Friday, July 12, 2013

Eat, drink and be merry

The first thing to say about NBC's Hollywood Game Night is that it's not pitched at grouchy old hardcore game show types like me.

Not that there wasn't some impressive gameplay on display during the debut episode last night. One of the teams (three celebs and a civvie) played a downright brilliant round of 3-on-1 Password. But by and large the show was kept intentionally frothy for casual game show viewers.

In fact, grouchy old me thought they overdid the breezy-and-cute style a bit. But that's what you would expect grouchy old me to say, isn't it? And while I'm being grumpy, one game (identify the snack foods!) featured the clunkiest product placement ads in TV history.

At least the games were fast-paced and entertaining. A round of blitz charades zoomed by at warp speed, for instance. Among the six celebs on hand, Martin Short and Matthew Perry chipped in most of the laughs. Bright and brassy Jane Lynch hosted alertly enough, though I got a little tired of the metallic edge. The subject of most of the games was pop culture, which was not a surprise.

The show tried to recreate the old Match Game atmosphere, with plenty of on-set drinking, a house band, and an open bar. I gotta admit, the set looked like a nice place to sip some wine. No, the show wasn't Jeopardy or Pyramid or even The Price is Right. But it kept the hour moving along pleasantly enough.

In the review that literally counts, the show did okay but not great: 4.3 million total viewers with a 1.4 18-49 rating. Decent by NBC standards but maybe a tad below expectations.


  1. i watched some of the beginning & the end. it was boring/goofy/blechh, which was sad. why must they try & reinvent the game show?

  2. Oh, I thought it was better than that. The ratings rose in the second half, indicating that people tuned in, not out as the show went on.

    It's just a goofy little celeb show. It's not for the hardcores. Sure, it ain't Jeopardy. But it doesn't want to be Jeopardy.

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  4. It doesn't want to be Jeopardy? Holy cow, I was misinformed! Such misleading commercials!