Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Play it Back: 70’s Game Shows: Review

GSN debuted a new decade documentary series Play it Back, on Sunday. And this episode focused on the game shows of the 1970’s. I must say, I was rather disappointed in this.

I think by now, with the amount of game show documentaries and specials that have been done over the years, it’s just inevitable to see something repeated. I mean, Match Game was one of those shows that defined the 1970’s, so it’s expected to see some of the same clips again (i.e. “boobs”, School Riot, et. al.). And I knew we couldn’t spend the hour without having discussion about the Newlywed Game’s “In the butt, Bob” moment, no matter how overplayed it is. But when most of the show is the same stuff we’ve already seen several times before, I can see how that can be annoying. The 1970’s had near 70 game shows throughout the course of the decade, so I was expecting much more material than what we saw. Though there was some fresh stuff shown, well, at least for a documentary it was fresh. I never thought I’d see someone comment about the $38,750+ win on Jackpot!, and I’ve never seen Billy Crystal’s record win on $20,000 Pyramid mentioned in a documentary. But still, I was expecting more than what we saw.

I did like the trivia questions between breaks. I mean, I’m a bigger fan of the genre than the average viewer, so I pretty much knew that 1975 had the most game shows that aired. And I’m sure not every fan knows the exact date of the premiere of Split Second.

Caroline Rhea -- who I do love, by the way -- I really wasn’t feeling that much here. The commentators I had no real problem with. I really liked seeing Bob Goen, Bob Eubanks, and Wink Martindale.

I just hope the ‘80’s and ‘90’s episodes are better. But if they’re not, we’ve still got the marathons at least, right? I still cannot wait for $25,000 Pyramid.

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