Saturday, August 29, 2015

Usual attitude

Recent rumpuses notwithstanding, the most trouble I've gotten into on the game show Interwebs concerns the attitude from many posters that older has to be better.

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.


  1. I'm a classics fan myself, but we don't live in that age anymore. I like Celebrity Name Game. Ferguson is an awesome host and the gameplay is fun and hilarious. Sure it may have knocked off Pyramid and even Hollywood Game Night, but I like it.

    At least with that forum, they respect classics. Buzzerblog completely craps on them. And that's the site who thought Mind Of A Man was the best game show ever. And they have a strong obsession with British game shows. I'm not saying British game shows are horrible, but it's kind of weird.

  2. CNG is great, and it holds the historical format of a game show, as too does Wheel, J!, Feud, Millionaire, TPiR, and Let's Make a Deal. We oughta be glad the genre didn't go the way of the soap opera. It probably would have had ABC's Millionaire flopped in 1999. Had the format not been saved then, we probably wouldn't have a Game Show Network today, and certainly wouldn't have a BUZZR today.