Thursday, August 28, 2008

Syndie Millionaire: Official Changes for this Season

Awhile back I posted about the rumored changes for the syndie version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?. Well now, here’s the real deal; this season we’ll see the following additions and changes:

- Lifelines: Say goodbye to the 50/50 and Switch the Question lifelines; they are being retired. In their place will be what was originally rumored: Double Dip from Super Millionaire, and Ask the Expert (which pretty much just seems to be Three Wise Men from the Super era, minus two).

I’m actually excited about these changes, especially the Ask The Expert. And to be quite honest, I never really liked Switch the Question.

- Time Limits: The time limits are a-comin’, and since this version according to a somewhat recently aired GSN documentary featured the show already does have one, these are going to apparently be much more strict. The first five questions will have 15 seconds per question, 30 seconds for the next five, 45 seconds for questions 11-14, and for the million dollar question you get 45 minutes plus any remaning time for previous questions.

I was iffy about this at first, but at the same time, it does get a bit irksome waiting and waiting for a question to be answered. And the time limits do sound fair to me. For instance, in many cases, contestants answer the first five questions in even less than 15 seconds.

- Graphics/Music: A few minor changes will be had too; I’m kind of liking the new graphic here, but I’m curious about the other possible new ones. There’s apparently new music added as well.

Granted, I don’t work behind the scenes, but I have the feeling there won’t be too many changes with that, or at least any new music probably won‘t abandon the feel of the show. Hopefully these changes will be good ones also.

ATWT: Black Tie Optional

Tuesday August 26th:

I have to say, I absolutely loved, loved, LOVED the tie scene between the two of them. I am so glad that the first kiss between these two was referenced and with things like “Bubby” being Noah’s nickname for Luke, it’s another instance that shows just how in love these two really are. All the mushroom references I found to be both weird (Who in God’s name came up with the idea of hunting and camping for mushrooms? Seriously?) and in some cases with Luke and Noah, rather titillating and amusing. If they were trying to be subtlCheck Spellinge with the latter characters with those references, they pretty much failed. But with those two it was still fun to watch. Brian made it seem creepy when talking about it to Lucinda. And for the record, I don‘t blame Noah one bit for looking concerned when the topic of camping came up. If I were them, there’s no way in hell I’d even think of camping after what happened last summer.

While I understand why, and in some instances, agree with how Luke was offended by what Brian said last week; at the same time it’s a bit too early in this storyline for Luke to be as suspicious as he is about Brian. Even though it’s pretty easy (and a bit sad) for the audience to predict some of these “nice guys” on the show lately, at the risk of possibly sounding nonsensical, it seems a bit too early for the character to be this suspicious. It’s like we skipped a scene. The feelings go from offended to suspicious, and the change in emotion is so quickly done, and because of that I feel like I can see where this storyline is going already. What I did notice is that even though I don’t like that, I do like that we see that the cool, calm and collected Noah balances out upset, mistrusting, and suspicious Luke.

Again, I can’t help but notice how fast their storylines seem to go in comparison to some of the others.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

GSN September Schedule Changes

Here are the changes, for the overnight, beginning the week of the 22nd:

1:00 am That’s The Question (replaces Trivia Trap)
1:30 am Camouflage (replaces Now You See It)
2:00 am Trivia Trap (replaces High Stakes Poker)
2:30 am Now You See It (replaces High Stakes Poker)

2:00 am High Stakes Poker (replaces Body Language)
2:30 am High Stakes Poker, cont’d (replaces Beat the Clock)

There’s also a Wheel of Fortune marathon planned for Saturday, September 27th from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm.

I do I love the idea of a Wheel of Fortune marathon and I‘m certainly eager for that. But as far as the regular schedule goes, I’m not happy one bit about most of these changes. As for Double Dare, they’ve already cycled through all the available episodes once and I saw about 98% of them, so it’s not as big a disappointment for me personally, but I can see the ones who are more upset because they were trying to catch the episodes they missed the first time during the second cycle.

What irritates me the most is Beat the Clock leaving. Especially after finding out that the last episode they’re airing is the first episode of the final week. Would it have really killed GSN to wait two weeks before removing the show? I also don’t like the idea of Body Language leaving. Since Trivia Trap will be nearing the end its second cycle soon, here’s a novel idea when the second run ends: replace it with Body Language so the rest of the episodes can be seen. This is one of my biggest pet peeves I have with television: shows being removed before the cycle ends. Hopefully it'll come back again.

I like that Now You See It is back to five days a week. But the rest of the overnight schedule changes get a thumbs down from me.

ATWT: For the sake of the Foundation

Wednesday, August 20th:

Airtime, or lack thereof… lather, rinse, repeat…

Brian may be right in the sense that there are bigots out there -- and I for one, do not blame Luke one single bit for getting pissed off -- but really, the dirty looks and so forth that he was giving to Luke and Noah when they were having the business meeting, and even when Luke kissed Noah at dinner, really do not make Brian look that good. And could he be a bit more subtle? Also the fact that he was calling them on their affection just after openly (and VERY obviously, and even more so than Luke and Noah) flirting with Lucinda kind of bugged me. The sad thing I also notice is that with 99% of new characters on this show nowadays, you’re not going to see them be too nice, or at least for very long, so I’m suspicious already about Brian’s character. I did love hearing Lucinda mention very clearly that she would never work with anyone who is homophobic in any form. That part I thought was great. Lucinda rules all.

All else I can say right now is that whether or not I wind up liking this storyline in the end, I just hope the writers have it flow in SOME direction, unlike the green card marriage storyline, where one could get a migraine trying to figure out where the hell that was going. And, show, no more random psychos. Please.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Mork & Mindy: Mini-Marathon

Caught a promo for this during WKRP and Newhart last night. WGN America’s done it again; we’ll be seeing more classic TV in primetime, this time a mini-marathon of Mork & Mindy this Tuesday night, from 8-10 PM Eastern!

The episode rundown is as follows:

8:00 PM “Mork Moves In”
8:30 PM “Mork in Love”
9:00 PM “Mork's Greatest Hit”
9:30 PM “Long Before We Met…”

Most of the episodes are going to be from season one, with the exception of “Long Before We Met…” which is from season 4; and I’m kind of happy about that. It has been a while since I’ve seen the majority of the show, but I remember the first season being the real favorite. I thought season two was okay as well, but all the cast changes and so forth didn’t exactly make the show any better for me. I liked that Tom Poston became a regular in season two, but I didn’t like Elizabeth Kerr and Conrad Janis being dropped.

Either way, cheers to WGN for adding another night of retro fun!

ATWT: A Night on the Town

Monday, August 18th:

Wow, long time no see, Noah Mayer! And I must say, pretty enjoyable show today. Even with the usual annoyance of lack of screen time (again), so many good things to look back on. This has to be the first time in quite a while (at least since Cyndi Lauper’s appearance) where I watched a Luke and Noah episode and I couldn’t wait to watch it again; I mean, like, immediately after seeing it the first time.

If there’s one thing that I love, love, LOVE about this already is that Lucinda is apart of this story. I’ve been waiting for so long to see some more interaction with her and the boys… again it makes me want to ask the powers that be why on earth she wasn’t involved when Noah was in the closet last summer. It’s also about time that we had Luke and Noah having a fun night on the town! And the scene where they make the plans for it was just adorable. Again, this, THIS is what I and a number of other fans have wanted with these two, REAL affection. And it’s lovely seeing it. EVERY time. Please, show, keep it up!

Could it have been any more obvious how into Lucinda Brian Wheatly was? Though I love seeing Lucinda have a ball too just as much as I do Luke and Noah.

Also, as I’ve probably mentioned before, it’s always nice knowing little things about the characters, like today with how hot tea helps Noah sleep. It’s nice having little fun moments, or breaks, if you will, like these; and I wish the show would get that for the other characters. This especially applies to Paul and Meg. Can they at least breathe first before getting a new story? You don’t need all drama, all the time in order to have a good soap opera.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Goodbye, “Catch a Game”

On August 17th, GSN is reporting that the summertime slogan “Catch a Game” will be retired and will be replaced with a new slogan, and to that I say “Good riddance.”

It’s too bad too. I could have easily seen myself loving this campaign if the song wasn’t played during every freakin’ break. Then there’s the fact that there were only 3 or 4 promos made for the slogan. One big gripe I have with GSN is how they promote things these days. Seriously, how hard is it to diversify the ads so that the viewer sees more than the same few over and over? How about promoting some of the daytime line-up individually? Why was there no promotion for Pyramid coming to the schedule? I know that if I shelled out big bucks to Sony to get rights to air a show (especially an entire series), I’d be letting my viewers know about it. Now it just reminds me of the time of no matter when I watched, I couldn’t escape the same Without Prejudice? promo during every break or the ad with Shandi Finnessey squealing, “YAY! ONE FOR MEEEEEEEE!“ in the most shrill voice ever imaginable during the Playmania days.

And it’s not just the promos that got really grating overtime. Also the pop-up ads on the screen were even larger than they were before. I don’t want to see a fake wave or surfboard wash over the screen when I’m trying to watch a show. To GSN and every other network, I’m not an idiot; I know what I’m watching and I don’t need some giant banner on the screen telling me. Not to mention GSN is one of those networks that with many of its shows, you really don’t need extra clutter on the screen since the game shows that are shown have words, phrases, and categories that you’d need to see if you want to play along with them at home.

This campaign I think did have potential, but at the same time it wasn’t executed properly. I ask that with for the next campaign, for the love of GOD, please come up with something that doesn’t make me want to hurl something at my television screen in a fit of annoyance.

GSN: Laugh out Loud with ‘80’s Game Shows

Get out the Rubik’s cubes and 3-D sunglasses, GSN’s honoring game shows from that lovable decade of the 1980’s. This airs September 14th; here’s the schedule, all times Eastern:

1-3pm: Card Sharks
3:00pm: Press Your Luck (Episode 1 of Michael Larson)
3:30pm: Press Your Luck (Episode 2 of Michael Larson)
4-5pm: Press Your Luck
5:00pm: The $25,000 Pyramid (Vickie Lawrence, Harry Anderson)
5:30pm: The $25,000 Pyramid (Denise Miller, Michael J. Fox)
6:00pm: The $25,000 Pyramid (Billy Crystal, Lynn Redgrave)
6:30pm: The $25,000 Pyramid (Billy Crystal, Lynn Redgrave)
7:00pm: Laugh Out Loud: 80's Game Shows

The idea that they managed to get four episodes of $25,000 Pyramid to show alone has me really loving this already. And the first episode shown features Vicki Lawrence?! Sweet! That is my second favorite era of the show next to the ’70’s $20,000 Pyramid. And if there’s anything that’s truly unforgettable in the game show world in this particular decade, it’s Michael Larson taking Press Your Luck and CBS for a wild ride winning over $110,000 in cash. I’m a bit surprised that Wheel of Fortune isn’t included in the marathon in some way since Vanna started co-hosting in 1982 and the current nighttime version debuted in 1983, but I’m sure that’ll probably be mentioned on the documentary. All in all, this looks to be pretty enjoyable too. Can’t wait for it.

GSN: Laugh out Loud with ‘70’s Game Shows

Get the bellbottoms out of the attic and turn the disco music on in celebration as GSN salutes ‘70’s game shows. This airs September 7th; here’s the schedule, all times eastern:

1:00 pm: The Dating Game (Michael Jackson)
1:30 pm: The Dating Game (Ken Norton, Suzanne Somers)
2:00 pm: The Dating Game (Ron Howard)
2:30 pm: The Dating Game (Pee Wee Herman)
3-5 pm: Let’s Make A Deal
5-7 pm: Match Game
7-8 pm: Laugh Out Loud: ‘70’s Game Shows

I’m REALLY excited about this; the 1970’s is my favorite decade of television, and many of those favorites are game shows. More than 60 game shows aired between 1970-1979, so I can only imagine the material that can be used for a documentary that’s exclusive to that time period the genre. I was really impressed with just about all of the previous documentaries and specials GSN had shown a while back: Behind the Blank: The Real Match Game Story, Game Show Hall of Fame: Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, etc. Pretty much all of them except Greatest Game Show Moments, which really just had the same recycled clips from previous specials; not to mention said clips were edited badly and weren‘t even that great to begin with.

The marathon looks great. I’ve really gotten into Let’s Make a Deal after seeing repeats of it in the past year, The Dating Game is one of my favorite Chuck Barris shows, and how can you have a Laugh Out Loud special without Match Game? I’m eagerly awaiting September.

Friday, August 1, 2008

ATWT: Big Brother Luke

Thursday, July 31st:

Well, I must say, Luke is one great big brother. One of the biggest problems I have with this show currently is that in a lot of cases, family members hardly interact with one another and I genuinely appreciate when it does happen, and today is certainly no exception. It’s always good seeing Faith and Luke share scenes together. And of course, while good intentioned, we knew Luke’s line to Faith earlier when it came to Holden and Lily was a complete lie. I hate the word “chillax,” but even Van can make it sound nice. I really feel bad for Faith. And I loved her mention early in the show about gay marriage.

It’s really great seeing Luke and Noah be a real couple. These are kinds of scenes I like. Not only was there interaction with Luke and his younger sisters, but Noah was also there being supportive when Luke needed it. And of course, I’m loving that we’re getting kisses, real couple kisses on screen when the scenes call for them. I saw the passion in the kiss on this episode. And let’s not forget Luke inviting Noah to the family barbecue!

The only problem I really see with this episode in particular is pretty much the usual… not enough screen time. Way, way, WAY too much of it devoted to Parker and Liberty, and now it seems like it’s not just Luke and Noah who’s getting their time lessened for the sake of that ridiculous story. And I’ve been ready for the foundation storyline to start. But overall, pretty good scenes with Luke and Noah on this episode.