Friday, September 16, 2016

Dusty fifty

Game Show Forum has finally rolled out their complete list of the fifty best game shows ever.

Okay, they haven't yet announced the final order of the top ten shows. But anybody can guess the names of those shows, based on the board's 2006 list and their predictable tendencies. To nobody's surprise GSF's list is loaded with mediocre (or worse) shows from the 1950s through the 1980s. The board proudly displays the photo of a gentleman who personified those decades in game shows, and GSF makes no bones about their love for what they see as the golden age...and their distaste for what has come afterwards. Only one (1) show that originated in the last ten years made their list. That's two percent for the mathematically challenged.

To give the board credit, they did manage to find a place for The Chase, that solitary show from the last ten years. But many other fine shows from more recent times went unlisted. So I'll list them here. 1 vs. 100, Celebrity Name Game, Inquizition, Legends of the Hidden Temple, Baggage, Let's Ask America, Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader, Power of 10, Minute To Win It, That's the Question, Cash Cab, Street Smarts, Greed, Hollywood Game Night, 500 Questions.

All these entertaining shows fall easily above the line drawn by the worst GSF picks. But these shows just don't have enough dust for the oldies board to end 'em all. One brave poster on the board lamented loudly and at length over the omission of Cash Cab. Why is he surprised?

The Game Show Forum list has an average age of 43 years, compared to a relatively spry 36 years for their 2006 list. It's the another-decade-of-dust effect, plus the lack of more recent shows.

Finally, I know I said I wasn't going to do this. But it struck me that if I'm criticizing Game Show Forum's list so much, I should do my own list. So I did. The picks go in reverse order from number 50 (Press Your Luck) at the top to numero uno (Match Game) at the bottom. The average age of the shows is 34 years, a lot lower than GSF's list, of course. There are a few obscure picks, a few picks for historical reasons, and a few what-the-hey picks.

I wasn't particularly aiming for chronological balance, but the list came out that way. There are at least five shows that originated in each of the seven decades from the 1950s through the 2010s. Hey, that's better than GSF, which only had three shows from the 1990s, three shows from the 2000s, and that one lonely show from the 2010s.

In case you're interested, the decade with the most shows on my list is...the 1950s. So much for the criticism that I'm biased against older shows. But a mere seven shows from the last quarter-century on Game Show Forum's list? I'll let you draw your own conclusions about bias.

No comments:

Post a Comment