Thursday, December 31, 2009

In Memoriam, A Recap

Since we lost so many great celebrities this year, I thought today would be the perfect time to recap once more some of those we lost in the television world.

Early in the year, we heard of the losses of both Ricardo Montalban of Fantasy Island and Steven Gilborn; Gilborn perhaps being most famous for his role as Ellen’s father on her ‘90’s sitcom, Ellen. Angel fans were saddened to hear about the loss of Andy Hallet; Britcom fans mourned the passings of Are You Being Served? alumni Mollie Sudgen and Wendy Richard. The comedy world said so long also to legends Bea Arthur, Arnold Stang, Fred Travelena, and Soupy Sales. There’s also game show host Ken Ober. We also said goodbye to three memorable stars around the same time: Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson. Just recently Sesame Street and 227 fans learned of the death of Alaina Reed Hall-Amini. I'll admit I was never once a fan of his commercials, but I did think it was pretty awful to suddenly hear of Billy Mays' death.

Atlantans lost a true local legend in November, as we bid farewell to WAGA-TV anchorman and personality, Jim Axel. And speaking of news legends, we also lost one of the biggest ones in the
business, Walter Cronkite.

May they all rest in peace.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Yearly Review: GSN

There’s been good moments this year, but way too few. I loved Clark Pyramid coming back, 1 vs. 100, Oodles, and seeing George and Brad on The Newlywed Game, but too many bad decisions have been made this year. For instance, losing the rights to about 98% of the Goodson-Todman/Fremantle libraries. The schedule changes that followed continued to lack variety. For instance, I actually don’t really have a problem with Karn Feud airing; it’s how many times daily it is shown. I was never expecting to see an exact copycat rendition of the 1997 Dark Period schedule, but it would have been nice to see a few of the Sony shows dusted off; maybe air a few shows early in the day or on weekends. And one can’t forget the constant technical difficulties. No station is perfect, but it should not take over 8 months to adjust to new broadcasting equipment.

It really seemed from about April 2005 to March 2009, schedule changes and so forth would occur as they always do. And in spite of any negativity within them, the positive would almost always seem to outweigh the negative. It was never perfect, although really when it comes to the best schedule, that’s really in the eye of the individual anyway. But there was still a lot of fun to be had. Ever since the majority of the Goodson-Todman/Fremantle shows left, this has no longer been the case. I’d say there’s still some good, for instance, Pyramid with Dick Clark has been a joy, but the mediocrity and just plain bad overpower any much of it. And knowing the fact that reality programming is coming back into the picture after how badly it tanked in 2004, it leaves me thinking that with this decision along with no on-air mention whatsoever of their 15th year on the air (which I found to be absolutely inexcusable), the new folks running the channel now either don’t know the history of the network they’re running or they plain just don’t give a damn.

I wish I could look positively in 2010 for this network, but really I don't think I can at this point.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (12/25): Jeopardy! Rehearsal Games

This is a good pick for any Jeopardy! fan, especially one who wants to see how things are done when it comes to the practice and planning processes of the show. It's a clip montage of several rehearsal games from the first season of the current syndicated version of the show, which was uploaded (and hosted) by the then-contestant coordinator, Mark Richards.

I love how laid back they are with this; especially with the way the contestants are introduced in the opening portion of the clip. It’s always a little weird seeing someone else besides Alex host this show, but this is still good fun, and any glimpse of classic Jeopardy! is worth a look.

Hardcore game show fans will notice Whew! contestant Randy Amasia as one of the practicing players; he would be on Jeopardy! playing real-time in 1986.

A look at Jeopardy! rehearsal sessions, my online pick of the week!

ATWT: A Very Snyder Christmas

Friday, December 25th:

No Damian and no Meg? Both this and Dr. Bob Hughes serving as narrator are worthy enough in
themselves to give this episode an overall decent review. Seriously, a really nice touch having Bob do a voiceover.

Lucinda and Emma working together was absolute goodness. And I absolutely LOVED the care package Luke gave Noah. It was made of pure love and it was obvious how much thought it took. Even with Noah having doubts about where to go in the relationship, it's as plain as day how much he still loves Luke.

The family feel was very nice to see today, and yesterday as well… it’s something that’s really often been missing on this show for the past 2 ½ years. And I loved seeing Holden interact with Luke, Faith, and Natalie. It just makes me wish for more Luke/Holden scenes. And if another character on this show says Luke is just like Damian one more time, I may throw something!

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (12/18): Beat the Clock

A week before Christmas is a pick of the week which comes from my own collection.

This is an episode of the original version of Beat the Clock from 1952, with Bud Collyer hosting. This has always been my favorite version of the show. The stunts were the best I thought here, and you can tell how much Bud gets into them; especially if someone tries the bonus stunt and wins. It’s obvious he always wanted the contestants to win.

My favorite part is at the end. I won‘t give too much away, but I will say this: I found it to be very touching and is totally like what you’d see if you were watching a show like Ellen.

Beat the Clock, my online pick of the week!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (12/11): Barney Miller

Good gravy, Marie! If you’re a Match Game fan and you missed last Sunday’s second airing of the night of Barney Miller on WGN America, then you missed a treat, because the episode shown featured none other than the late Brett Somers as a guest star!

This was a pleasant surprise as I had seen her on the first season episode she appeared on, “The Stakeout,“ but I wasn’t expecting her to be on another one. It was a rather nice performance too. The episode is called “The Election,” and it was originally seen during season three. Brett plays a woman who was locked in her bathroom by her husband as a means to keep her from voting.

It can be found here on Hulu and on the season three DVD set. Brett on Barney Miller, my online pick of the week!

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Coming to Logo and MTV

Beginning in January 2010, for all the fans who miss seeing Buffy in syndication, you‘re in luck, because the vampire fighting Scooby gang from Sunnydale will be back in reruns!

I know some folks like myself were upset when FX first put the show on weekend only duty and then finally removed it altogether. And while the show is on DVD complete, it’s one of those series that I think always deserves a home somewhere in syndication. I can actually see the reasoning behind the Logo pickup… the show has a pretty substantial gay following (heh, I should know). MTV however… as much as I really love this show I’d really wish MTV would air music related programming. I know, I know... dare to dream, right?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

ATWT: Les Moonves

Les Moonves as a programming head already came off to me as rather ridiculous… having a hand in trying to cancel Reba before the merge to The CW even though it was one of The WB’s highest rated shows just because it didn‘t fit into the precious, coveted, and overrated demo system, and not wanting to let GSN air ANY version of The Price is Right in fear of “over saturation” when that network doesn’t get in near the amounts of homes as CBS, and having the same attitude with not wanting to let AOL put classic episodes of As The World Turns and Guiding Light on their ONLINE channel… but this honestly takes the cake.

I understand that canceling the show was a business decision reflected on the ratings over the past several years... a chunk of the audience have left the show thanks to craptacular decisions by Goutman, Passanante, and Co., but the least one could do as the head of the network is be classy about it. I thought Brian Cahill’s reaction was a lot of bunk but if someone thinks it was manufactured or not, it was at least classy sounding. I do not care if a Pyramid revival comes out of this; canning a staple show like this is NOT funny. At ALL. Especially considering the announcement was made just a little over 2 weeks before Christmas and also especially considering the interview was with Marie Masters’ son-in-law. I’d love to see him have this attitude if he were ever fired.

Les, do all us World Turns fans a favor and go to charm school.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

ATWT: Another Daytime Staple Bites The Dust

I’d say that while my confidence started to go up, I wasn't surprised to hear the notice this morning at all, and while I’m not shocked, I am pissed.

"As The World Turns" has been a cornerstone of our business and a tremendous asset to the company," said Brian T. Cahill of TeleNext Media, Inc., the show's production company. "We are proactively seeking a new outlet to carry the show, and are open to exploring innovative formats and relationships that will enable the future success of 'ATWT.'"

This statement from Brian T. Cahill really gets to me. If the show was such a cornerstone and an asset, then one would think they’d have been treated the show better over the past several years. Head writer Jean Passanante should have been fired 3 years ago. There's no reason period why this woman should have stayed on writing this show for as long as she has, and given her track record on Another World and All My Children, I'm surprised she was hired in the first place. The majority of fans wanted her gone long ago.

And it's executive producer Christopher Goutman's own fault for alienating fans by making too many piss poor decisions and alienating fans by making statements like he didn't care what they thought, and then waiting until imminent cancellation to fix the show's problems. There have been too many storylines either told too slow or too fast which put the plot first and the characters second, too much concentrating on characters and couples the majority of fans despise like Meg and Paul, turning one character like Paul Ryan into a complete cartoon and killing him off multiple times, making female characters weak and pathetic, waiting 3+ years to begin to reunite one of the show's most popular couples, Jack and Carly, and constantly giving characters that really deserve airtime space on the backburner (Luke and Noah of course come to mind as well as vets like Lisa and Nancy). And I hope Mr. Goutman is satisfied, because his lengthy discouraged "to-hell-with-the-fans-I'm-doing-it-MY-way-even-if-it-sucks" attitude with ATWT has just cost himself his job, as well as a mostly talented cast theirs, and it also cost the fans their show.

As much as I’m happy to see the show get better creatively in the past couple or so months (I personally have been watching more of the other days now), I can’t help but be upset with the powers that be at Procter & Gamble/Telenext, because as stated, if changes came sooner, this wouldn’t have happened. And if the rumors were true of Procter & Gamble/Telenext wanting to get out of the soap business, it’s still no excuse to not treat the fans better.

As far as CBS goes… I do think they seem to like to announce items like this at the worst possible times. Guiding Light’s cancellation was announced on April Fools’ Day, and this one was made right before the holiday season. They could have at least waited until January.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (12/4): I’ve Got A Secret

In honor of the show returning briefly to GSN this month, I thought the online pick of the week should be no other than the classic panel game, I’ve Got A Secret!

I find something to like about every version of this show, but the Garry Moore era is hands down my favorite. Best host and I find the panel of Bill Cullen/Betsy Palmer/Henry Morgan/Bess Myerson to have had the best chemistry. I've also grown to like this show the most out of the successful panel show trio of it, To Tell The Truth, and What's My Line?. I love all three shows, but I find this one to have the absolute most liveliness and the most fun.

The show being live helped create some really memorable moments, like this famous blooper involving a cow and well… something not too pleasant. There’s also the celebrity guests… so many great ones. Ronald Reagan is highlighted towards the end of this clip, with Garry Moore himself highlighting some other moments with William Shatner in 1984. There’s also Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Woody Allen, George Jessel, Eve Arden, Soupy Sales with his pie throwing skills… I could go on and on.

The other secrets were interesting as well, like the piano player here, and some of them highlighted history. For instance with Neil Armstrong's parents.

The original I’ve Got A Secret… my online pick of the week!

ATWT: Noah’s Struggle

Monday, November 30th:

Again, this is pretty similar to Luke’s temporalysis situation, especially with the bowl breaking and Noah thinking that he can get it himself. It reminds me of Luke falling in Old Town. Jake is doing a great job at portraying what a struggle this must be for Noah. I was pretty much expecting Noah to lash out a little more. He’s still getting used to his life changing for the worse by being blind. Loved the kiss at the end… the 50th kiss to be exact! And I’m willing to bet money Noah’s stay at this rehab place won’t be for long.

Friday, December 4th:

I have to admit, as much as it’s nice to know how much Noah is apart of the Snyder clan’s lives, I was a bit ticked off that Luke visited Noah off-screen. If then brand spanking new Hunter can visit his mother in a home and if we can watch Carly go through practically every drink in her alcohol addiction storyline, at least one on-screen visit to Noah in his rehabilitation center is not too much to ask.

Meg continues to annoy me to no end. She’s already been played like a violin by Damian and yet she still manages to believe she has a future with him. And I just can’t take Lily and Damian as a couple seriously at all, especially while he’s cavorting around with Meg.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

GSN's 15th Anniversary

I would have posted this sooner but I’ve been having a hard time trying to word this exactly. I didn't want to sound too negative, but I guess that didn't work out all too well...

You wouldn’t know it from watching GSN on December 1st alone, but this day marks a big milestone for the channel, it’s 15th anniversary. The network first started in December 1, 1994; and signed on with this amazing montage.

As I scanned through the tape I have to answer Oodle questions, I notice that there has been no mention of this whatsoever, NONE. 15 years is a pretty big milestone, especially for a smallish cable network, and I can’t believe nothing was said at all. I think 2004 had to be one of the worst years of the channel yet, with reality programming in place and it being obvious they were trying hard to distance themselves from traditional game shows, and even then there was a little 30 second ad marking the 10th anniversary. That wasn’t much at all but at least it was still something. Not just that, but we’re also talking about a network that ran a marathon of shows when they turned 2. GSN dropped the ball on this.

This and with the many bad decisions that have been made this year, it’s a bit awkward for this fan to be overly enthusiastic or celebratory when it comes to this network. I’ve had it at home since 2003, and the first show I saw was Dawson’s Family Feud. After that would be two other classic shows: $100,000 Pyramid and Match Game ‘74... and I soon became hooked. I haven’t had it as long as other fans, but I’ve seen things like the 2004 changeover and the resurgence of classics on the weekdays in 2005; shows like Bill Rafferty’s Card Sharks were new to me. And it was fun seeing Super Password and Password Plus on a regular basis. There were also some downs like Without Prejudice and Starface, but it seems to me in spite of the negative aspects to the channel, between 2005-early 2009 it was pretty much a good thing to look forward to. I wish I could say the same thing now… with little to look forward to, I wish I could be happier about the network now but hopefully fans like myself will be happier for the 16th anniversary.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (11/27): Chuck Woolery's Wheel of Fortune

This pick goes to an oldie but a goodie… Chuck Woolery’s Wheel of Fortune. As most game show fans know, Pat Sajak and Vanna White are not the original duo to grace the show. In 1975, the show began as a daytime show on NBC, with singer/songwriter Chuck Woolery as the host and Susan Stafford as the hostess.

I’m really a fan of Chuck Woolery’s hosting styles on this show. As far as favorite shows go with him, for me it’s always been a toss-up between this show and Scrabble. I appreciate any host who has a good sense of humor and a good rapport with the contestants. One of my favorite moments of his was on the 1976 episode that aired on GSN during the Merv Griffin tribute; where people apparently wrote in complaining about Chuck hugging the contestants, and he responded by hugging one of the female contestants after solving her puzzle correctly and said "I'm a hugger and if you were here, I'd hug you too!" You can tell by the way he did the final spin that he wanted the contestants to win big. Susan Stafford was a really enjoyable co-host; I really like the chemistry presented between her and Chuck. She also showed that she wanted the contestants to do extremely well.

One big reason I love the older episodes… simplicity. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it’s the reason why I don’t enjoy the current episodes as much. I don’t mind the idea of new twists, but the show these days can focus on those more than the game itself. It’s why the older episodes are always fun for me to watch. The older episodes are fluff free.

As for the shopping on older episodes; I love the idea of it, but some of the prizes could be a tad on the undesirable side. The prizes make me lean towards all-cash.

It’s too bad not enough episodes of this show exist to constitute a full syndication cycle, because it’s really worth airing.

Chuck Woolery’s Wheel of Fortune… my online pick of the week!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

ATWT: More Good Nuke Storytelling

Monday, November 23rd:

Another good day for Luke and Noah drama wise! The rejected kiss in bed made my heart jump. Usually something like that considering the circumstances with them hardly ever being seen in or even near a bed would piss me off; but in this case it didn’t. Noah pushing Luke away and still expecting him to be there for him obviously says that his love for his boyfriend is as strong as ever, even if he is upset over what’s happened.

The hypocrisy of Lily whenever she sees Holden with another woman never ceases to amaze me. And to Damian, the “respect” people have for you will go down in droves when they find out what you’ve been hiding.

Wednesday, November 25th:

Again, Noah is pretty much in the exact same position that Luke was in when paralyzed. He feels that all his life is over and it’s hard adjusting to things the way they are right now. As much as it has to be hard for him though, Luke totally needed to call Noah out and point out that how much he loves him no matter if he is blind, and I really loved Luke’s mention of what he’s thankful for. Another thing I loved was Noah’s mention of Emma’s sweet potatoes. I always enjoy little details like that.

This was a good day all around. The Nancy/Katie scene was great.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Monday, November 23, 2009

GSN: Upcoming Marathons

We'll be seeing some more marathons come Christmastime from GSN. Here’s the rundown (all times 9am-3pm except for the Combs and Dawson marathons, which run through 6pm):

December 24th: Combs Family Feud Marathon
December 25th: Dawson Family Feud Marathon
December 28th: Rayburn Match Game Marathon
December 29th: Deal or No Deal Marathon
December 30th: Karn Family Feud Marathon
December 31st: 1 vs. 100 Marathon
January 1st: O’Hurley Family Feud Marathon

In all honesty, this all week marathon situation is more like the Sci-Fi (or "SyFy", ugh) Channel. Deal or No Deal? Feh. Almost two whole days of the Thankgiving 4-day weekend was filled with that show. Something else should air in its place that day. I’ll be looking forward most to the Match Game, and Dawson & Combs Feud marathons, though there could have been a little less Feud too. A couple of the Match Game episodes featured are the “boobs” answer panel walkout episode from ‘74 and School Riot from ‘77. So if you do not have the DVD set and don’t have those episodes then this would be a good time to get them. As much as I find 1 vs. 100 to be an underrated show and think that it deserves a marathon, I’d rather not see it on New Year’s Eve. Dick Clark’s Pyramid should be the show for that; I mean, come on, the man is synonymous with the ringing in the new year. A Pyramid marathon would be nice even if there wasn’t as much variety with the episodes like last year.

GSN: I’ve Got A Secret Airings

When I heard that I’ve Got A Secret would be airing, I was a little skeptical as to which version would be airing and didn‘t want to get my hopes up about classic episodes airing. Nice to see that what will be seen is the original version of the show. This show will air at 3:30 am in place of Password, but Password returns right after.

Here’s some info on the episodes and the dates they’ll be shown:
12/07: 7/17/1952 - guest is Buster Keaton
12/08: 11/4/1963 - guest is Durwood Kirby
12/09: 5/18/1964 - Armed Forces Salute
12/10: 3/30/1964 - guest is Bette Davis
12/11: 11/11/1963 - guest is Jack E. Leonard
12/14: 2/15/1961 - guest is Lucille Ball (episode is guest-hosted by Johnny Carson)
12/15: 4/6/1964 - guest is Wally Cox (episode also features Colonel Sanders)
12/16: 5/11/1964 - guest is Durwood Kirby (Woody Allen fills in for Bill Cullen)
12/17: 11/16/1964 - guests are Robert Goulet and the Shangri-Las
12/18: 11/6/1961 - guest is Vivian Vance

It seems odd that they would do this randomly within the Password rotation, but this is one good thing that’s come from GSN within the past several months. If they can negotiate to get this show back on the air, even if it’s only temporary; it gives me a little hope that we could at least see some episodes of What’s My Line? again or some episodes of a show like Card Sharks during the day.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (11/20): Remote Control

The pick this week is not only for the show itself, MTV's Remote Control, but also a remembrance post of sorts to the show’s host, Ken Ober, who passed away this week at the age of 52.

Here’s my take on it: Ken was a really fun host. Good with the contestants and the audience. I never saw him on Make Me Laugh, Smush, or Perfect Match, but after seeing him here I’d bet he was great on those shows as well. The questions are a lot of fun. This show also has the greatest way ever to eliminate a losing contestant. There are the little things to love too. I love the pictures of the game show hosts on the wall behind the host podium. I also love how the show’s judge wore a judge’s get-up.

I had never seen the show before until the two episodes MTV and MTV2 showed the other night. All I know now is that I’ve become a fan of the show and I’d really love to see a DVD release or something if neither MTV or VH-1 Classic does not want to air the show on a regular basis. It also makes me wish I was old enough to appreciate the older years of MTV.

Remote Control, my online pick of the week honoring Ken Ober.

WWTBAM: Tournament of Ten

Well it’s finally over! The Who Wants to be a Millionaire? two-week Tournament of Ten finished yesterday and we have our first winner in a little over 6 years! Congratulations, Sam Murray!

What really amazed me is how many contestants actually guessed right on the million dollar question after walking away. But in all honesty, I don’t really blame any of them for leaving. I always feel that if I were playing and I didn’t know the answer, that it’d be time to go. Especially in this case since it’s not like the regular play where contestants would usually have at least one lifeline to use during the question. And I'm sure if any of them saw Ken Basin lose back in August, they surely didn't want to see the same thing happen to them if they were wrong.

There were some really fun moments with this tournament, aside from the win itself, one of the most entertaining moments had to have been with Keilani Goggins with her presidential question. Tim Janus also had a great moment when he faked Meredith out when it came to being able to answer the question. As much as I love her on this show, I know the contestants sweat bullets in part to her “trickster” method in seeing if the answer‘s right or not. At the end, Jehan Shamsid-Deen scared the living daylights out of me as the timer dwindled down to practically nothing before leaving.

This was a lot of great fun and I hope the show does this again sometime.

ATWT: Poor, Poor Noah

Thursday, November 19th:

This was another good episode. Mostly in part by the acting, but the dialogue was great too. No matter how much Noah lashes out at Luke, it’s easily seen how much he still loves him. This is obviously a whole new world for this character. He’s never had to depend on anyone to get him through college or in other ways to start his life as an adult. In a way, it’s a little like when Luke was paralyzed, when he couldn’t walk and took his anger out on Noah.

Jake Silbermann really shined today, and so did Van. It’s just another instance out of so many that prove how well they work together. Due to Jake's great acting seen today, you could really tell how much pain Noah was in and how much he was hurting. Van showed how well Luke was hurting to see his boyfriend in such a sad state.

I admit I had serious reservations when I heard David Kreizman was coming over to this show after Guiding Light was left in such a horrid mess under his sole reign, but if we keep getting good storylines like this one, as well as if the rest of the show continues to improve, then I’ll be able to feel better about this show’s future.

ATWT: Good, Meaty Material

Monday, November 16th:

This was one of the best episodes EVER. Seriously. Such great acting by Van. And I was more than happy to see Mason get socked. Jerk had it coming. His behavior just goes to show he didn’t care about Noah at all. That comment at the end with him blaming Luke everything… what an ass. No, Mason; if you had kept your composure and acted like a professional, none of this would have happened. The only person to blame for this mess is Mason.

And as much as I rag on Meg, for the last half of today, she gets serious kudos from me for helping Luke out when it came to visiting Noah in the hospital room. It’s another reason why this particular storyline is more enjoyable than previous ones. There’s definitely the realistic angle in there about how same-sex couples do not have legal medical rights. Another plus being how much Noah is being treated like one of the family.

Tuesday, November 17th:

I admit I was floored at first when I found out about this adoption business, but all in all, it’s really just a way to take care of Noah’s health insurance situation. I love all of the character interaction in this. Bob’s face when Damian told him about the adoption was priceless. I’ll also admit that when I say I want Noah to have more family, this is not what I had in mind, but this is playing out much better than I thought it would.

Something I’ve noticed… it seems that the rush-rush-rush feel of the show seems to be coming to an end and for that I’m happy. This show is finally turning itself around and it looks like the start of some nice, meaty material to work with.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

GSN: Weekend Schedule Change

Weekends, effective November 28th, changes listed only:

9:00 am Hollywood Squares (Bergeron, SYN 1998-2004; replaces Match Game (SYN 1979-82))
9:30 am Whammy! (GSN 2002-03; replaces Password Plus (NBC 1979-82))
10:00 AM: Chain Reaction (GSN 2006; replaces Super Password (NBC 1984-89))
10:30 AM: Family Feud (O'Hurley, 2006-present; replaces Dawson Feud)
11:00 AM: Newlywed Game (with Carnie Wilson, replaces Whammy!)
11:30 AM: Catch 21 (replaces Chain Reaction)
12:00 PM: 1 vs. 100 (replaces Meredith‘s Millionaire & Bergeron’s Squares)
1:00 PM: Deal or No Deal (replaces 1 vs. 100)
3:00 AM: Catch 21 (replaces Dawson Feud (SYN 1977-85))
3:30 AM: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Vieira, 2002-present, replaces Password (CBS 1962-67))

Blech. So much blech. What an awful schedule. Seriously. I love Hollywood Squares and Meredith’s Millionaire, but there’s no redeemable qualities with these changes at all. None whatsoever. They couldn’t get a couple shows out of the vault?

Whammy! continues to be run into the ground. Deal or No Deal will be seen *FIVE* times on Saturday. And knowing now much it airs on the weekdays… this is just way too much of one show. And I thought the Thanksgiving marathon was overkill. You know, I remember there was a time period from about 4 years ago to now, there’d be a few schedule changes where there’d be something that would happen that I wouldn’t like, but in spite of the negative feelings, there much more of the schedule’s changes would be positive and I’d find myself enjoying more of the channel. This is not the case anymore. Right now there’s 3, if not 4 shows that I can sit down and enjoy on a daily basis. No variety is really to be had at all now. We have the same shows with limited runs seen over and over again. The only Goodson-Todman classics left now are Match Game, Family Feud, and the original Password. It makes me dread the possibilities of future weekday schedules.

Hell, even with the reality garbage that came along, there were more classics than this in 2004.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (11/13): Play Your Cards Right

I’m sure most game show fans are familiar with the game show Card Sharks, which ran in 3 incarnations (NBC 1978-81, with Jim Perry), (CBS 1986-89, with Bob Eubanks), (SYN 1986-87, with Bill Rafferty). There’s also the dreaded 2001 version, but I won’t go on about that. What some fans of this show may not know is that this is also a popular show in Britain. That’s right, a big hit called Play Your Cards Right, with none other than Bruce Forsyth as the host.

Bruce Forsyth is a great host of this series. Great interaction with the contestants; great chemistry with the models, over there known as the “Dolly Dealers.” Also he does a really great job with the handling of the cards. And of course, there’s one thing that I love a lot on this show: the questions. The interesting questions are one of the things that really have always made Card Sharks so much fun, at least for me. And here there are plenty of interesting ones to be had. Word has it that he was originally slated to host the CBS version. If they picked him, I'm sure he could have done really nicely.

There are a few distinct differences with Bruce’s show. For instance, the later episodes feature couples as contestants, usually married ones. Also, there is a car game featured in this version, however it is incorporated in with the money cards. And another difference: some people may be a little taken aback at the first 5 minutes or so because of the lengthy interview portions at the beginning. But in thinking about it more, I see why this happens. On our versions with Perry, Eubanks, and Rafferty, they all straddled. In other words, games would play continuously into the next show. On Play Your Cards Right, every game ends perfectly at the end with the Money Cards. The first five or so minutes must be done the way they are to keep it that way.

Play Your Cards Right, my online pick of the week!

ATWT: You’re Fired, Creepy Professor

Thursday, November 12th:

I’m not really a violent person, but I couldn’t help but enjoy the scene where Luke grabbed Mason in a fit of anger. The “I should have ripped your stupid scarf” line was pure classic. I see Luke’s frustration in this. Mason is Noah’s professor, and behavior like that is never appropriate. And in spite of that, it would be one thing if Mason was just harmlessly flirting and nothing more. But Mason has said on more than one occasion that when filming is done, he’s doing to be doing the best he can to get into Noah’s pants. It wasn’t about doubting Noah. And also Noah doesn’t see or hear the comments made about him that are said to Luke, so to him it just looks like Luke is overreacting.

Friday, November 13th:

I was so glad to see Mason fired. It was also nice seeing a bit more of the conversation with Noah and the Dean. Mason has no one else to blame for his career going down the toilet except himself. If he valued it so much, he’d have kept his hands and lips off of one of his students. I was really glad though that they at least made up and said their “I love you’s” before it really got ugly.

Great acting by Van and Jake. This looks to be a really good storyline at this point and from the looks of things, we should be seeing more meaty and emotional material in the near future!

A Little Cable TV Venting...

What is up with cable nowadays?

As I go through my Ryan’s Hope episodes this week I notice a promo for a mini-marathon of Cougar Town this Saturday on SOAPnet from 5-7 pm.

There’s only one problem with this… Cougar Town is a COMEDY, with no drama of any kind in it. Now this is not being used as a platform to bash that particular show. I’ve seen it a couple times and it really isn't as bad as I thought it would be. I’m also a fan of Courteney Cox so it’s nice seeing her on the screen again, and I wish it didn‘t come on the same time as Glee. But this isn’t about that. This is about the fact that the network that's supposed to be devoted to daytime dramas has put them in the position of second fiddle. The miscellany stuff seems to get much more attention than the actual soaps.

With all the reality garbage this network has been cranking out, along with the Sunday Night Movie, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, and I’m not. And what I love the most is that network and production executives always wonder why people flock to sites like YouTube and Dailymotion. At this point it just seems as though the train of thought is “if the network won’t provide material for the fans, the fans will do it themselves.”

We've also got GSN giving Carnie Wilson a reality show come January. Do the new people running the programming on this network even know its own history? They’ve tried to go in “a different direction” with reality and it didn’t work. Reality shows have failed on GSN. Every single one. A few of them may have done well at first, but then the ratings tank and if they’re not pulled entirely from the network they’re shoved off to 2 or 3 am and then they‘re gone (see Kenny vs. Spenny, The Amazing Race). Even one done based on another actual game show host, Chuck Woolery, in 2003, bombed as well.

And there’s more craziness than that on other channels. I flipped past The Weather Channel tonight and I see they’re airing Misery. Yeah, that's right. The MOVIE, Misery. Who thought this was a good idea? Yeah, who gives a damn about a possible Nor’easter forming when there’s a much more important blockbuster movie we can air instead? Geez, Louise.

GSN: Thanksgiving Deal or No Deal Marathon

Looks like GSN will be filling Thanksgiving and Black Friday this year with plenty of trimmings of Deal or No Deal. Yep, that's right, two days. 9 am-6pm.

Yeah, this is really ridiculous. And my negativity does not simply stem from my dislike of the nighttime version… although that is a part of it. But no show period, classic or modern, should ever have this much exposure. This is almost up there with the TVLand 48-hour type marathons. And let’s not forget the fact that a) this is not the first time the show has been featured with a lengthy marathon since its acquiring several months ago and b) the show now comes on at least 3 hours daily and I’m sure the show has cycled around more than twice by now. One other thing to consider… this is also not a show with thousands of episodes to spare either.

This is nothing but overkill.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (11/6): Coupling (UK)

If I were to bring up the show Coupling to other Americans, what would come to mind to most may be the short-lived NBC bomb which ran for only 4 episodes back in 2003. But the version I’m referring to is the much better original British one, which is based on the relationship between creator Steven Moffatt and producer Sue Vertue. I first saw this on one of the PBS stations here and loved it.

This show revolves around the blossoming relationship with Steve Taylor (Jack Davenport; people in the US will probably remember him best for Pirates of the Caribbean) and Susan Walker (Sarah Alexander). There‘s also Susan‘s best friend Sally Harper (Kate Isitt), her ex-boyfriend Patrick Maitland (Ben Miles), Steve’s best friend and co-worker Jeff Murdoch (Richard Coyle; seasons 1-3), and Steve‘s ex-girlfriend Jane Christie (Gina Bellman). Coyle left after season 3 and a new character, Oliver Morris (Richard Mylan), took his spot.

What really made the show work was how the humor was done. It wasn’t an overt style of joke telling, but the writing in itself was still very enjoyable, and the situations themselves were comedic. One of my favorite scenes on this show has to be from episode 4, when Steve rants about seeing pornography and why he shouldn't be embarrassed about it. I haven’t seen the fourth season yet, but I can imagine why fans might have been upset with Richard Coyle’s departure; he had some of the best dialogue.

I always thought it was rather unfortunate about the NBC version. I remember being disappointed in it, especially since the creator of the British version was involved. It was also really miscast. I guess in the end though it was for the best, because some of what really worked on the British version would most likely never work here, especially in a post-nipple-gate world.

The pilot episode, "Flushed," can be found here.

Coupling, my online pick of the week!

ATWT: Sweet But Oblivious Noah

Wednesday, November 4th:

The idea of Lily questioning Holden’s whereabouts with Maeve is a freaking joke. The same questioning is coming from someone who married Damian not even two months after her first husband is presumed dead. It’s one thing to have mourned, but Lily’s just been selfish and I hate what this has done to her character.

Mason is so smug and creepy, and of course his smarmy ass would think it was better if Luke wasn’t there during the shooting. It’s been pointed out very well that Noah wants no part of his advances. That forehead kiss was just… ugh.

Thursday, November 5th:

Lily has just gotten on my last nerve lately. So she’s still wanting Holden, but she points this out while Damian’s arm is around her shoulder. And something else to point out… you know, normally snide comments made by Holden usually bug me, but in this instance, it’s more than justified.

Mason is so arrogant. I’m not much of a violent person, but I’d really like to reach into my screen and bitch slap that smug look right off of his face! Not only is he blatant about hitting on Noah, but he’s stupid enough to let that forehead kiss be caught on video. Luke is so right in being upset and I totally loved his “OH HELL NO“ face when seeing the dailies. I can’t believe he has the gall to put his arm around Noah’s shoulder in front of Luke like that. And then that game on comment?! Ugh. “Open season… open season for what?” Oh, Noah… na├»ve but loveable Noah… is it not obvious? Mason wants you. BAD.

On a note related more to the show in general, I’ve notice somewhat of an improvement in dialogue and the episodic crap seems to be gone now in favor of the more traditional soap opera storytelling; the way it should be. It really should stay that way.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (10/30): Go!

For our new pick of the week, yet another show I wish was on GSN. And of course, how can Chain Reaction be mentioned here without Go!?

Another Bob Stewart creation, based on his earlier show, Chain Reaction, Go! was a show which took two teams, one each consisting of a celebrity captain and four contestants competing for $10,000. Team members construct questions one word at a time just as on the bonus round on Chain Reaction. What I really like about it is how incredibly paced it is; it’s easy to follow and doesn’t rush itself.

This was Kevin O’Connell’s first (and only) game show hosting experience and he did a really great job, right off the bat. Even using is own sign-off “This is K.O. for G.O.” towards the end of the series. Kevin can now be seen as chief weather anchor at WGRZ-TV in Buffalo.

This was another short-lived series, in this case most assuredly having to do with the fact that it was placed at noon against local news in most areas. Again, another short-lived show that could do decently on the weekends.

Go!, my online pick of the week!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (10/23): Chain Reaction (NBC)

This is another pick of a show that I think could do nicely on a weekend timeslot on GSN.

For those not familiar or if they haven’t seen the GSN version of Chain Reaction, it is a word game in which contestants must form chains based on two word phrases. It was created by Bob Stewart, best known for his other hit successful game show Pyramid.

The episode chosen is from the original NBC era, which I find to be the best of them all. There’s Bill Cullen, the host, the game play from the contestants is much better and sharper and I actually really love the celebrity team factor that this version had.

I was never crazy about the USA version. Geoff Edwards did a great job as host but I never really felt it much. Normally I am not one to point out or complain about the cheapness of a particular show with a few exceptions, mainly this show and CBS daytime Wheel of Fortune, but that was a big problem that I had with that. The bonus round on it I found to be very monotonous and dull.

The GSN version I never liked. Dylan Lane, while looking good behind the podium, I thought really lacked in interacting well with the contestants and overall hosting of the show. Too many of the contestants weren’t always that great in playing the game either. I know being under the lights and the pressure is not as good to handle with everyone; and every good contestant makes at least one goofy blunder or a mistake, but here it seemed to happen all too often. The Millionaire wannabe set and the awful theme music really didn’t help matters either.

The NBC version could again I think could work really well in reruns, again in some kind of early morning weekend slot, seeing as though there were only 50 or so episodes produced. The original NBC Chain Reaction, my online pick of the week!

ATWT: Luke and the Family Dramarama

Friday, October 23rd:

It’s always nice seeing Luke and Lucinda together, as little as that was.

It’s just so funny to see Lily’s jealous attitude every time she sees Holden with Maeve, and also not to mention hypocritical to epic proportions. He’d be with you right now, Lily, if you hadn’t married Damian in a flash. And speaking of Damian, if I haven’t mentioned it before… and well, even if I have, I’ll bring it up again: I’m not a law expert, but I’d think that the deceased party turning out to be alive would nullify any death declaration, making any recent marriages by one Lily Snyder while still being married to Holden Snyder invalid. I guess it doesn’t work that way in Oakdale. Cue the eye roll. It’s also surprising that Luke didn’t know that the most recent marriage is still in existence until now.

Remembering Soupy Sales

The world of entertainment has lost yet another legend, Milton Supman, best known as Soupy Sales, died this week at the age of 83.

I was too young to see much of Soupy’s shows originally, with the exception of a few clips from specials like Bloopers and Practical Jokes, and to my knowledge it has never been rerun. However I am more familiar with his appearances on various game shows so I’ll focus more on those. I think my two favorite game shows that he appeared on were Pyramid and What’s My Line?. On Pyramid, he was very fun to watch even though sometimes luck wasn’t always on his side. What’s My Line? really helped in showing off his wit and humor, especially since on the syndicated version, demonstrations were done.

May one of the world’s most loved comedic personalities rest in peace.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (10/16): Hot Potato

I’ve mentioned a few times that it’d be nice to see some more Sony classics taken out of the vault and be dusted off for airing, and this is one of the classics I have in mind.

For those who did not have GSN in the early 2000’s, or if they missed out on the Viewer’s Choice Marathon in 2007, Hot Potato was a short-lived show which ran in early 1984 on NBC by the people of Barry-Enright Productions, best known for shows like The Joker’s Wild. It was hosted by Bill Cullen and featured two teams of three people of the same profession or some type of similarity, like Moms to Be, 411 Operators, Waitresses, Telegram Singers, Grocery Checkers, etc.

It looks like a Family Feud knock-off, and well, it is. But there’s still a really nice type of charm with this. I love the twist with the teams of people representing their professions. Bill does a great job interacting with them as he usually did with contestants on the shows he emceed. Makes me wish they hadn’t switched to all celebrities later in the run. Again, I have no problem with a week or something of that nature that is all-star, but permanently is too much.

I think this could work really well on weekend mornings on GSN, considering the limited run and episode count. It especially could have worked during the same time The Money List was airing considering the similarities between the two shows.

Hot Potato, my online pick of the week!

GSN: November Schedule Changes

More bad scheduling by the folks at GSN. Starting November 7th, the Super Password block at 11 am will be gone and in its place will be the return of Love Connection to the schedule and Hollywood Squares. Super Password will be on weekends only.

This reminds me of what SOAPnet did with Ryan’s Hope about 2 years ago. You DO NOT take a show with over 1,000 episodes and put it on weekends only. You DO NOT do that. Period.

I love Bergeron Squares, I really do, it’s my favorite version of the show. But I’ve actually grown comfortable with the late night airing, and I really don’t like the idea of Super Password being sacrificed for it. And knowing the current routine, it won’t be different episodes at all. I’ll bet it’ll just be another airing of the same episode. I would have removed one half of the hour, but instead putting Password Plus in the slot… another show that had no reason to be removed from the weekday schedule. And Love Connection is not a game show. I have nothing personal against the show, but it does not belong on this network.

On a miscellany note, to correct a previous entry: the one good thing I noticed though; it looks as though that promo for the Catch 21/Newlywed Game was a bit off; there won’t be all celeb shows all season. There’s at least one good decision made most recently. But still, it’s continuing to get to the point where I have little to enjoy with GSN now. Just way too little variety. I’ve enjoyed some things, but too many scheduling decisions have been either mediocre or just plain bad and have outshined any good.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Newlywed Game and Catch-21 All-Star Episodes: Review

Reviews for both shows which aired last night:

The Newlywed Game was hilarious. I enjoyed seeing all the couples, and it really touched my heart to see George Takei and Brad Altman. And aside from the fact that this was the first show to ever feature a gay couple, nothing else at all was different or made special. The questions were the same as they would be on any show as they should have been. George hit Brad with an answer card just like any other contestant on this show would. There were laughs garnered from that couple that could have come from any other one. This is all I wanted to see and all I would have expected to see when hearing that the first ever gay couple would be featured.

I still have my issues with this show, this was a pretty enjoyable episode. And speaking of issues, I don’t know if this just has to do with the fact that it’s an all celebrity show, but the Goldywed end game was obviously nowhere to be found. In any case, I’m glad. This was one of the weakest elements of this version, and it really made it more serious than it should be. If that’s a permanent fixture, then great.

Catch 21 was fun also. I have always enjoyed seeing Melody Thomas-Scott on game shows, especially Pyramid. And she was just as fun here. Brandon Barash and Jackie Zeman weren’t bad to watch either. Too bad luck was not on her side with the cards. I noticed that Alfonso was a bit more reserved than on previous episodes, and I was glad to see that.

One issue I have… during Catch 21 a promo aired which says that the all-star episodes continue all-season long. Last night was fun but I really don’t like the idea of this. It seems as though GSN has not taken a page from Whew!, Monty Hall’s Beat the Clock, Bullseye, or Hot Potato. I have no problem at all with an episode or two, or even a whole week of all-star shows, but an entire season? Moves like this have been proven to not work out too many times.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (10/9): Mary Tyler Moore Show Bloopers

In honor of the fifth season of The Mary Tyler Moore Show being released this week, my pick is related to this show.

It is a two part clip of bloopers and outtakes, which are actually from the final season but they're fun to watch anytime. It is always such fun seeing behind the scenes and extra stuff like this. I love seeing the cast having such a good time.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show is my favorite show of all time. I discovered it on Nick at Nite (back when it was good) and I’ve enjoyed it ever since. The chemistry between the actors, the writing, the acting… it was all there and I can never get tired of seeing it.

Finally nice that Fox got off its duff and is releasing the rest of this show! There were only three seasons left, and season 5 has "Chuckles Bites The Dust," the most popular episode of the whole series, so I don't know why they were so reluctant. Mary Tyler Moore bloopers, my online pick of the week!

ATWT: Wedding Insanity, Day 2

Thursday, October 8th:

Yeah, my sympathy for Lily is at about -75 right now. Holden has every right to be hurt. It would be one thing if it were years from now, but considering how short it’s been, I can see why he’s upset. And Damian makes me want to throw something. “Holden’s been gone a long time.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! He’s been gone for a month and a half! Tops! And you know he’s not happy to see Holden back. That defeated face at the beginning when Holden walked in was enough to tell. Oh and Meg, spare us the self-pity song and dance! What amazes me is that much of this is using a lot of classic soap elements. It’s just a shame that most of it is being so rushed and Lily has been made so weak.

I don’t understand this. Luke basically said to get Mason back, and he apparently did. It is not as though Noah had kept this a secret. And considering the circumstances, Noah really didn’t have much of a chance to tell the whole story anyway at the time. And the fact that Noah walked out in the storm to get to Luke is more proof that he loves him a LOT. And Mason is the little instigator isn’t he? Love how Noah stood up to him. His relationship is none of his business.

One other thing I can’t believe is how Luke went to go check on Damian. Um, didn’t Holden just return from the dead? I’m sure Damian will be just fine.

Let’s hope the next time there’s a thunderstorm that Luke and Noah share a kiss… outside.

ATWT: Wedding Insanity, Day 1

Wednesday, October 7th:

Looks like Emma is the only one with any kind of sense in this craziness. Meg is so typical. She can rant and rave about Holden’s memory all she wants, but the majority of her rage is based on how Damian dumped her like a hot potato. And it’s really letting out her inner psycho bitch. I can’t believe Lily had the gall to invite her to this joke called a wedding? Is she out of her ever-lovin’ mind?! I mean, granted, Emma was as peppy as ever during the green card wedding, but in that case as horrible as that was, at that time one of her sons wasn’t presumed dead and the bride to be married wasn‘t her daughter-in-law!

Luke and Faith going along with this was insane enough, but now even Lucinda has a change of heart with this charade? Are you serious?! This is the same woman who can’t stand to be in the same room with him, especially with her daughter. Ugh, she was showing so much sense until she showed up for that. Give me the Luke and Lucinda who are ready to throw Mr. Grimaldi’s shady ass out the door any day.

Mason looked a little too happy about his car breaking down. I love how Noah is so noble and feels guilty for missing out on something important to Luke, but another big part of me doesn’t care that he missed that insanity. Another thing that I do not get… Luke telling Noah to get Mason back? What a change. Before Luke was hell-bent on Mason never doing as much as making eye contact with Noah again.

It’s really a shame, because this is the type of storyline that should have contained a lot of meaty dialogue and could have run for a really decent amount of time. And the character assassination of Lily doesn’t help matters. Being in a mournful state is one thing, but this character has NEVER been pathetic as this.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Supernatural: Why I'm Not Worried This Week

With this latest upcoming episode, I had thought about coming up with some clever title like “Supernatural gets hot” or something like that for this, but considering who the two leading men on this show are, a title like that would be inaccurate and misleading.

Anyway, as I’m sure every fan knows by now, Paris Hilton is going to guest star this week on Supernatural. Now I can’t stand the sight of this woman. At all. But I am rather calm about this, and now I realize why. As I’ve mentioned in an earlier entry, I may not like everything this show has put out. For instance, I wasn’t a fan of the recasting of Ruby. However, even though I don’t think the show is always perfect, too much good has come out in the past four years. The writing, the acting, the producing, etc. So. Much. Good. And there’s also the fact that the creator, Eric Kripke always seems to want to treat his fans with respect and knows that we aren’t his personal playthings. He seems to listen to pretty much all of our issues. For instance, the majority of fans didn’t like Bela, so she was gone after season 3. And after all, this isn’t the first time he has asked fans for their trust. I’m suddenly reminded of the time just before season 3 started when it was announced that a couple of new recurring people would join the cast. I'll admit, I worried a little. But things turned out rather well. And even if I don’t like a certain episode or a certain twist for any reason, I know that even though that might be the case, I know that the show at least always tries to put on a good show no matter what.

So even though I do not enjoy Paris Hilton one bit, I will at least have trust and faith that the show will at least still be decent. And even if I don’t like the episode, I’ll at least know the powers that be tried. Hell, maybe I’ll even like Paris a little after this. Okay, let’s not push it that far.

ATWT: There’s Always Tomorrow… Um, No

Tuesday, October 6th:

It’s been less than two months and Lily and Damian want to get married tomorrow. TOMORROW!?! Are you freaking kidding me?! Lily, the presumed death of your husband JUST HAPPENED! As much as I really don’t like Lily and Damian together anyway, this is the type of storyline that can last a really decent amount of time when told properly. But thanks to Chris Goutman’s warp speed storytelling method, everything has been told in less than two months. Someone please tell him that this is not a race! There is no reason - even in soap land, no, ESPECIALLY in soap land - for Lily to be making such a rash decision like this so fast! It’d be one thing if it were many months, maybe even a year down the line if this were to happen, but this is just ridiculous. HOLDEN WAS PRESUMED DEAD A MONTH AND A HALF AGO!!! You know, there have been parts of this show in the last month or so that have been rather good, and parts that make me want to throw a brick at the TV. This is definitely the latter. And that group hug at the end was just cringe-worthy. This has to be the first time I have ever been made uncomfortable by the sight of one of those. Ever.

The one thing that was nice though is that today did show how well Luke interacts with his younger siblings. Especially Ethan. They are so adorable together. But other than that, where in the hell is this family’s sanity?! WHERE?!

Let’s Make A Deal (2009): Review

The good… I think Wayne Brady isn’t really a bad host at all. Very likable and interacts nicely with the contestants. He doesn’t host it like Monty did but to be honest I did not expect him to. I also like the fact that the set is bright and doesn’t look like a Millionaire-wannabe clone. Too many game shows try to copy that vibe even if their atmosphere is nothing like Millionaire (see GSN’s Chain Reaction, Donny’s Pyramid). Glad to see that isn’t the case here. Also the show seems to be much more tasteful than say, the 2003 revival.

And now to what I don’t like… I still don’t like the idea of this show being one hour. I didn’t like it in 2003, I didn’t like it with Game$how Marathon, and I don’t like it now. This is a much better show as a single 30 minute entity. It’s just way too stretched out to me the way it is.

Not a bad show. I don’t hate it but I’m not in love with it. In all honesty, if it still in the end came down between this show and Pyramid, as mentioned previously, I would have chosen the latter, as I enjoy that show much more. Or at least they could have picked up both shows and ran them 30 minutes each.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (10/2): As Seen On

The pick this week is an older GSN original. As Seen On was a little weekly show that aired on GSN in 1998. Its hosts were Greg and Matt, better known as The Vault Guys, who would spend time showcasing clips and scenes from the many game show episodes contained in the network’s vault, making observations as they went along.

The episode chosen is one that focuses on certain sitcom cast members’ appearances on the various shows throughout the years. Shows like The Dick Van Dyke Show, M*A*S*H*, and The Brady Bunch. I’ll say it right now: I am not a fan of M*A*S*H* and I never have been. But in spite of that I have always enjoyed seeing cast members such as Loretta Swit, Jamie Farr, and McLean Stevenson appear on these shows.

This is a good show for the more average game show fan who is into classics. Many of the clips featured are from the Goodson-Todman library, a library of which GSN right now does not have a whole lot of access to. Shows like Tattletales, Beat the Clock, What’s My Line?, I’ve Got A Secret, and To Tell The Truth are featured. Another episode I watched featured clips from The Price is Right. Some Sony shows appear also, mostly The Dating Game, Pyramid, and The Gong Show.

I notice there are issues that some people have with the latest game show clip show specials these days that have come about (like Game Show Moments Gone Bananas) because many of the clips are the same ones from previous specials. This show doesn’t seem to have that problem much. I stress the word much because chances are if you haven’t had the chance to watch that many classic shows in full, in seeing an episode or so of this there’s a good chance you’ll see things you haven’t seen before. Or if you have watched a lot of shows, at least a lot of what you see with As Seen On is not in a clip show of any kind. There are many moments that don't seem to be showcased in the more major specials. Like for instance, here, with the wins and contestants singing on Family Feud.

So if you’re in the mood to watch some highlights of the classics, this is a pretty decent way to do it. Some of the dialogue with the hosts is a bit cheesy but it was still a charming little show. I certainly wouldn’t complain if this show were to somehow come back some day in repeats, if it were at all possible.

As Seen On, my online pick of the week!

ATWT: Not As Cute As You

Friday, October 2nd:

Holden and Maeve practically being buried alive by dimwitted Ebberly? Heh, that is so Days of our Lives.

Lily, you are being played like a violin. It’s so obvious Damian is up to no good at all. And every time he gets that much closer to getting caught, he comes off looking like the innocent victim. And again Meg for much of the time continues to make this whole situation too much about herself. She has a right to be upset with Damian sleeping with someone else, but come on, girlfriend! Other people are being manipulated by him, too right now. It’s not all about you!

Noah is cute and likable, but Mason totally crossed a line and something like that was totally inappropriate for an adviser to say. And Noah’s face when he said it… I can’t help but say, the taken aback look was, well, cute. I loved bitchy!Luke so much when Noah told him everything. I had no sympathy whatsoever for Mason when he pulled the “woe is me” card talking about how lonely he is. Give me a break, man.

The confrontation was a bit of a letdown and I felt the same way about their screen time today overall. But in spite of that, pretty good show when talking about it all. And something else happened on this show on this particular day that doesn’t happen very often. Friday cliffhanger! Nice to see this show mostly getting it right again.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (9/25): Glee

I had intended to review the pilot episode but I somehow managed to miss both airings of it…. ack! Anyway, I started watching from the second episode and I was instantly hooked. This show has many fun and enjoyable characters. Jane Lynch plays bitchy quite well as Sue, the cheerleading captain. It is also well written and acted. Matthew Morrison shines as the glee club director. The kids are great too, I think so far my favorite is definitely Mercedes.

I have had my reservations about watching new shows on Fox over the past several years… too many favorite shows of mine have been cancelled too quickly (see Boston Public, Wanda at Large, Titus)… and while I was not a fan of Terminator: The Sarah Chronicles, it really seemed to me from what I heard about it, that it was another instance of Fox cancelling a show with potential too early. But in hearing how well Glee was doing I was much less scared to give it a try and I am glad I did. Not too often am I hooked on a newer show after just one sitting.

The clip this week comes from an episode which aired last week, which features the football dancing to “Single Ladies.” You know, at this point I don’t know what’s better, the song itself or the imitations that have come from it. This is the type of hilarity worth seeing every time it airs.

Glee… my online pick of the week!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

ATWT: Tell Him, Luke

Wednesday, September 23rd:

It’s really insane. So Meg has the information needed to bust Damian, and I still hate her ass. Go figure. It’s one thing to be upset with the fact that Damian screwed around with someone else behind her back, but girlfriend is just being way too holier-than-thou and with her it’s also pretty much “ha-ha, I know more than you!” and it comes off as very classless and bitchy. And none of this concerns Luke? Um, yeah, no.

And as for Damian… I’m sure he didn’t intend to have it happen, but he totally used getting shot to his advantage. And he managed to lie himself out of the mess he got into with Luke. So I’m pretty sure soon enough Luke will be hating Damian all over again in the end. That’s classic Damian.

Holden and Maeve… oh dear. Getting to know each other is nice, but all that time yakking could have been time spent escaping. The good thing though is that lead into some decent suspense.

Thursday, September 24th:

I can definitely see why Noah was upset with Luke. Not only has something big happened in Luke’s life, but it was also easily possibly the end of Luke’s life, and the love of his life had no earthly idea. If I had a partner who did that, even if it wasn’t done maliciously, I would not be happy either. As Noah so eloquently put, with them, it is their life. And this was definitely a big deal.

Oh, Mason. You just know on the inside he totally lit up like a Christmas tree when he heard that Noah and Luke got into the argument. I can seriously imagine him happily getting the DVDs he needed to get. Yeah, sorry, buddy. You ain’t getting any tonight.

On another note… it was so nice seeing Maddie again. The REAL Maddie. The Maddie I am sure knows for a fact that Noah Mayer is gay and won’t stir any ire in Luke and make him jealous like in December (what the HELL was that, show?). And I have no sympathy whatsoever for Adam. Period. And wow, Tom changed his tune fast on that subject, didn’t he?

This actually was a really good day and a pretty good four days overall. It’s really nice to have a bit more of a character driven story. It’s definitely character driven, because this is not the first time where something major has happened in Luke’s life and he for some reason didn’t tell Noah, or didn't tell him first (also see the school election). And the dialogue during the argument scene was very nice. There’s also the fact that Luke was on four… *gasps* FOUR days. That doesn’t happen too much at all.

ATWT: No More Brian Comparisons, Please!

Monday, September 21st:

Good dialogue with Mason and Noah. Finally, more of a sign that something is starting with this story. We know that Luke is only wanting to move back home for a little while, so I didn’t see the need for the dialogue to make it so final sounding.

It’s back to not liking Meg again. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. What is up with this woman fighting for men who treat her horribly?

Jack, I am no fan of Lily sleeping with Damian either. But I doubt Lily can’t be a basic mother because of it. Though there is one thing I still don’t understand… how could she STILL possibly not see why this bothers Faith so much?! And can we please stop bringing up Luke and Brian? This was a stupid mistake too, but under different circumstances.

Loved Damian’s face when the phone rang and it was the cop from Kentucky. The classic “Damn! My plan has been foiled!” look. Paolo totally nailed it.

Tuesday, September 22nd:

My, my, Mr. Grimaldi. What are you up to? A business trip to San Francisco? Liar. And him saying that “Lily has suffered enough.” Yeah, no thanks to your ass.

Meg… tsk, tsk, tsk. We find out that Holden may be alive and she STILL brings up Damian. With her now it’s very evident again that she seems more concerned over the fact that Lily slept with her man than the idea of her presumed dead brother’s memory possibly being usurped.

And one more thing… Ebberly Stone! This crazy lunatic’s full name is Ebberly Stone! Excuse me while I burst into laughter! EBBERLY STONE! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

TPiR: Season 38 Premiere: Review

Since there really aren’t any major changes to the show game play wise, I will simply comment on the minor changes.

I really am enjoying most of the new set changes. The one-bid score displays look really nice. Updated for the modern conveniences, while continuing to sport the classic look of which the show is known. Same with the turntable and the main stage where the pricing games are played. A few of the new camera angles remind me of something: I know a few friends who have seen the show in person, and the one thing that they all say is how small the set is in actuality compared to what is seen on television. And these new shots during the closed-captioned bumpers and so forth really seem to resemble that fact. The only real problem I have with the set is with the showcase podiums. The color scheme matches, but they’re a little thin for my tastes and the score readouts are a bit hard to read. The latter issue could easily be fixed by making the readout background darker.

I think Drew so far this season is doing a really decent job. I am confident that things will not turn the way things did close to around this time last fall, where the intended comedy overpowered the show itself. Luckily things for the most part turned around relatively quickly after.

Here’s to another season of Price!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (9/18): Guiding Light Farewell Tribute

Another Guiding Light related post for the end of this week: a brilliantly done tribute has been posted on YouTube by user FebWriter, which does an excellent job at looking back at some of the many memorable moments that the fictional city of Springfield has endured.

It honestly has to be the best tribute to this show that I have seen all year. As much as I enjoyed seeing Betty White introduce the tribute done at the Daytime Emmys this year, the tribute in itself was pretty pathetic. With tens of thousands of episodes and such a huge legacy, there was no reason why there should have been such a short tribute.

It is separated into nine parts. The memorable moments one is really one of my favorites out of them all. I was not old enough to see Bert Bauer firsthand, but in seeing many of the older episodes and moments like what is first featured with her and Josh, it is very evident to see what a big impact she had on the show’s fans. Celebrations is another favorite. That really lightens the mood, I think.

They are all there: Memorable Moments, In Loving Memory, Friendships, Weddings, Couples, Villains, Celebration, and Legacy.

This amazingly done tribute to the longest running television series ever, my online pick of the week!

Friday, September 18, 2009

GL: Series Finale and Reflections, Part Two

As sad as I am to see the show go, any anger or bitterness on my part as a fan is directed mostly at Procter & Gamble/Telenext when it comes to the actual cancellation than CBS. Although I do think that it was in incredibly bad taste for the network to make the announcement on April Fools’ Day of all days. It’s really irritating to see that it basically took a cancellation notice in order to get things such as better storytelling and more vets getting screen time. I’ll bet right now we would not be seeing favorites like Ed, Holly, Mindy, Danny or Michelle if the show was staying on the air past this week. There’s also the fact that there are writers and producers who stayed on the show much longer than they should have (i.e. head writer David Kreizman and executive producer Ellen Wheeler).

And I’ve said it before and I will be happy to reiterate: this needs to be a testament to any other show running right now, especially if you are a daytime soap (I am especially talking to YOU, As The World Turns! Things are starting to get better with you, and it needs to continue.). If you’re treating your fans as if they matter, then good for you, continue to do so. If you are not, then you need to do so. Fans are not expendable, and there is only so much that they can tolerate before they throw in the towel. Respect your fans. Your job depends on it. There are many items that contributed to longtime viewers deciding to no longer watch the show. Whether it was Maureen Bauer’s death in 1993, Reva being cloned in 1998, the handling and demise of Roger Thorpe's character in 2005, or switching to the “realistic” shaky-cam style in 2008; people left the show for specific reasons. There were reasons why fans stopped caring; they differ depending on which fan you talk to. Reasons to no longer watch pretty much had to do with decisions that were either not well thought out before they were made or were just plain bad choices.

This is not to say that change is a bad thing, because it is not if it is done correctly. Two years ago Days of our Lives was along the same lines; ratings down, cancellation being imminent, with even NBC president Jeff Zucker saying that the show would make it past 2009. Well guess what, changes were made to the show creatively, the ratings are up (either #3 or somewhere in the top 5 overall), and 2009 is almost over. And some really big changes were made too, and I found myself questioning a lot of them; for instance, getting rid of John and Marlena. But in the end it paid off and things look much better. So I refuse to believe that a show can’t turn itself around if it really wants to.

Change in itself can be good. It just needs to be well thought out and fans need to be respected. If television’s longest running show ever can be axed, then no other series can ever be exempt of a cancellation notice.

Despite its severe dips in terms of quality over the last several years, congratulations, Guiding Light. Congratulations to a show which achieved something no other television show has ever been able to touch and never will.

GL: Series Finale and Reflections, Part One

I have decided to split this entry into two: one part will cover my thoughts on the actual ending of the show dialogue-wise and the other will be my thoughts on the actual cancellation.

I’ve hated Alan Spaulding so much over the years, but his death was done so uniquely well in ties with the Phillip storyline that in all my time of watching this character, I never thought I’d be sad to see him actually die.

It’s nice seeing all these favorites again. And I am glad that over the past couple of years that they decided to give Remy something to do instead of just being angry all the time. I know Tammy’s death was sad, but geez. I really loved Billy and Vanessa’s wedding, and then they made it a double wedding for Buzz and Lillian. Very spur of the moment. No Olivia/Natalia reunion kiss? Grr.

Although it’s odd that Jeffrey disappeared with no explanation whatsoever, I was happier than ever to see Josh and Reva reunite. I like Jeffrey too, but with all the history these two characters have, there would have been no good excuse period to not bring these two back together.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

ATWT: Go, Meg! Wait, wait… what?

Wednesday, September 16th:

Oh. My. God. I actually liked Meg today. More on that in a bit.

It’s really just like Damian to take advantage of a situation like this. And to try to justify it by saying Holden’s gone now, especially knowing that he had a hand in hiding Holden’s dental records? Okay, Mr. Grimaldi, you can go away now.

Totally loved Luke today and I enjoyed watching him slam the door in Damian’s face. Also, in spite of his disgust (totally loved that “ewww” face whenever Damian/Lily sex was brought up), in the end he actually heard her side of it.

Lily comparing this situation with Luke and Brian is so wrong on so many levels. First of all, for the comparison to actually work, Noah would have had to be presumed dead when Luke kissed Brian and he would have had to have been sober. Not that it was right for him to do what he did, but there is no comparison. Bad move, Lily. Oh, and finally the light bulb went off in regards to Faith. It only took her walking in on her in bed with Damian.

And just wow, I cannot believe I was actually cheering along Meg Snyder. This has to be the first (and probably the last) time that that has ever happened. EVER. As much as I hated Damian and Meg being together Meg was treated like crap. Not only was that slap justified, but she told him off very well and she actually had a backbone! What show am I watching?!

Oh and Holden, escaping but leaving the gun with the lunatic that will wake up at any time? Not really a good idea.

There are still some bumps that need smoothing out, but with the show beginning to improve in quality and the ratings going up from second to last to #5, it looks as though the powers that be maybe finally realizing that the show needed fixing. Good show today and I actually can’t wait for tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! Season Premieres: Review

Hard to believe we are now starting 27 years of Wheel of Fortune and 26 years of Jeopardy!.

I’ve sounded off on my issues with the current era of Wheel of Fortune and they have not changed. And I still don’t have the desire to watch the show every night anymore. This new free play wedge in place of the free spin sounds rather weird to me. Maybe I’ll get used to it as it goes along.

Jeopardy! however looks just great. Still a great game format-wise after all these years; I've found that it's aging quite nicely. And I am still in love with the new set. Nice new graphics, and I love the new board sound at the beginning. I have voiced my thoughts on the previous set back in March, and they are still the same as before. While I liked the change of podiums in 2006, I am not sad to see it go at all. It was definitely my least favorite set out of all of them. I’ll even take the Sushi Bar/Library looking set any day over it.

I am really excited about the celebrity element this season. Having a celebrity episode once a month may probably sound like a lot to a few people, but in actuality, it is really pretty much the normal length of a celebrity tournament stretched out over the course of the season. I’ve read that some of the celebrities attending so far are Dana Delany and Pat Sajak. I can’t wait to see who the others are!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Online Pick of the Week(9/11): Rock & Roll Jeopardy!

In my excited anticipation for the start of the new season next week on Jeopardy!, this pick involves another spin-off related to the series, Rock & Roll Jeopardy!.

After years of wanting to check out an episode, I found one on YouTube, and I have to say I was rather impressed with it. Jeff Probst does a really nice job hosting. This version does a pretty good job by adding a neat twist… music, to the regular good old format of the answers and question style game play on Jeopardy!. Just goes to show that you can take a tried and true format and make it work to your advantage. I also find myself to be a bit better at this version. Again, pop-culture-ish type material is really my forte. And if you were a music fan, you would have loved the apparent variety of question material.

Really nice adaptation of the series and it’d be nice to see reruns again someday.

Rock & Roll Jeopardy!, my online pick of the week!

ATWT: Over The Fence

Wednesday, September 9th:

Wow, could that fall of Mason’s have looked any more silly? It was almost as if I was watching something from America’s Funniest Home Videos. And geez, Mason, could you have sounded more pervy when you mentioned that there were things that you need someone else to do for you? I got to love how oblivious Noah is to Mason, then there’s that look on his face when Noah had to leave to be at Holden‘s memorial, and I‘m pretty sure there was a twinge of disappointment when Noah came back to check up on him and Luke came along. Yeah, buddy, you’re not getting any from him. Finally, some kind of start to this storyline.

So glad Noah made it to this memorial service. If only he could have spoken at it. And Lily… I just do not understand this, still. How does the possibility of Faith seeing her kissing Damian a while back simply not register with her? Will the light bulb ever go off? I mean, really?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Catch 21: Labor Day Marathon FAIL Moment

Nothing much was on here Monday obviously due to it being the holiday, so since I don’t watch Catch 21 that much I figured this would be a good opportunity to watch a few episodes. And one of the episodes I saw later in the afternoon… oh, boy.

Luckilly, I see someone has uploaded it to YouTube, because here’s one moment with this show in the beginning that I will probably not forget in a very long time. And then there's the end game.

If I had seen this originally, I for sure would have included it in my “Other FAIL Moments/What Were They Thinking?“ entry for the Online Pick of the Week. Now I’ll admit it right now, I am by no means a math expert or scholar of any kind. But the premise of this game is pretty easy. Answer a question correctly, decide whether or not to keep a card, and in the process, add up to 21 without going over. And 13+8 = 21. That's just common knowledge.

And then watching her play the bonus round was maddening. How could she not realize that she could have walked away in the end? My God. It's so obvious that the contestant coordinators didn’t do a good job at getting someone who knows how the show works.

I realize that every good contestant is going to goof up in some form, but this was just beyond ridiculous.

Family Feud: Season Premiere

The definite good is as usual for Feud as far as I am concerned. John O’Hurley is as good a host as ever and has a great sense of humor, as usual.

After getting a chance to see the original Bullseye era on GSN a while back out of curiosity, it’s a pretty safe bet to say that I am not the biggest fan of it. And I can take it or leave it here.

Now for the nitpicks… I absolutely hate the “meet the families” introductions. They are just way too cheap and amateurish, and really seem like a waste. They could easily have the contestants introduce themselves in the studio. Also the music issue for me is the same as ever. There are more parts of the classic theme than just the main popular part, and I wish the people in charge of the music would realize that. I hate hearing the same few notes over and over again. Also I just don’t see the need for “suspenseful” music during the Bullseye round. I just think it’s unnecessary.

Millionaire: Season Premiere

I cannot believe it has been eight years already since this version debuted. It took a little bit of time, but soon enough I really began to love Meredith on the show and I love her spirit as well as personal rapports with the contestants.

As for the millionaire tournament structure? There’s a part of me that sees this as pure gimmick. But at the same time, I understand completely why this was devised. I mean, let’s face it, it’s been 6 years since there has been a million dollar winner. We’ve gotten close a few times after Nancy Christy’s win, but no cigar. It’s also not like it was something unnecessary that was just thrown out of thin air. It seems to be very well thought out. And if it guarantees a winner, then I am all for it.

Deal or No Deal: Season Premiere

Despite moving to Connecticut, nothing much has changed with daytime Deal. Not that I really expected it to, though.

There’s still a good quality about the syndicated version. I thought that the theme weeks got a little heavy last season, but in spite of that, it didn’t really interfere with the game play that much unlike the nighttime version.

Just like last season, the show focuses on the contestants and the game, and less on the gimmicks, which makes this the only version of Deal running right now that I would even bother to go out of my way to watch. Also Howie does an excellent job hosting as usual.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Best of 25 Years of Jeopardy! This Week

All this week from September 7th through the 11th, Sony has decided to treat us with a 5 episode selection of what they call “The Best of 25 Years of Jeopardy!”

Here is the rundown:
9/7: Show #1 from 9/10/1984
9/8: Show #3482 from 10/26/1999, which features as Eddie Timanus’ game #5
9/9: Show #4656 from 11/29/2004, Ken Jennings game #74
9/10: Show #4657 from 11/30/2004, Ken Jennings game #75
9/11: Show #4783 from 5/25/2005, The Ultimate Tournament of Champions finale

I was wondering what we’d be seeing this week considering that the reruns of the Teen Tournament and the Tournament of Champions finished last week, and that they usually do not rerun just general shows during the summer on weekdays.

I wish we could see three more episodes older than four years old considering the fact that GSN doesn’t want to air any older seasons anymore. Also three of the selections are also on the DVD set (#1, #4657, #4658; although airing the first show makes sense considering what an obvious milestone it is). But I’m glad they decided to do something a little special and it’s not often an episode from the 1980’s is rerun these days. It’ll be exciting to look back at one of the episodes featuring blind contestant Eddie Timanus.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (9/4): The Simpsons: “Dial ‘N’ For Nerder”

The Simpsons has always been one of my favorite shows, ever since I was a kid. But considering the big drop in quality overtime, I haven’t watched it much on Fox at all. I figure I’m better off watching something like Newhart reruns on WGN America. But some nights, I’ll watch reruns of the show on locally, and the station here that airs the show, WATL, seems to want to run only the more recent shows that are only a year or two old.

I’ve seen a bunch of the episodes, and I’ve seen some of the truly awful episodes, like “That ‘90’s Show,” which pretty much took the show’s important history established well on early in the series and tarnished it just to make the plot written for the episode to work, to rather mediocre ones like “Smoke on the Daughter.” But I saw one that stood out. One that I actually enjoyed from start to finish. One in which I laughed out loud a lot. That would be “Dial ‘N’ For Nerder.” I pretty much loved it all, from the Cheaters spoof to Bart and Lisa being scared out of their gourds after Martin’s cliffhanger moment, to detective Nelson Muntz, and to the NBC Mystery Movie reference at the end.

Now as a fan, I’m sad to say it, but I really don’t think that we’ll ever reach the quality of the early years ever again. But seeing episodes like “Nerder” just goes to show that a good episode can be put together. I just hate that any kind of enjoyable episodes these days seem way too few and far between.

The Simpsons episode “Dial ‘N’ For Nerder,” my online pick of the week!