Monday, September 21, 2015

Names of all sorts

Just sat through the second season debut of Celebrity Name Game. As widely advertised, there were a few tweaks to the gameplay. Nothing drastic or even very consequential. The basic structure of the lively Pyramid knockoff remains the same.

One thing you'll notice is that the goofball category names are gone. Those category monikers could get a little annoying, but I kind of liked the cornball humor. Anyway, the category names in the first round are now just letters. "B" and "G" in the debut ep, much like the tiebreaker rounds on the old Pyramid. The other category names are dully descriptive. "Famous docs and doctors" and that sort of thing. Sigh.

Most importantly, we're not just guessing celebrity names any more. Now the answers can be pretty much anything. People, places, things, whatever, as Craig might (and does) say. This gives the show even more of a Pyramid feel.

Another tweak: in the round with Craig as cluegiver, the answers are only gradually revealed - a few letters at a time - to the great American unwashed viewing audience. I like this change. It helps the playalong value of the show when you have to guess with the contestants.

Otherwise, things are pretty much the same as in the first season. Craig is as drily witty as ever, and Tom Arnold is just as frantic a celeb player. Tom's pretty good at the game but always seems on the verge of a coronary. Calm down, big guy.

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