Monday, October 20, 2008

Remembering Jack Narz

I thought it'd be worth mentioning right now because of the pretty decent tribute GSN is giving. At one point a few months ago, I thought it'd might be a good idea to do some sort of "remembering the greats of 2008" towards the very end of the year, which explains why there haven't been remembrance posts yet in regards to Beverlee McKinsey, Harvey Korman, Estelle Getty, etc. I don't think I'll be doing that after this year, and instead I'll just write about celebrity passings as they happen.

Anyway, yet another loss for the game show community. I don't think many people in the fandom knew that Jack was having health problems. Unlike a lot of game show fans, I didn't grow up watching him on Dotto, Seven Keys, Beat the Clock, Concentration, or Now You See It. But thanks to GSN and tape trading, I've had the opportunity to see much of his work, and he's in no doubt one of the best old school hosts I have ever seen. I love any host who is very personable and friendly with the contestants, loves his job, and is good with the games he has to work with, and this man was no exception. I think my favorite show of his so far is Now You See It. I love word games, and this I think was one of the better ones and I wish then-network head of CBS, Fred Silverman, gave it more of a chance.

One other thing to point out. I'm a huge fan of Betty White, and at the Dollar Tree about a year ago was a DVD of three episodes of her 1950's sitcom, Life with Elizabeth. And to my surprise, Jack Narz was the narrator! I always like to see early work of celebrities, and this certainly was no exception.

Now onto GSN's tribute. This week, during the GSN Live block, we will see his week of Match Game '74 at 1:30 pm, and a week of him on Password Plus from later in the run at 2:30 pm (all times Eastern). Note that on that week of Plus, he switches places with brother Tom Kennedy (a.k.a. Jim Narz) on an episode! That will definitely be worth seeing. I agree with some people who say that the skipping of Match Game episodes has gotten to be somewhat ridiculous, but I think in this case, it's worth it. I usually feel that way about celebrity tributes; because, yes, I find it truly annoying when networks skip episodes, but there's still something to look forward to. And I'd much rather GSN air a full week's worth of shows with Jack -- or any other celebrity for that matter -- and give some sort of a proper tribute with what's available instead of them just airing one episode of something at 3:30 am, and then calling it a night. That would have been pretty crappy, and I'm glad they didn't go that route.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

WGN: Lost '80's Week

WGN America is doing it again! From October 27-30, WGN is airing a two hour marathon of 4 different shows on 4 different nights, all apart of a marathon called "The Lost '80's Week!" It'll be as follows, from 8-10 PM eastern time:

Monday, October 27th: Three's a Crowd
Tuesday, October 28th: The Ropers
Wednesday, October 29th: Too Close For Comfort
Thursday, October 30th: Check It Out

Oh. My. God. I am SO excited about this like you can't believe. I've always wanted to see more of The Ropers and Three's a Crowd out of curiosity besides the about two or three of each that I've seen on Nick@Nite and TVLand a couple years back. In fact, I've always thought that they should have just gone ahead and released both shows instead of doing best of Jack and Janet Three's Company sets. I've never seen Check it Out and I'm definitely interested in it after reading more about the show. I have also waited for years to see a full episode of Too Close for Comfort.

With the expansion of the Outta Sight Retro Nights to include ALF, Coach, Bewitched, and I Dream of Jeannie, and also, The Munsters Halloween marathon coming up, there's so much for classic sitcom fans to look forward to this month.

ATWT: Run, Luke, Run!

So, so, so many things to love about this episode.

While Luke has his reservations considering what happened after Dusty's "death," it's totally understandable that Noah wants to talk to Dusty. And I'm glad that Noah said that he can speak for himself. Dusty is the only other person outside of Luke's family that he can really be with. I wasn't always a huge fan of this concept before of Noah being with Dusty, but recently overtime I've managed to deal with it. Character interaction is always a good thing, and well, Noah needs a friend!

Considering Kevin's attitude after Luke came out, it's not surprising to see him still being all awkward and uncomfortable and I'm glad the show remembered this. It's just too obvious that he has an issue with Luke being gay and it's always been this way, even with Luke now having a boyfriend. And how adorable was this -- Luke introduced Noah as his boyfriend! Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is the first time that that's happened. Before with other people, it just always seemed to be this awkward introduction with the word "friend" thrown in. I also like the idea of Luke running against Kevin in the election. What perfect timing for that.

I'm sorry, but Brian's still a dick. If he's trying to come off as neutral in all this, then in my honest opinion, he is failing miserably. At the very mention of anything at all that's even remotely gay, he immediately balks. Neutral people don't do that. People who remain neutral don't threaten to quit.

So to wrap things up, Nuke actually really got decent screentime (and yay, Noah even stayed around for the WHOLE show!) and the episode was great. So are the icicles forming in hell as we speak? I really like seeing them just being young and living the life in college. And I hope this storyline lives up to its expectations. It's always nice writing an overall positive review and I hope this continues. For once it looks like Luke and Noah are in a really meaty storyline.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

ATWT: 3-Letter Words

Wednesday, October 1st (deleted bench scene):

Wow, why was this cut? I understand that with shows, some things have to be cut for the time, but really, it’s just all the more disappointing considering how much time is devoted to Nuke. As I mentioned in the previous entry, there are other things that could have been sacrificed for this scene to air. And I think what makes it all the more annoying is that it really was a pretty nice scene. To me it’s always nice seeing these two be there for each other. And we can’t forget a picture of it was used as a promotional device. Lord knows we could have been spared Paul and Meg's latest insanity or Lily and Carly's latest bitch fest so Luke could have one more measly minute. I don't think it was an outlandish request to actually see this on the show. Again, I ask, why was this cut?

Wednesday, October 8th:

Brian is so full of it. He was all for passing out pamphlets at this Oakdale U film festival until he found out it was a gay film festival. Might I add, a film festival that was sponsored by the Gay-STRAIGHT alliance. Excuse the hell out of Luke and Noah for wanting to participate in it. It’s a pretty common fact that young, gay people as well as young straight folk usually have a lot of expendable income. Our moolah is just as green as straight folks’. Something else to point out -- it’s really not that hard of a word to say, Brian. Gay. Gay, gay, gay! For someone like him, it should really be a simple three-letter word. And even if he did have a point, you don’t talk to your boss the way he did. “Kid” and other things like that were uncalled for. He better thank his lucky stars that Luke didn’t hear him calling Lucinda a controlling bitch. Oh, that would have been ug-lee.

And Lily, give me a frickin’ break. Lucinda being involved in Dusty’s death has nothing to do with your relationship with Holden. Holden decided to cheat on Carly on his own. This is why I’ve just started skipping non-Nuke days now. The other storylines can really be hard to take.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

GSN Schedule News

FINALLY! Beginning November 10th, Meredith Vieira’s version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? is coming to GSN. It will take over most of Regis’ slots, and will air weeknights from 8-9 pm and from 12-1 am. And Sundays at 2 pm replacing Camouflage. And more goodness! Monty Hall’s Beat the Clock is coming back starting November 12th at 2:00 am!

I am so happy to hear Meredith’s version is coming. I love her version, and it’s about time that that the Regis era got a rest for a while. I think Regis’ era was truly great, but it deserves to be on the backburner after 5 years of so much airplay. I know some people including myself were wondering if it was difficult to get this version or not. Guess it’s obviously not.

I was so disappointed to hear that Beat the Clock with Monty Hall was being pulled, and what really ticked me off about it was that it was being pulled just as the final week was starting. I’m glad that’s coming back. It’s a bit odd that it’s coming back on a Wednesday, but I’m thinking that Trivia Trap’s final episode probably airs the day before, so that’s probably what’s up with that. I’d really rather them not start over with Trivia Trap again, air the first 3 or 4 episodes, and then just remove it.

Also this week, Match Game (1979-82 syndie) is back at 9 am, Tic Tac Dough (1978-86 syndie) is on at 9:30, replacing Blockbusters (1980-82 NBC), which stays on Saturdays and Sundays only. I love it to death, but I’m glad Blockbusters is on weekends only right now. It deserves somewhat of a rest in my opinion. I must admit that I kind of wish they’d have gotten either the 1990 version of Match Game, or a different show, like Tattletales to come back and air at 9 am.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bingo America: Season 2 Premiere

GSN’s interactive play-at-home bingo sensation is back for a new season, with new host Richard Karn, who’s DOUBLING THE FUN! (sorry, I could not resist)

I think Richard’s a better host than Patrick Duffy. And while we’re on the subject of doubling, if there’s one thing I’m glad to not see happen with Karn on this show is that there are no phrases to shout. I thought he was decent on Family Feud out of all three hosts of himself, Louie Anderson, and John O’Hurley, even though John‘s my favorite… I thought he was miles better than Louie. But points had to be taken away for the annoying “I’M DOUBLING/TRIPLING THE POINTS!!!!” that wound up becoming a common habit with his tenure on the show. And I’m glad that none of that is happening here. I think he has really the right amount of energy. Not too loud, not too quiet.

I can take or leave the new audience game. I don’t think it’s that necessary, but at the same time I don’t hate it. But I guess it’s just another way for them to have people win while watching, whether it be in the studio or at home.

I like this bonus game a bit more than last season, but it‘s still not something I‘d consider great. I like the fact that there’s a sort of threat element -- The Wrecking Ball, but I’m still rather bored by it. Overtime in season 1, I lost interest in it pretty quickly. I just don’t find it to be very exciting.

For those who want to check out the show, it's on at 6:30 PM eastern, right after Pyramid.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

ALF Starts Tonight!

In case you haven’t heard, the classic ‘80’s alien sitcom ALF is being added to the WGN America Sunday night line-up from 6-7 PM eastern! But that’s not all, it’s also airing on Monday nights as well from 9-10 PM eastern!

I remember that it had been a long time since I had seen this show before the first marathon a few months back, and in seeing that one, I don’t love the show as much as I did when I was a kid but I do find it to be pretty enjoyable still.

This is great news and everything, but I do think it’s odd that the show doesn’t seem to be airing in order and that starting next week the same Monday episodes will air again on Sunday… well, as far as order goes, maybe it‘s like with WKRP in Cincinnati and they‘re airing the show in airdate order. But in spite of that, I do love that a new classic is being added to WGN’s schedule. When changes were announced for this network I did cringe at first, since these days when most networks do some sort of identity change, it’s really for the worse. But WGN has so much variety now. Comedies, dramas, movies, they still have baseball for the Cubs and Sox fans, and the local WGN News. Sunday evening’s line-up is now practically filled with classics, with the exception of the 10 PM news. And there is programming from multiple eras. I may not like every show airing (for instance, 7th Heaven) but there’s still plenty of things to interest many people.

I miss the days when cable had a bit more variety and now it’s coming back, at least with this channel, and networks like AmericanLife and RTN (now if I could only get AmericanLife). So while networks like TVLand and ION are busy keeping inconsistent schedules, not airing fan favorites and kissing 18-39 derriere, I’ll be sitting back watching a station that has more to offer, and WGN America is one of them.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

ATWT: Long Time, No See

Wednesday, October 1st:

Well, it’s been a month-long wait for fans of Luke and Noah, Noah’s finally back after his vacation in Italy! They start off the show, as Noah surprises Luke with a mini Statue of David while he’s working on his laptop. I loved how they hugged and kissed and I loved the part about the Italian words. But, dang it, Luke gets a call from Brian about having to go to a meeting. But it’s only the first few minutes of the show. Looks real promising, right?



It’s later in the show, but after extremely long conversations with Carly, Jack, Liberty, Janet, Meg, and Dusty, where’s the rest of Noah’s first day back? And when they’re finally at Metro towards the end, things come to a halt because Lily’s there and Carly shows up with Holden, so Luke and Noah decide to leave to go find Kim. Their three-and-a-half minute contribution to the show is over. I’m sorry, but Lily and Carly have bitch fests all the time lately. The same old “stay away from my husband” bit can wait.

I hate to be negative, but this episode’s time was a new low. What was the point of covering them in soap mags and the like for this episode if they were just going to be on for that little amount? And what makes it worse is their last scene was edited out. There's a slight chance it may be on later this week but I'm not even going to bother getting my hopes up. Would it really have been that bad to have an overexposed character like Meg take a day off for a change so some more characters not featured often could get some airtime? I have no problem these days skipping some episodes if I’m tired of the same people. It’s sad that a four year old’s story was featured more recently. Oh, and speaking of that story, Luke is Ethan’s godfather. Where was he during a much of that? And I think what really makes it disappointing is that this was so hyped up in Soap Opera Digest and other places such as the show's e-mail service as a big reunion that can’t be missed. A show that’s been on for over 50 years should know by now that when a couple reunites either after a break-up, or if one comes back from being out of the country, or hell, even if one came back from the dead, then that is something that should have some pretty big treatment.

What the hell is this show so afraid of? Have fan campaigns in the past several months taught them anything? They should know by now that there are plenty of people who want to see them on a regular basis. Does this show not want to be around after next year? If they do, then there’s a fail-safe plan: listen to your fans. As host Jim Perry on Card Sharks in regards to viewers when signing off for the day would often say, "without you, we're nothing." It's a very true concept. If only they'd get on the ball, then they'd have many more satisfied fans overall.