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.