Sunday, August 30, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (8/28): Other FAIL Moments

After seeing Ken Basin lose over $475,000 on Millionaire this week, it just got my mind going to some other moments in game show world which left you wondering what in the world were these people thinking when they made the decisions they’ve made.

The first pick from Wheel of Fortune is probably the most memorable with hardcore game show fans, and not likely the average viewer as it is never been shown in clip retrospectives and this episode is really not rerun either. And what cruel irony with the puzzle here as well. I’m sure there was much agonized feeling along with that defeat for Terry at this point. Did the nerves get to her? It’s certainly a possibility. The cameras, the lights, can easily get to a contestant and get the best of them, understandably so. But sadly, in the end, it cost her $62,000.

Here are a couple of other moments that just genuinely makes you wonder “what where they THINKING?“ From my own personal collection, here is an example of how NOT to play the grand game on The Price Is Right. It’s something that I can’t help but think. But most medicinal/health products will screw you over every time in playing this game. It’s probably come from all my years of watching the show, but I’ve learned that it’s best to try to avoid those like the plague. Another classic moment comes from the Dawson version of Family Feud, where a woman struggles to come up with an answer for a question, well, besides tires.

What were they thinking?

ATWT: The Funeral

It really irritated me to see Luke not want to be with Noah at the time because he would just remind him of the whole situation, only for him to go home to see Damian, and walk right over and hug him. However, the writers redeemed themselves at the end of the show. Noah showing that he’s willing to be there for Luke no matter what show what a good boyfriend he really is.

And again, every actor showed grief and sadness over Holden’s accident very well. Especially Van… he just makes you want to hug him.

Tuesday, August 25th:

Well this certainly didn’t play out as badly as I thought it would. Though this whole Jude Law business really did seem like it came out of left field. In spite of that, again, scenes like this just have me baffled how anyone can suggest Noah is a bad boyfriend. Noah was ready to drop everything in a heartbeat to be at Holden’s funeral, and it was Luke’s insistence that Noah should go ahead and go to the meeting. And it’s really convenient how Damian is there to save the day, isn‘t it?

As much as I feel that no one can truly replace Martha Byrne, Noelle is doing a great job with what she is given. She’s done a very good job at playing a grieving character. And more Lucinda is always a plus.

Thursday, August 27th:

This has to be one of the most pathetic funeral scenes I have ever seen. It’s nice seeing relatives like Aaron and Uncle Seth, and I’ll love anyone that wants to try to put Meg in her place. But geez… why use such a large church if there are only a few people there? Not enough time at all was devoted to the service, which like usual, is the result of Chris Goutman’s warp-speed story telling. This was almost as bad as Riley/Adam’s service. And I really don’t care much at all about Liberty right now. Lily, please do me a favor. Get a freakin’ clue. How is it that she has not seemed to realized that Faith actually saw her kiss Damian by this point? How?!

Holden’s alive. Yeah, not a shock at all. However. This can be played out well if done right… and a lot of that has to do with telling it in the proper speed.

Monday, August 24, 2009

WWTBAM Primetime Finale: "You Just Lost A Lot of Money"

Um, well... wow.

Well, it actually happened. Someone actually lost the million dollar question, and also $475,000. It’s actually pretty interesting from my side, because all last week I was wondering if this would ever happen here. I’ve read that it’s happened in other countries, especially in Japan, but I always wondered if someone would ever take such a blind risk here in America. With the question, I was constantly going back and forth between A and C. But I always say with this show, if you don’t have any positive idea on what the answer is and there’s no shot at real help… yeah, time to say goodbye. I would have taken my $500,000 and gotten my tail the hell out of there. Sure, he had a lifeline left, but Ask The Audience is really designed for pop culture-type questions, and for many of the ones early on in the game like with the one featuring Betty White and The Proposal; not really for big stumpers like LBJ and his favorite beverages.

I’ve also thought about being a contestant on this show, and as much as I want a million dollar winner, there is no way I would be so daring with the top question. There is just no way. Especially in this economy. I have always disagreed with the “I came with nothing, I’ll leave with nothing” philosophy in game show land. Well, he didn’t leave with nothing, but a similar type of thinking and risk taking was evidently going through his head. Talk about depressing. When I heard there was a "million dollar moment" coming, I was really hoping that said moment would involve confetti. As depressing as it was, he did display his cocky side. I thought even more so than John Carpenter. But, hey, at least John knew what he was doing when he answered the million dollar question.

Meredith saved the night though. It made perfect sense to go out with this particular celebrity guest, and who’d have guessed they’d switch things up?

Definitely one of the most memorable game show finales I’ve seen, that’s for sure.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (8/21): Supernatural Season 4 Gag Reel

The pick this week comes from my favorite current prime-time shows and one of my top ten favorite shows ever, Supernatural!

Like pretty much every other fan, I am absolutely pumped for season 5, which starts September 10th! And there’s something interesting to point out. What I’ve really noticed is that while I don’t enjoy every little thing that happens on the show, I still love it a lot, and I still have faith in the fact that I’ll like an episode overall when I watch it. And part of that comes from good writing and storytelling, and great acting from Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Jim Beaver, and Misha Collins. It’s really nice to have an emotional attachment to the characters and to have more “good guys” to root for. And what’s more, there have been times where it looks like they would have dropped a serious bomb. For instance, the episode last season with the third brother a lot of fans were worried about, including myself. Hell, the episode was even called “Jump the Shark.” But in the end, that turned out to be one of my favorite episodes of the season. And episodes like “The Monster at the End of This Book” just goes to show that they care about their fans. This was actually one of the shows that helped start my interest in the sci-fi genre. So let’s see, good writing, talented actors, powers that be that care about their fans, and of course, two absolutely GORGEOUS men kicking demon ass? Seriously, what is not to like?

Since it’s about that time of the year again, my pick is the season 4 gag reel! I really love how it seems they have so much fun on the set. Looks like a really great place to work. Knowing this makes me enjoy the show even more. Can’t wait for the season 4 DVD set to come out!

The absolute hilarity behind the scenes on Supernatural, my online pick of the week!

GSN: More Schedule Changes

Effective August 24th:

1:00 PM Match Game ‘77 (replaces $100,000 Pyramid, 1985-88 SYN)
1:30 PM Family Feud (ABC 1976-85, replaces Match Game ‘77)
2:00 PM $100,000 Pyramid (1985-88 SYN; replaces Family Feud, 1976-85 ABC)
2:30 PM Chain Reaction (GSN 2006, replaces Password Plus, 1979-82 NBC)
4:00 PM Family Feud (Karn era, replaces Pyramid, 2002-04 SYN)
5:00 PM Deal or No Deal (NBC, replaces GSN Chain Reaction and Karn Feud)
8:30 PM Family Feud (O’Hurley era, replaces Meredith’s Millionaire)
9:00 PM Lingo (replaces Family Feud, O’Hurley era)
10:00 PM Catch 21 (replaces The Newlywed Game, GSN 2009-Present)
10:30 PM The Newlywed Game (replaces Catch 21)

I really don’t see any good in this particular schedule change at all. For one thing, I don’t like that Password Plus is leaving weekdays, and the fact that it’s known to get good ratings for them makes it worse; that could have at least been put back in the morning. And to replace it with their version of Chain Reaction? Blah. They couldn’t at least dig out and dust off the Cullen version? I also don’t like that we’re losing one airing of Meredith’s Millionaire. And more nighttime Deal or No Deal? This show will be on three times daily now on GSN alone. I am so not looking forward to this. Deal already airs twice daily in most markets in syndication and it is still shown on CNBC. Overexposure much? I’m not sad about Donny’s Pyramid leaving though. Whether or not anyone thinks it was executed badly in comparison to previous versions, it’s really had a good, healthy run on GSN.

There are the few favorites of mine that are still left of any show I watch daily on GSN: Clark Pyramid, Password, 1 vs. 100, and Hollywood Squares. But that being said, in the end that is just not enough. There’s really no variety left anymore. We’ve lost way too many shows this year, particularly from the Goodson-Todman library. And as sad I was to see a lot of those shows go, I thought we’d at least see a few more goodies from the Sony library or some kind of good programs besides the same old ones to try to make up for the losses… and with these latest changes, that doesn’t seem to be happening. I’ve found myself watching less and less.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (8/14): Super Millionaire

During all the latest Millionaire hoopla, I thought I’d watch a couple episodes of the last ABC primetime version of the show, Who Wants to Be a Super Millionaire?, where the top prize was worth a whopping $10,000,000!

I really liked this version. Again, like with any other version he‘s done, Regis is right on top with his vigor, energy and passion for the contestants. This was evident within the first five minutes alone. There were also the other new aspects of the show that I liked. I loved the Three Wise Men lifeline. And Double Dip added another new twist. Interestingly enough, no one tried it the way it could have worked, with 50:50. You could have easily tried 50:50 and then Double Dip, leading to a no-lose situation. I wonder why that isn’t the case anymore on current versions of the show.

There were also a few really memorable moments. Who can forget Todd Kim, or as Regis would call him, “The Kimmer,” trying to figure out which show featured the first ever condom commercial, Robert “Bob-O” Essig playing, or a nervous Dede Bradley calling Regis “dude.”

I think what really made it enjoyable besides the new lifelines is that in spite of all the changes made, the show still focused well on the contestants and the question material.

The clip chosen is from the second show, where Bob-O plays the million dollar question. Super Millionaire, my online pick of the week!

ATWT: A REAL Friday Cliffhanger

Monday, August 10th:

Lily, who the hell are you trying to kid? You know you liked that kiss from Damian. Not that I necessarily want a Lily/Damian hookup, but she is doing a horrible job at convincing herself there is no spark there period. And I really can’t blame Faith for her reaction… and also, Lily, it never even occurred to you that Faith probably saw you two kissing before? Please get a clue. Seeing Luke and Faith talking, albeit short, makes me wish that there could be a few more scenes with the two of them. Both he and Noah are great with Luke’s sisters, especially Faith.

Friday, August 14th:

In seeing today’s show it’s obvious why everyone is so tired of the “presumed dead” storylines (I‘ll bet money Holden will eventually be found alive). They happen way too often, especially on this show, and with this particular character, even! Okay, well Holden’s not like Paul, who practically laughs at the face of death year after year these days, but this isn’t the first time that Holden’s presumed to be dearly departed. But it’s the acting and good daily dialogue (great job, Leslie Nipkov) that made yesterday work so well. It’s not too often that this show leaves someone teary eyed these days. And the actors really did their job today. All of them. You have no idea now much I just wanted to give Luke a big bear hug and tell him everything will be okay. I was a bit ticked that Noah was not at all notified, but judging from the previews for next week that seems to be taken care of. All in all, I am really not liking the idea of Noah being on the side so much lately.

Now as tired as the actual storyline concept may be, if we have more storylines on As The World Turns based on some sort of realism like this one, as well as the one involving Bob Hughes (which I am actually really enjoying as well so far), then we can easily get out of this ratings hole that we’re in regarding this show. Proper speed and balance in the storytelling helps too. Not only was this a good cliffhanger show, but a really good way to end a week.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? 10th Anniversary Special Debut: Review

It’s really hard to believe this show is ten years old now. After a five year absence of primetime Millionaire, the show made its big return tonight!

Regis is as energetic as ever. It’s as if it’s night one of Millionaire in 1999 all over again. I loved the amount of energy tonight in the studio. It’s perfect for the show’s first time back at night in five years. I also enjoyed how the show’s opening spanned through all of the different eras.
I like how the new graphics for the show are well incorporated with the nighttime staples, like fastest finger. I also am glad to see Ask the Expert.

I’m not surprised that the timer was added within the show. And as with the daytime version, the timer itself I still don’t have much of a problem with, however, I really can’t stand the fact that the timer starts as the answers are being read. And it’s an even bigger problem with a host like Regis who likes to mingle a bit more with the contestants. With one of the earlier questions in the show, the contestant nearly ran out of time. The timer shouldn’t start until after all the possible answers are already read. I was worried that the timer aspect may affect the nighttime show in a negative way, because as mentioned, Regis likes to mingle. But my fears seem to be unfounded. Not a problem when it comes to that.

I was and still am a bit skeptical about the celebrity question at first. As much as I love the idea of Vanessa Williams appearing on night 2, celebrities on every episode was one of the things that killed it in 2002. But the good thing here is that they’re not on every episode all show.

Still, all around good show tonight and I am looking forward to future installments.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (8/7): GSN Promos

The selection this week, is well, again actually more than one.

It’s something I’ve noticed about GSN with their promos. Over the past several years, a lot of them I have found for them to be less than engaging and often times annoying.

For instance, I’ve mentioned my dislike for the “Catch a Game” campaign that aired last summer. The ones for Playmania with Shandi Finnessey’s shrill celebratory voice come to mind as well. There were also the constant promos for The Amazing Race in 2005. And right now, there are some that I find to be irritating, including the ones for Deal or No Deal, most particularly the one where the female contestant shouts “DEALLLLL!” at the top of her lungs. Not only is the obnoxiousness something I don’t like, but they are often shown much more than any others.

In seeing the older promos from the network from before 2004, there are things I do like about them a lot more. For one thing, the classics seemed to be promoted a lot more individually than in one fell swoop, like this one for Match Game. I wish we could see more of these. The possibilities are practically limitless when it comes to shows like Jeopardy! and Pyramid. Also, in seeing these shows from older GSN copies, they seem to be spread out more and there’s more variety. I also love the ones from GSN’s earliest period when people are asked why they love game shows so much and when they used the celebrity appearances to help promote the show. Hug that Host was kind of cute too. Now, while I do give praise to much of GSN’s older ads, not all of them I find to be perfect; for example, I found Mr. Green Ball to be rather silly.

But there actually is one current set of promos now that I actually do enjoy, which are for 20Q. Maybe it’s because a lot of it has to do with my adoration for Hal Sparks, but I find them to be pretty cute and they go to show what chemistry they have as host and co-host. And they aren’t run into the ground. That helps too.

GSN promos are my picks for the week! Find your favorites!

Marshall Hollywood Squares on Hulu has just added another classic show, the syndicated version of Hollywood Squares with Peter Marshall! The short-lived 1968 nighttime show is there as well.

I’ll admit this is not my favorite version of the show; I prefer Tom Bergeron’s. But the Marshall era had a really nice array of stars, like Isabel Sanford, Redd Foxx, Elizabeth Montgomery, Eva Gabor, Suzanne Pleshette, Ed Asner… I could go on and on. And of course, who could forget Paul Lynde! It makes me wish all the more that we could see it on GSN sometime again.

And if you’re like me, you’ll probably really enjoy the fact that there are no annoying pop-ups on the bottom of the screen, no time compression, and the credits (and the NBC logo where appropriate) are left completely intact and split screen free!

ATWT: Movie Night

I don’t get this. I really don’t. Why build a set for a scene that’ll only be around for 30 seconds? Show, if you’re trying to convince me that there’s supposed to be some spark between Noah and Mason, they’re going to need to be on the show for longer than 10 minutes a week together.

From the way things looked at first it seemed as though Noah was going to be jealous of Luke talking with that boss’ daughter. So glad they didn’t go that route.

Friday, August 7th:

Oh, poor Meg whining about not going on that cruise; someone cue the violins. Sigh. And why is Holden questioning Emma’s not being able to take care of Eliza? Wasn’t he in the room when Emma said her ankle was acting up earlier in the episode? Oh, and Lily, you SUCK at trying to prove you have no interest in Damian.

I think Noah is right about not forcing his opinion on Luke in a situation like this. Luke has to make his own decision and if that doesn’t happen, all they’re going to do is fight. I can see why Luke would be guilty about letting Holden down. And it’s just weird now when it comes to Lily and Holden with Damian. Take the jealousy out on Lily’s part and it’s like they’ve switched brains.

Meanwhile, in writing news, changes have been made at As The World Turns. Courtney Simon, who was in charge of continuity on the show, will be replaced by Josh Griffith. Knowing that Josh has worked on The Young and the Restless, One Life to Live, and also on As The World Turns itself back in 2006, writing a lot of the scripts which involved Luke’s coming out back when I actually watched the show every day, I feel confident about this change. Turns out Josh wrote one of my favorite Luke episodes ever also, where he came out to Will!

People in the industry are upset about Simon being let go, but I’m sorry, as much as I don’t want to see someone fired, this show has begun to really suffer over the past couple years outside some good episodes every once in a while, and continuity is one of the show’s biggest weaknesses right now. It’s gotten well past the point where not only history is overall rewritten, but the continuity of the show changes within WEEKS. I’m sure it’s not easy to run a show like this, but a lot of the mistakes made seem to be much more of the careless kind. I mean, for heaven’s sake, yesterday Meg’s wardrobe and Damian’s hair changed within the course of ONE DAY. That just smacks of laziness, and that’s only one example. And there’s no excuse for it. If this show cares about staying around, changes need to be made. If only changes were made further up.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Let’s Make a Deal to replace Guiding Light

It came down between this show and Pyramid and CBS has chosen the former.

I’m actually pretty disappointed in this decision. I was really hoping that Pyramid would be picked up. I’ll admit it right now, it’s mostly bias since I largely prefer Pyramid over Deal. And the cards finally seemed in place for it. It was a show that had all the rules together, no lame rules it seems or judgment calls like what we saw a few years ago on Donnymid according to the pilot reviews. It was nice to not be too worried about a Michael Davies revival for once. There was a lot of buzz, and everything just seemed ready for a new version of this show. Hell, there was discussion about this show coming back THE DAY Guiding Light was cancelled.

With Deal, it’s nice to know that Monty Hall is behind this show and judging from a press interview is behind the decision of the new host, Wayne Brady, and Wayne seems really excited about it as well. I also had really been getting into the show when GSN was rerunning it. But hopefully this show will learn their lessons after the 2003 failure. I’m skeptical about an hour-long format. I remember it on Game$how Marathon all too well also and I was really turned off by it. The more I think about it, it might not be bad at all had CBS decided to green light both Pyramid AND Let’s Make A Deal. I want to be positive about this, but I really just don’t know.

And as for CBS and Pyramid, we’ve seen the mistakes made with this show: in 1974, CBS canceled it; ABC grabbed it a few months later and it wound up being a success and ran for 6 years. They made up for their gaffe in 1982 by bringing it back, but canned it in 1987. We’d see the show again in spring 1988 after the show that replaced it, Blackout, had failed after 13 weeks. Dick Clark on the first episode back says the show was brought back after viewer complaints: “They weren’t mad, they were angry” … but the show is canceled again 13 weeks later, apparently not thinking so much about the complaints anymore that were apparently sent in droves. All I have to say is that especially after all the buzz for a new version this time around, that they better hope this isn’t another mistake.

Also if anything, this needs to be a testament to folks like Christopher Goutman of As The World Turns since Procter & Gamble/Telenext doesn’t want to get off its behind and let him go, and any other executive producer of any other soap right now that’s producing a more shoddy product than not: networks are not playing around anymore, and if you don’t shape up you WILL be shipped out.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (7/31): The Nighttime Price Is Right

The pick this week goes to a little something called The Nighttime Price Is Right. In case some of you were not aware, yes, before Drew came along there were other hosts of Price, not just Bill Cullen in the late ‘50’s and early ‘60’s, but there were a couple in the 1970’s and 80’s even!

And in regards to those nighttime hosts, I really thought Tom Kennedy (who hosted from 1985-86) did the best job. I think he did so, despite him saying otherwise. I think he even did better than Bob Barker. It’s an interesting thing for me, as until about 5 years ago, I had not seen anyone else besides Bob Barker host a 1972+ version of the show that modeled the CBS era. I was impressed with Tom right off the bat. He had a really good time hosting, a great rapport with the contestants, and had the right amount of energy. This was also the first time I had ever seen Tom host anything and knowing that he did so well on this show made me confident that I’d like him in anything else.

I’m so-so about Dennis James, who hosted from 1972-77. When the show first started in 1972, judging from his 6th episode, he was great, did well with the show and the contestants too. And after listening to the 1973-75 episodes at J-Shea’s site, he did well here too. So he got off to a good start. However, after seeing a couple episodes from later in the run, things had changed and he seemed as though he were on auto-pilot. I wonder what could have happened.

As for one newer version that did not model the CBS format much, I really did not care for the Doug Davidson’s version in 1994. Didn’t like it when I was 8 years old and I don’t like it today in seeing episodes of it now.

The clip chosen is a segment featuring the game Switcheroo, in which something pretty rare happens! I won’t spoil it if you have not seen it yet. Switcheroo on The Nighttime Price Is Right with Tom Kennedy, my online pick of the week!

ATWT: Decisions, Decisions

Thursday, July 30th:

It may not seem like it considering some of these last entries, but I really do love Holden. However, lately he’s really been annoying me. He may be right about Damian, but he and Lucinda are going about it all wrong. With the way they handled this job business with Worldwide, they were just as manipulative as they say Damian was. I also love that not that long ago Holden was getting onto Luke about growing up and being an adult, which meant making his own decisions. Luke just did this and he obviously can’t accept it that he didn’t do what he wanted.

Oh, and writers, PLEASE get Meg out of Damian’s orbit NOW; I so did not want to see these two in bed. They have no chemistry whatsoever. And Lily, if you’re trying to convince me that you’re not jealous of Meg and Damian, you’ve FAILED. Miserably.