‘Hollywood Game Night’: Fun Show, Obnoxious Host

Hollywood Game Night combines elements from all of the classic game shows, specifically Password and Body Language, and makes them modern. It may also be the first new game show that allows the viewer to participate at home, which is something that Minute to Win It and The Winner Is lack. Watching people make fools of themselves on television is only fun for so long.

Television is usually a passive experience, but the reason why Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and The Price is Right have been around for over 30 years is because people love to feel like they are participating at home in a way that doesn’t involve consuming large amounts of alcohol. Hollywood Game Night‘s producers understand that. Although, host Jane Lynch did recommend a Hollywood Game Night drinking game five minutes into the show; it was tongue in cheek.

All of the games played on Hollywood Game Night can be played at home. In fact, you probably have played them with your friends. Obviously, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Martin Short, Kristen Bell, Daniel Dae Kim, and Alyson Hannigan are not showing up at your house to play charades, unless you are Jane Lynch, but when watching this show you can have fun pretending they did. Hollywood Game Night is on its way to striking the same balance between celebrities goofing off and gameplay that Match Game perfected.

Surprisingly, an hour seems to be the perfect length for the show. Hollywood Game Night consists of four regular rounds where the two teams, each consisting of three celebrities and one civilian compete for a chance to play the bonus round. The bonus round is where the winner of the main game has the chance to win $25,000 and their chosen celebrity has a chance to win $10,000 for charity. If the contest doesn’t complete the bonus round, the contestant and their celebrity each win $1,000 for every correct answer. While it is unclear, based on the sneak preview, the main games and possibly the bonus round will change every episode, which should keep the show fresh, even though all the games involve guessing.

One major problem with the show is that Jane Lynch is not the best host. Even though she appears to be a nice person in real life, she is too obnoxious on Hollywood Game Night. A lot of her jokes were forced and she came across as grating. There is also a little too many fake behind the scenes segments coming back from break, but once those are cut out, the running jokes that are created during regular gameplay will really stand out. Who doesn’t find it funny that Matthew Perry pressed the buzzer after the fact several times and moped around the stage constantly because he never hit the buzzer first? Also, a lot of the celebrities fade into the background, which is odd because Match Game had six celebrities and it wasn’t too many. Martin Short, who was constantly cracking jokes, and Matthew Perry, who became a running joke and was a good sport about it, stood out because everyone else, except Jane Lynch, was relatively quite.

It is unlikely Hollywood Game Night will have staying power. The heyday of celebrities mingling with ordinary people on game shows ended in the early 1980s. While the show debuted with a decent 4.1 million viewers, that number will probably go down, since Hollywood Game Night is nothing spectacular and everyone can play the games at home. Unfortunately, the legacy of Password and Match Game will continue to remain stuck in a bygone era because what people watch has changed and more things are allowed on television. The audience cracking up when Richard Dawson says boobs now seems quaint.

About Allison Lips

I am the Toastmasters District 83 Public Relations manager and President of Freehold Phrasers.

Posted on July 12, 2013, in Game Shows, NBC, Network Television, Primetime and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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