I was thinking to myself, what do I think of the summer game shows currently on broadcast television. You may be surprised at my thoughts.
Celebrity Family Feud (ABC)
While I don’t care much for the question material on the current versions of Family Feud, hosted by Steve Harvey, there are still plenty of laugh out loud moments to make it somewhat tolerable… at times. The problem with celebrities of today is that I’ve never heard of some of them, and some of those people are… let’s see, how do I put this… not altogether there. (Note to self: don’t be so denigrating, celebrities are people too.)
The $100,000 Pyramid (ABC)
Now *this* is an awesome show. When I heard that Michael Strahan was going to be the host, my initial reaction was one of skepticism. He did have a good run with Kelly Ripa on Live and was very popular with the audience of that show. I was very impressed to hear in interviews that in preparing for the show, he went back and watched episodes of the Dick Clark version on YouTube. Read this article from the New York Post and you’ll see why I think he’s a great addition to a new breed of host that I enjoy watching. The winner’s circle has brought lots of excitement to this version as in any other. It still remains my favorite bonus round/end game of all time of any game show, without question. It’s fun to see people master the art of this round. And one more thing….
That set. It’s so freaking beautiful. A great update to the classic look. This is how a modern game show set should be done.
Match Game (ABC)
Gene Rayburn once said that Match Game has a weak format. That is true. What drives this game is the insane laughter and goings-on in between the answers. When I heard Alec Baldwin was going to host this one, my thought at the time was, “Huh?” Then, that quickly became, “Either this will work or it will utterly fail.” I think it’s safe to say it was the former. While the question writing and the stacking of said questions (such as having gimme questions in Round 1 instead of Round 2) leaves a lot to be desired, the laughs and the mixture of celebrities are working out very good. There are still some celebrities here that I have to Google, or ask Greg, to figure out who they are. There are other little nit-picky presentation problems that I’ve come to expect out of Fremantle Media revivals.
To Tell the Truth (ABC)
Now this show I wasn’t so crazy about. The game play wasn’t altered that much from what we would expect from years past. The execution was very, very lacking. Do we need a house band on a panel show? Do we need the host’s mother keeping score for no reason? Do we need Twitter shame just because you were the worst panelist at trying to figure out who was lying on purpose? I find myself asking too many questions about these elements of this show to enjoy it. At least they tried, but I don’t see this one coming back, especially when you consider they taped the shows about a full year before they even aired. Back burners do not a renewal make.
So, that’s my thoughts on this summer’s shows. Will we see more Feud, Pyramid and Match Game? Time will tell. I’ll try to review more new shows and not-so-new shows in the future.
EDIT: Right after I published this post, word came down on the ABC summer press tour that all four of these shows have been renewed, presumably for next summer. (Source for the Truth renewal was the ABC press site.)