Friday, May 20, 2016
What a good show!
When I was in the habit of putting together top ten lists of game shows, I'd often include GSN's original Lingo. Not that I didn't like the Bill Engvall reboot - which was unfairly maligned, in my opinion - but the original was just about perfect. The format had everything you could want in a game show. Clever gameplay, a quick pace, lots of play-along value, an assured and competent host, even some touches of humor. What's not to like?
Woolery's GSN version was so good that even a few posters at Game Show Forum - not given to praising any show with less than three decades on it - have favored it over the 1987 original. Of course, GSN's version was a tremendous improvement over that slow, clunky first incarnation of Lingo with Michael Reagan. But it's still almost treasonous on the oldies board to end all oldies boards to favor such a recent version of any game show. (Sure, other posters on the board have disagreed with this heresy. But it's telling that anybody at Game Show Forum would dare to prefer a version with relatively little age on it.)
Strangely enough, one of the few real controversies about the show erupted over the female co-hosts. The Lingo eps currently running on GSN feature Shandi Finnessey. I don't mind the eye candy she provides, plus the bookkeeping chores she handles for Chuck. On the famous other hand, my wife wishes she would shut up and go away. Even the best shows can't please everybody about everything.