hated that. And what I didn’t like even more is that no one even bothered to address it. You should have been there watching next to me when I literally shouted “HELL NO!” at my TV screen when Ameera asked to do another take.

One other interesting thing… in the beginning Luke and Noah agreed to participate in this charade in fear that Ameera would be sent back to Iraq and will DIE. Now if all parties don’t cooperate, she’ll be sent back to Iraq and will be ALL ALONE. Because THAT'S not a big difference, writers. Aren’t plot driven storylines the greatest? And speaking of, still not liking how this is diminishing the intelligence of the characters. Casey in this for the most part who seems to know what Ameera’s up to. Thank God he was able to get through to Luke before leaving this quad. And Ameera… like I mentioned earlier, it’s one thing to have some innocent little crush, but trying to act on it knowing full well and being told repeatedly that Noah is gay and is in love with Luke… it’s not like she doesn’t know any better. This is just pathetic.

I’m still not sold on this storyline, and with Jean Passanante officially back as head writer… I’m sure I probably won’t be now. As it seems that Ameera’s going to be another female character so desperate for a man that she’ll do ANYTHING to get him. Sigh. Not a fan of how the majority of women are written on this show. I am impressed with the acting, and I definitely realized watching this episode that at this point that this is what’s making me stay. Van and Jake did a great job on this episode, and for me it also won over Billy Magnussen as Casey Hughes. It kinda makes me disappointed that Casey’s character is out of this now since I found that his involvement in it made some sense and also I’m really starting to enjoy Billy. I hate Ameera, but I do think Tala Ashe is doing a good job with what she has to work with. Also, not feeling the super-short scenes.

And next week’s preview features Ameera planting another one on Noah. Sigh. Good Lord. Come ON, Procter & Gamble.

It’s time for the Primetime Family Feud!

More information has come out, and it looks like all-star Family Feud will be coming back to primetime this July on NBC.

I have to say there are so many ways for this to work. I hope they stick with the style that the 1970’s primetime all-star shows did. I love the idea of sitcom and drama casts playing a part in this. I can easily see something like How I Met Your Mother vs. The Big Bang Theory, Ugly Betty vs. Brothers & Sisters, Smallville vs. Supernatural (it could easily work if you add the actors playing Bobby, Jo, and Bela along with Jensen and Jared), and the Lost vs. Heroes example mentioned in articles would be really nice. There are plenty of options. Please, NBC, no reality star rejects and wannabes. I can’t say I’ll be jumping for joy if we’ll see an I Love New York vs. Flavor of Love pairing. Ew.

The host for these specials will be Today show personality Al Roker. John O’Hurley will apparently be involved with something else for CBS and won’t be able to do it. I can see this as a type of show for Al. I saw him host Millionaire last year and thought he was pretty good, but I was also thinking that he’d fit much better on a high spirited program.

Even though I’m kind of tired of Feud in repeats right now, pretty much since it’s on so often… two hours already of the current in over 80% of the country both in first-run and on ION, then factor in the multiple GSN airings. This will actually be something with a fresh and new twist to it and I will be looking forward to this.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Happy 30th Anniversary, Card Sharks!

On Monday, April 24th, 1978 at 10:00 am ET, Card Sharks, the tension-filled big money game show where a contestant could win up to $28,800 on a single card, debuted on NBC. My fourth favorite game show of all-time is celebrating its 30th anniversary this very week!

There are several different things that I enjoy with this show. For one, the opening poems aspect is definitely a favorite of mine on Perry’s version. There’s the original “Ace is high, deuce is low, call it right and win the dough” to “Shuffle, cut, deal, and play, someone’s going to win today!”

The survey questions I am always entertained by. You know the ones, the ones that test your ability to judge human nature. The subjects really got your opinions going too. Questions about politics, birth control, child rearing, marijuana… there are also ones like “How many Playboy bunnies went to church last Sunday?” and out there questions like “Would you want to see a nude centerfold of The Fonz?” I always find it fun to see what the contestants think and see whether or not I agree with their logic. There’s also one I loved involving the dealers Lacey Pemberton and Susanna Williams that dealt with their age. Their reactions were priceless!

The Money Cards is one of my favorite bonus rounds on a game show. It has the perfect amount of tension to me, and the perfect amount of thrill. There’s no unnecessary fluff to be had. It’s all about the cards and how much you can win. Up to $28,800! And then the 1980’s versions with Bob Eubanks and Bill Rafferty upped the stakes a bit higher by making the round worth $32,000. That never happened but there have been several instances where a contestant has come very close. They also added to this tension by bringing on the car game, and when kids played, the game would be played for a trip to Hawaii. The first car game with the actual cards is definitely my favorite. The one that resembled Mindreaders… eh, didn’t care for it very much.

It’s always been tough for me to decide what my favorite version of the show is… since 2005, it’s been a tie for me with Jim Perry and Bill Rafferty’s versions. I liked that Jim Perry really knew the rules and how he really seemed to enjoy himself on the show. Jim was also so great with suspense. Here’s an example from 1978, as where the contestant Norma Brown herself would say, shot it to the works, and won $28,800 in the Money Cards.

Bill Rafferty I found had a really good sense of humor and I loved how he’d like to play along with the survey questions. I also found Bill to be a very personable emcee, not just on Card Sharks but also on Blockbusters and Every Second Counts, as the kind of host that wants the contestants to win, and have fun doing it.

Bob Eubanks is not a favorite host of mine on this show. I don’t disfavor him as much on this show as other people, but I was never much of a fan of his jokes and sometimes I didn’t care for the way he handled himself on the show. But I know in spite of those nitpicks, that he still had a good time on the show and cared about it deeply. I mean, all the proof you need is to see the either episode where he mentions staff member Carole Costello’s death or the finale. And overtime I’ve come to still definitely find his version watchable. The game play is still good and there is still Lacey Pemberton and Susanna Williams and all the other good things about the show.

I even like the British version. I’ve only gotten to see two episodes so far, but I love Play Your Cards Right. Bruce Forsyth is such a very energetic host with just the right amount of energy and it makes me think how fun it’d be to see him host an American version. I thought it was interesting on the later versions that they had married couples play against each other.

The only version I don’t like is the ill-fated one from 2001. I mean, talk about complete bastardization of the game play with the Candid Camera scenarios, and Pat Bullard just didn’t do it for me as a host. He’s much better off in my honest opinion working for sitcoms. As fans, particularly ones who love the previous versions, let’s hope that if this show is ever revived again that the original version stays in mind.

Happy 30th anniversary, Card Sharks!

Monday, April 14, 2008

ATWT: Gotta Love The Wacky Hijinks (2)

(splitting this entry in two because it’s longer than I thought it would be)

Friday, April 11th:

Seeing this episode has me convinced even more that the writers on this show have absolutely no clue what character development is. We’ve already gone through this business of testing Noah’s sexuality and Noah giving Luke the cold shoulder when the times get tough. Noah is gay. Period. This is part of my reasoning why, in seeing the past year of this show, that I have come to pretty much hate plot-driven storylines on soaps. The characters either become gullible, lose their intelligence or in some type of form become unlikable and they at times can become difficult to root for. And with Noah the intelligence factor definitely comes to mind. I’ve managed to love Noah in time, but seeing him talk to Ameera about what a real marriage, especially without reiterating the fact that this isn’t even a real marriage to begin with, was just absolutely absurd. There is no need to share a bed between them. And there is also no reason why Noah should be for the most part oblivious to Luke’s feelings by this point. It would have been a much better as long as Noah clarified that this is NOT a real marriage but needed to make sure to know what to do in case the ICE guy stops by. This writing even managed to just about ruin seeing shirtless Noah for me! Writers, you disappointed me even though there was a hot half-naked guy on my screen! Now I KNOW I’m frustrated! I’m glad Noah seemed to apologize after barking at Luke when she showed up, but that stuff at the beginning still got to me. I will probably most likely never enjoy this storyline, but I can think of several ways that it can be presented a little better, one of which is keeping good character development in check.

Now what I DID like is that Holden and Lily were trying to help Luke spend more time with Noah. They know that this charade of a marriage is in name only. Luke’s idea of making the movie sounds good at first but ehh… I don’t think it’ll turn out the way that he thinks it will, at least not in the beginning. And with how Ameera was all happy seeming earlier in the show with Noah, part of me didn’t want to buy that sob story of hers. Part of me is now thinking she might not even be from Iraq at all. She could be part of some scheme by Col. Mayer.

As much as I don’t like Ameera, it’s too bad though. Because I do like the actress Tala Ashe. It’s a classic case of like the actor, but hate, detest, and abhor the character. After the way she’s been acting this week, I have no more sympathy for her. She needs to be deported like yesterday.

Looking at the preview for next week… wow. I’m still feeling a bit more confident about Luke and Noah’s affection changing for the better after Thursday. I’m not on a super high, ecstatic hope, but I think things could get better. But this show seriously is going to be pushing more buttons with the fans if what the preview shows is true… Noah gets to get kissed by Ameera despite the fact that it’s been months since he’s kissed Luke on screen. The thought of it already pisses me off very much. These episodes seem to have been shot during or just after the blitz period, so they should know better.

ATWT: Gotta Love The Wacky Hijinks (1)

Thursday, April 10th:

Now don’t get me wrong, I love my boys, seriously. And I can totally understand their being excited and happy as crap because they were finally about ready to get some after all this time. Lord knows I would be too. And I can surely understand them wanting to do a little dance or something on the floor like people normally react when they’re that happy, but seriously, jumping on the bed? Hello, writers and directors, what are you thinking? They are 19, not eight! Though a big part of me forgave that silliness when the shirts started flying off. I was sure they would be interrupted though. As short as that almost-sex scene was, I did enjoy it a lot and while I’m still miffed about how this show is handling their affection, to me, this is a sign that this poppycock may be coming to and end sometime soon. I loved it, but it makes me become more and more baffled about Procter & Gamble. Someone needs to send Ms. Jeannie Tharrington of the company a dictionary so she can learn what the word slow is. Cause, this, my dear, is not it.

All this time Casey seemed to feel something for Ameera, why didn’t he say anything when Ameera said that she mentioned Noah the way she did? Also, Ameera, uh, in case you haven’t noticed, Noah is GAY. But that’s not what really ticked me off. What ticked me off about Ameera was that delectable little smirk at the end. An innocent little crush is one thing, but the mere thought of her trying to act on it knowing full well that Noah loves Luke irritates me. She knows this marriage is in NAME ONLY.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

ATWT: So long, Will and Gwen

Friday, April 4th:

Well it’s surely nice that Will and Paul are leaving under good terms. I can’t believe Paul about two or three weeks ago, thinking it’d be a good idea to arrange Sofie to spend more time with the baby after the stunt she pulled. What was he on?! And you just got to love the gall of her showing up at their farewell party. “I don’t wanna crash your party.” Uh, yeah, you pretty much already did. I don’t know how much I can say that I wish it were Sofie leaving instead of Will and Gwen.

As far as the new living arrangement goes with Noah and Ameera getting the cottage… more plot inconsistency. Last time when Luke, Noah, Casey, and Ameera discussed their current situation, Ameera was the one mentioning how she was the only person in the foursome to NOT get what she wants. Now here, everyone gets what they want… and she agrees. Come on, writers. Though it’ll certainly be nice to see more of Luke and Noah away from the farm.

As far as Will and Gwen go, I’ve mentioned it before. I find the actors portraying them, Jesse Soffer and Jen Landon, to be really good. And while I hate to see them leave, if they’re just going to keep being overexposed and have horrid storylines to boot, I think it’s best for them to take some time off. It’s too bad, because we could have seen so much better last year than changed-for-the-worse Adam Munson and Cleo Babbit. Boy, what a waste of talent.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

It’s Bingo America time!

On Monday, Bingo America, GSN’s newest game show debuted, allowing another way to have viewers play along interactively to win cash right along with the players in the studio.

I really love the trivia element of this show. It combines both the excitement of playing along bingo and answering questions along at home. They’re pretty easy for the most part. I mean, for instance, one of the questions on the episode I saw was “What animal character advertises cereal by saying ‘They’re GRRRRRRREAT!’?” It’s obviously Tony the Tiger. But it’s still fun to play along.

I find Patrick Duffy to be a really good host. I never really had any doubts in the beginning when I first heard he was picked to do it, but I was thinking what an interesting choice that was. This is his first game show that he’s hosted ever and he just breezes through the program with no trouble at all like a true pro. And he looks like he’s having a good time.

I think it also has the perfect energy and volume amounts for a game show. The fun is still there without the host shouting every other word, the contestants full of fake animosity towards each other and the audience seemingly like they’re on an overdose of caffeine cheering. None of that craziness is on Bingo America. It just shows how great a game show can be these days with the right amount of energy.

And also… and I just knew I would. I enjoy this show a lot better than ABC’s attempt at bingo with National Bingo Night. My biggest problem with National Bingo Night is that they made that show WAY too cheesy. Even for me. I found that they took a fun game and made it seem way more tense than it should with the ridiculously long pauses and overly dramatic music cues. For heaven’s sake, this is a game of BINGO, not Millionaire or Greed. And in my eyes it was so unnecessary to have a referee shout out every five or ten minutes “Noooooo bingo!“ to see if someone else in the audience won in the silliest and most bizarre way ever. I think both it and a couple of other game shows they’ve launched in the past two years like Show Me The Money, would have been executed so much better if they didn’t spend so much time trying to unnecessarily up the energy. Both shows were campy to me, and not in the good way.

I’ve certainly found something at 7 PM to watch now that Alice is leaving ION again. Not only that, but this show seems to be a success for GSN already, considering how well the play-along factor is at their website. For Bingo America, all I ask of GSN now is to please, PLEASE leave it alone. Don’t make any changes to it like you did with PlayMania. It’s perfect the way it is. Again I ask, please don’t mess with it.


Thursday, March 27th:

Something the writers did ticked me off yet again. During Parker’s trial, the attempted rape of Carly was brought up and this freaked Ameera out so she walked out of the room. Of course, Noah follows her. Now was this situation addressed at all? Hardly. WHY did Ameera walk out? Was she raped? Was someone close to her raped? This is just like how Ameera said Noah was her brother at the hospital, complete with the suspenseful music cue, Luke’s suspicious stare, and fade to black... and it wasn’t addressed afterwards. This show should know better with serious revealing moments like that.

While I grew impatiently sick of this whole Sam storyline, it was finally nice to see some more interaction featuring Luke and Noah and some of the other Snyders.

Monday, March 31st:

Poor Emma put on the spot by the ICE agent. Looks like they forgot the detail of the bedrooms... you know, just in case they'd randomly drop by. And that agent was way over the top. And speaking of him, where was this guy's behind a couple weeks back during the day of the sham wedding, so it'd at least make a half bit of sense for the Snyder family to have been so ridiculously cheerful about that whole charade? And Luke, as us fans know, it sucks that you can't kiss your boyfriend (in this case, in public). It was just a matter of time before the frustrations started to be addressed. And Ameera feels responsible. "It's all my fault." Yep. Can't disagree with that one bit.

The Luke/Noah/Casey scenes towards the end I found to be entertaining. Just as I was about to write this episode off as another dud, something finally grabs my attention. It’s so fun to finally see Luke happier for once. It never once crossed my mind that Luke would come up with the idea of having Casey to pretend to be his boyfriend. This storyline has been for the most part to me very grating for several different reasons and it's about time that we got a laugh out of it.

Apparently Luke and Casey are closer friends than we thought. They have failed for the most part to have Luke interact with the rest of the teen set in the past year or so, so I’m sure for some viewers, like myself, writers, you seriously could have fooled us.

And Ameera… tsk, tsk, tsk… how selfish are WE being right now? I mean, seriously. The reason why Luke, Noah, and now apparently Casey who seems to like her are in this whole mess in the first place FOR HER so she can get her citizenship. Where does she get off saying that she’s the only one in the foursome that doesn’t get what she wants? Please! Want some cheese with that wine? Gimme a break, girlfriend!

One thing I dislike about this storyline was very evident today. Noah and Ameera quickly marry then the agent comes by almost right after. This is moving somewhat fast. Why does Luke and Noah’s story move so quickly while Carly or Katie’s latest escapades move like molasses?