Saturday, August 29, 2015
I realize that the genre is top-heavy with history, and many posters sigh over the good old days of Bill and Monty and Dick and all the rest of the classic hosts and shows. Hey, I do some of that sighing myself. But it gets, well, old when the past is constantly used to belittle the present. Case in point: this recent thread on Game Show Forum about the new Celebrity Name Game season.
I know, you'll say what else do you expect from the board formerly known as Matt Ottinger's? These guys love the past and are tepid (at best) about the present, and they make no game show bones about it. But it's still kind of deflating to read this putdown of CNG: "Except that I'm already watching a version of that with a great host, competent players and an excellent format. Why would I carve out more time to watch the inferior carbon copy?"
I don't deny the obvious. Dick Clark was a great host, a lot of Pyramid's players were excellent, and the format was one for the, ahem, ages. (Of course, Pyramid itself was a copy of the lightning round from Password, but we'll leave that alone for now.)
But here's the thing. Celebrity Name Game also has a terrific host. A lot of the celebs and civvies are very good at the demanding game. And the format has introduced some nice twists in the Pyramid formula, like teams of two guessers instead of one and the host giving the clues in one round.
I'm not saying Celebrity Name Game is the greatest game show ever. In fact, I'm afraid for the show's future after the second season. But it's a lively and entertaining contribution to the genre, and I don't like to see the past used to dump on it.