Saturday, February 13, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (2/12): Monopoly

This show is known well with hardcore game show fans, but most people may not remember the show that I chose this week. Back in 1990 on Saturday nights for 12 weeks, ABC had an hour of game shows in primetime. One being Super Jeopardy!: the $250,000 championship game which involved some of the series’ best champions and the rare sight of four podiums. The other being Monopoly, a series that was based on the popular Parker Brothers’ Home Game; which involved trivia questions along with the hotels and park palaces. No thimbles to be had here, though.

This was an interesting take of the game. I wouldn't call it the best show, but it's not a bad way to spend a half hour. It’s obvious to me that this show was inspired by the success of the NBC daytime game show Scrabble, which had just ended its six year run and had made a great twist from the old board game that we all knew and loved. Before seeing or even hearing about Scrabble, I thought it would have been too hard to make a board game like that into a TV show… I felt it was even more impossible with a game like Monopoly.

Mike Reilly was an okay host. What I like is that he does seem to be in the game. What I’ve noticed about Merv Griffin is that when he picked hosts, he often got ones that had no prior experience. Chuck Woolery had never hosted a game show before Wheel of Fortune. Pat Sajak hadn’t done it either; before, he was a weatherman. And obviously the same could be said with football player Rolf Benirschke who took over for Pat when he left the daytime version of Wheel. The only two hosts I can think of who had some prior to hosting a series of his are Alex Trebek and Bob Goen who had a little before coming to daytime Wheel.

If there’s one thing that’s unforgettable it’s the incredibly cheesy but catchy theme song. M-oh-N-oh-P-O-L-Y! Oh... that’s going to be stuck in my head for a while now.

Monopoly, my online pick of the week!

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