Friday, September 2, 2016

36 to 40

I said I wouldn't make a habit of this on the blog, and I won't. But at Game Show Paradise I've been commenting on Game Show Forum's top 50 list as it very slowly rolls out. I'm lazy today so I'll just copy my latest maunderings. They've attracted some older-is-better bashing at GSP, as you might imagine...

Another couple days, another set of five shows 36 through 40: Lingo, Remote Control, Carmen Sandiego, Gong Show, Treasure Hunt.

First, the good stuff. The placement is ridiculously low - I would put it in the top 10 - but Lingo at least gets onto the list. And the vote-collectors don't indulge in the same snide remarks as they did with Russian Roulette. They even admit that GSN's version with Woolery was by far the best. Hey, some honesty! To state the obvious, Lingo was just a terrific show and I'm loving the current reruns in the morning. Addictive gameplay, great play-along value, a perfect host who lightened things with occasional humor, and often very spirited competition. What's not to like? GSF is crazy to think that there are thirty-five game shows better than Lingo, but as I said, at least it gets onto the list somewhere.

Remote Control was always a personal favorite, and this time I think the placement on the list is about right. The show could get a little arch and cynical, but this was MTV, after all. Gotta love the contestant ejections. Almost as good as Russian Roulette.

I have a blind spot on Carmen Sandiego. I'll admit a terrible secret: I'm not much of a fan of kid game shows in general. I would put Legends of the Hidden Temple on my top 50 list and that would be about it. (Legends didn't make GSF's list in 2006 - neither did Carmen Sandiego - and I'm afraid it might miss out again. No accounting for tastes.) Anyhoo, Carmen was just too educational TV for me. Yeah, I know it was on PBS, so what did I expect? And Lynne Thigpen's consistent hamminess left me cold.

Gong Show wasn't really a game show with objective rules but rather a subjective talent (anti-talent?) contest. The vote-collectors more or less admit this, but what can they do? In a way, the show has been grandfathered into the genre, and its 1970s provenance will always get it onto GSF's list. I'm so-so on the show at best. Okay, I get the humor but it was too often just cruel. I'd probably find 50 real game shows to rank ahead of it.

Treasure Hunt was sort of Deal or No Deal without the interesting math...which means it didn't have much of anything, in my harsh opinion. It's off my list, but the show dates to the '50s and lasted a long time in several versions, so it's a lock for GSF.

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