Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Million Dollar Password: Debut

Sunday night was the premiere for Million Dollar Password, marking the first first-run airing of a version of this show since 1989, hosted by Regis Philbin. Also with celebrity guests Neil Patrick Harris and Rachael Ray.

I find Regis to be a pretty good host on this show, and I had faith in him on this show ever since his name came up.

After seeing Neil Patrick Harris on Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, I just knew that he would not disappoint on this show. I had fun watching Rachael Ray also but she certainly isn't the greatest player. Guess she was right when she said that she's a much better player at home. Though I'm sure we all are, and I still found her fun to watch.

The format is, now... say it with me gang... Pyramid. I refuse to call it "Passamid." Eww, that sounds like a laxative. I'd also like it a bit more if there was some more interaction between the contestants and the celebs, it's one reason why I enjoy the older versions so much. Another nitpick I have... in the million dollar tree part of the game, in the end, what's up with having a word limit AND a clock? Why not just let the team guess the words until the time runs out? I found that a bit redundant.

The minor issues I have are with the music and sound effects. I hate how in this day and age that music seems to be a requirement for everything on game shows, and I found most of the background music to be unnecessary. You don't need it to explain the rules. I also grew tired of the sound effects rather early, in particular, the "pass" sound effect. I'm also not a fan of the set. I understand this is a big prime time game show, but it's just way too busy and dark for my tastes.

I'm not a fan of the format. But maybe it'll grow on me. Then again, considering the company involved with the show, I wasn't expecting a format that would exactly leave me squealing with glee. I do think I'll be enjoying this more for the celebrities and Regis Philbin just as I originally thought. I can't wait to see Betty White, and I even want to see Rosie O'Donnell play. I think we'll be just fine as long as Donald Trump's name isn't brought up.


S Mol said...

There seems to be a misconception that thought, strategy, and quiet are boring. The original Password, which was introduced on Garry Moore's show, featured two teams (contestant and celebrity) alternating, trying to guess the SAME password. They even went through up to 25 guesses before throwing out a word. It was that thoughtful, quiet, banter that made the game so fun to watch.

All subsequent versions of the game (including Password Plus and Super Password) followed the same concept for the general game, although annoyingly attempted to "speed it up" by limiting guesses to a paltry 4 - 2 for each team.

The only thing I liked about the later versions of the game was the "Alphabetics" bonus game, which added the excitement of guessing 10 words in 60 seconds.

But trying to make the whole game essentially one-on-one (losing the back-and-forth action and strategy) and adding the time pressure of the bonus round to regular play is just too much change. The original fun of the game is gone.

Heck, even the original password featured a hushed golf-type announcer saying "The Password is..." How unexciting by today's standards!

This version of Password is tantamount to playing golf with bazookas instead of clubs - just to make the game faster. And forget the golf carts - let's make the players run as fast as possible to get to their next shots. Wouldn't it be great to add a sprint and shot clock to golf? That would be exciting, wouldn't it?

But that wouldn't be golf. And this, my friends, is NOT Password.

One more thought - if the producers think the fast paced music and timers are so critical to the show's success, I would refer them to the hugely popular myriad of poker television programs now. Maybe that's why they're so popular - it is the only remaining game show genre with quiet, strategy, and competition without gimmickry.

Anonymous said...

Opulently I assent to but I dream the list inform should acquire more info then it has.

Anonymous said...

Again a good post. Thanks your crony