Friday, August 27, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (8/27): Just Men!

The online pick this week belongs to a classic but short-lived daytime game show. The name of it was Just Men!, which aired from January-April 1983 on NBC, and it was hosted by the legendary Betty White. The show had two female contestants asking questions two seven different male celebrities to see if they answered YES or NO to a particular subject in order to win a car.

Unfortunately the show was plagued by airing at the noon time slot, a slot in which many stations chose to preempt for local news. Scheduling of this caliber marked an easy death for a number of shows (see Go!, Hot Potato, Match Game 1990). Sadly, this show was no exception.

Betty is really great as a host. I love her interactions with the contestants and the celebrities. She did a very good job of helping the contestants feel at home, and just like whenever she appears on anything, here she shows just as much that she can crack a pretty good joke.

I'd say that if you enjoy her as a celebrity guest on game shows, or if you're just a fan of Betty White in general, it's definitely worth checking out. Oh, and one more thing: even though the show lasted for only 13 weeks, Betty would win an Emmy for her hosting of this program, and she was the first woman to win an award for best game show host.

Just Men!... my online pick of the week!

September Classic TV DVD News

September is going to mark more DVD releases for classic TV fans, as reports. Regarding the fourth seasons each of Night Court, Designing Women, and Rhoda. Night Court won't be released in stores though... but the good thing is that the show is still going to be released in some form and it's not going to be abandoned like other shows, and well, like this one between the releases of seasons one and two.

Rhoda will also be sold exclusively through Shout! Factory's website.

Shout's always been pretty dependable when it comes to releasing classic shows on DVD, so it's not surprising on their front, but it is (pleasantly) surprising to hear such news from Warner. They are often criticized for their treatment, or lack thereof, of classics, and in most cases, it's well-deserved criticism. It's nice to see that they're finally starting to realize that there are fans of these shows who want them on DVD, and they're trying to find some way to listen to these fans. It's a shame that the classics don't seem to be available in stores much anymore. Especially in a case with a show like Night Court, which ran for nine seasons and has a loyal fanbase who's waited patiently for more sets of the show to come out.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (8/20): Win, Lose or Draw

For classic game show fans, this is a pretty fun pick if I do say so myself. It’s a daytime episode of the series Win, Lose, or Draw. The game based on Pictionary, and pitted the men against the women for a good old fashioned half hour of drawing and guessing words, phrases, and famous names.

What makes this version stand out from the nighttime version that aired in first-run syndication with Bert Convy, was the show’s host Vicki Lawrence. This was her first time hosting a game show of her own, and I must say, she did a really great job here. If you’ve loved her other game show appearances, such as on Password Plus, Super Password, and Pyramid, with her surefire wit and energy, then you will certainly love seeing this.

Guests are Betty White, Leann Hunley, Charles Durning, and Charles Nelson Reilly.
Win, Lose, or Draw… my online pick of the week!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (8/14): Maury's Match Game Moments

Not only do I appreciate this pick of the week because one of my favorite shows, Match Game, is highlighted, but also because it comes from an era of The Maury Povich Show that is for me seldom missed now. This came from a time when the show had more than the same 5 or 6 subjects around to discuss and 90% of the shows altogether became about paternity and lie detector tests.

What I really love is that Gene was still his funny and high spirited self, years after Match Game ended. It's also nice seeing the late Brett Somers and Peter Tomarken too.

Maury's Match Game highlights, my online pick of the week!

Can't wait for Feud this fall

When I first heard Steve Harvey was going to host Family Feud this fall, I was surprised. But the more I thought about it, I realized, he could be a really great host. Because he's got experience of working with people as a television host (e.g. Showtime at the Apollo, Steve Harvey's Big Time), so there's that. And he's also quick witted and can surely tell a good joke.

And if that isn't enough convincing, seeing this clip of the show pretty much reinforced that view point: The Feud is going to be in very good hands:

I mean, I just love that for once if someone has a stupid answer to give, it's going to be called out on. And the contestants judging from this clip realize that it's all in good fun and no harm is intended. As much as I really enjoyed some of Richard Karn's and John O'Hurley's eras of the show, I couldn't stand it to see all these really dumb and ridiculous answers constantly applauded over and over. I like that the families are supposed to encourage each other, but that was a bit much.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Golden Girls Complete Series Set Coming

Coming November 9th.

As happy as I am to see the show be acknowledged for the debut of its 25th anniversary, and complete sets are great for people who haven’t yet bought a certain show on DVD yet, I know I’m not the only one who can’t stand the idea of these weird style DVD storage cases that these companies put out for complete series sets. I mean, couldn’t they come up with something that will fit nicely on the shelf and not be flimsy, like say, the Friends complete set? The “handle” of that “purse” looks like it’d snap off at some point.

I guess it could be worse. It could be like the What’s Happening!! complete set, which is set on a spindle. In which all the discs would be touching each other.

Though personally, I’m still hoping for The Golden Palace or Empty Nest to come out on DVD myself.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (8/6): Donny’s Pyramid Game

The online pick of the week is a British version of an American classic. In 2007, Pyramid, or what it’s better known as in the UK-- The Pyramid Game, came to be for a few months on the network Challenge, their equivalent of GSN. This was a pretty good adaptation of the show. And what really helps it are the simple things that helped older versions too; in the main round the categories were played 7 phrases in 30 seconds. The names of the categories were simple too and to the point. The judging was a bit off but not too overtly anal retentive like it was 8 years ago. I'll never forget how our judges wouldn't take "bike" for "bicycle," but they did take "picketing" for "picket." Oh, and not taking "disco music" or "disco songs." Ugh. Why, judges, why?

Yeah, I’ll take this any day over what we got in 2002. If you’re going to have futuristic Pyramid, this is the way to go.

Donny is a good host here. I never had any real problems with him on our version, with the exception of the “oh, oh, oh!” in the winner’s circle rounds.

Donny's Pyramid Game, my online pick of the week!

Upcoming GSN Schedule Changes... and a Gripe

GSN will be modifying their schedule in the afternoons, starting August 16th.

Here are the changes:

4:00 PM Family Feud (Richard Karn, SYN 2002-06)
4:30 PM Deal or No Deal
5:30 PM Catch 21 (new episodes)

While it’s no big loss to trim a version of Karn Feud as it airs a lot anyway, to me it would make more sense to just move Deal to 4 PM and just have Karn Feud and Catch 21 in the 5 PM hour. The 4:30 Deal slot just looks awkward. Oh well, I guess it could be a lot worse. At least it’s not like the early days on NBC when Deal would end literally at 9:02. Such a pain for people that wanted to change the channel at 9:00 and watch something else by that point.

Not really a schedule change, but in looking at the specifics for the other shows, I see that it’s also a pretty big disappointment that we’ll be seeing both versions of Card Sharks rewind back to episode one. If they only leased about 200 episodes per run, then it really made no sense to air the show four times a day. I expected cycle backs from Sony shows, like Pyramid, but when even the Goodson shows do this then it just goes to show how sad things have gotten. If they have to only do 200 shows for each show at a time, why not just lease 200, air those, then when that’s done, lease the next 200 and show these, and continue on down the line?

ATWT: Another Doomed Wedding

Monday, August 2nd:

This episode alone just goes to show the annoyances that can really made a potentially decent show suffer. First of all, again, lack of Noah is driving me insane. Especially when we go back to the fact that the Snyders have made an extra special effort in order to have Noah as a part of the family. Hell, they just did this two months ago! It made no sense not to have him on. Not just that, but there could have been some great awkward scenes between Noah, Luke, and Reid to spice things up. It could also help make this storyline an actual TRIANGLE, which this mess is not.

And the logistics are a joke, as usual. Craig somehow conveniently makes it back to the US from France by the show’s end but Holden and Lily do not? Um, no. I really do not understand the writing process with this show.

Tuesday, August 3rd:

Okay, this is one rare instance where I actually see Reid’s side on something. No matter how I feel about the guy generally and even though this is not coming from a Luke/Reid fan I can't say I'd blame him for at least wanting to take it to the next level. Basically I put myself in Reid’s shoes and said to myself: “If I were in a relationship with Luke, would I want to take it to a physical level?” The answer to this question is a resounding and overwhelming “yes.” So, no, I can't blame Reid for simply putting the message out there. I would do the same and I would be hoping too.

But this week shows one of the problems I have with Reid’s character and why I can‘t like him as much as I possibly could. It’s nice that Reid respects Luke’s views on sex in a relationship, and stuff like the scenes with Molly weren’t bad either. But the problem is that if they’re trying to loosen this guy up and tone him down, it’s done inconsistently. It almost reminds me of Dallas. Reid began to tone himself down then too, but the progress was thrown out for the plot. Or they have him act a complete fool and within the last 5 minutes have him hold a baby or fix a teddy bear, like it’s supposed to erase all the nastiness that occurred. It’s why Reid’s rant to Noah about treating Luke like garbage smacked of blatant hypocrisy. It also renders scenes like Luke teaching Reid manners useless because with what happened on the 2nd and 3rd alone we’ve seen that Reid can be nice or at least tolerable with other people without being coached by anyone.

This is one of many examples of lazy writing to me and it really does characters on the show a disservice and proves why in soap storytelling, character driven material owns really hard over plot driven material.