Category Archives: Game Shows
Food Fighters takes the big kitchen feel of Iron Chef America and combines it with Throwdown/Beat Bobby Flay‘s underdog versus master chef formula. It’s derivative, but works well because it’s different enough. Unlike past shows, Food Fighters has the home chef compete against 5 different chefs with 5 different dishes. Each chef is worth a different dollar amount, ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 with the possibility to double all winnings at the end. After the chef is announced, the contestant gets to choose which one of the remaining dishes will be made this round. At the beginning, it leads to interesting combinations like a seafood chef attempting a mango tart. Toward the end, you get a Latin chef making fish and quinoa, which would have been boring if Lorena Garcia wasn’t a firecracker.
Rewrapped is another cooking competition from Food Network. This one is hosted by Joey Fatone, who is best known for being in ‘N Sync and not being Justin Timberlake. It also features Marc Summers, who really should be hosting the show, as a judge. Joey isn’t a terrible host. He’s just extremely high energy. Between the backdrop and Joey’s personality constantly on high, the show feels like it should be on Nickelodeon. If Joey dials himself back a little bit, the show will fit comfortably into its “kid in a candy store” vibe without being so in your face.
While Rewrapped is not original, it’s actually good. The first round has three chefs recreate classic foods, such as Tastykake cherry pies and Goldfish Crackers. For the second round, the contestants have to use the snack food to make a dish. The premise is simple, but sometimes formats shouldn’t be mess with. The only difference from most Food Network shows is that the contestants are scored from 1 to 10, whereas unless you’re watching Iron Chef, few other Food Network shows award points.
Game shows are my second favorite genre. There’s nothing quite like a contestants spontaneous response. Most of the time, contestant’s give normal answers. However, every once in a while you get responses that are either a joke or one that makes the contestant realize that yes, they did say that out loud. Here is a list of my favorites.
5. Jeopardy! – Ho
Food Network doesn’t like to reinvent the wheel, which explains its newest show Chopped Canada. Obviously, the show’s Chopped with Canadians. There’s nothing wrong with that. Canada deserves programming it can call its own and Americans should have the opportunity to enjoy it as well. (Seriously, Food Network should import more shows from its Canada and the United Kingdom branches.) However, after watching the Chopped Canada‘s American premiere, I’m not sure if the show is meant for Canadians or Americans with a very narrow view of Canada.
Since the show’s contestants and most of the judges are Canadian, everyone is super nice, except for the egotistical loner chef and the Indian judge with really high standards. While the judges are nice, they aren’t afraid to call the chefs out on their crap. Chef Matt, who was the loner and could’ve been told to act like that, was called out for stealing Chinese noodles from another chef’s station. No one approves of the person that shows poor sportsmanship, but technically doesn’t violate any rules.
Unlike most game shows, there are two hosts: D.L. Hughley and Michael Ian Black. It’s an unusual setup that works because it seems like the producers will be casting meek contestants, who aren’t entirely comfortable with the jokes and subject matters. The producers are picking people that blush when you mention boobs, so of course they’re not going to be comfortable when D.L. Hughley gives a fact about the first patent for vibrators. While it would be nice to see a contestant hold their own against two comedians, the contestants aren’t the star of the show.
The facade of a game show only serves to allow D.L. and Michael to banter, which gets a little dirty because the show is aired at 10:30 pm on cable. The fact that the Trust Me, I’m a Game Show Host isn’t on network television allows both hosts to curse, tell questionable jokes, and D.L. to crack all the jokes he wants about being a black man. For some reason, that is something D.L. likes to remind the audience. He constantly calls himself “the dark side.” It’s funny the first time. By the five hundredth time, it’s been run into the ground.
NBC is attempting to make game shows an event again, which isn’t going to happen with The Million Second Quiz. That’s because the show is boring. While Ryan Seacrest is likeable, he talks too much. To make matters worse, most of this chatter is about contestants that viewers only watching the hour in primetime will never get to see play the game or about how line jumpers became contestants. Clearly, NBC didn’t think through the fact that no one will be sitting at home watching the live stream for the remaining 23 hours a day.
When Ryan isn’t talking, the show is the lovechild of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and Twenty One with NBC’s version of the Prize Patrol surprising line jumpers, who are contestants that have been playing from the comfort of their own home and now will be flown to New York City to play the game for money, thrown in for good measure. Like daytime Millionaire, every questions has four possible answers. The elements taken from Twenty One are the fact that two contestants answer the questions at the same time and the “doubler,” which is explained in the rules below.
In 1977, David Letterman was still a struggling standup comedian trying to break into television, which is the only way to explain why Letterman would ever take part in the mess of a pilot that is The Riddlers. Unless you’re a fan of David Letterman, perpetual b-list game show guests from the 70s, or things that are so bad, they’re good, The Riddlers is not worth watching.
The Riddlers‘s pilot has many things wrong with it. The most obvious are several format flaws. First, there’s the fact that Letterman is almost useless. The contestants are reading the riddles to other members of their team. The Riddler‘s doesn’t need a host and it doesn’t deserve on as good as Letterman. He exists solely to read the rules and repeat questions that have already been read. While it is necessary to repeat questions every now and then, no game show needs a dedicated echoer.
As if a built in redundancy isn’t bad enough, the starting team is almost guaranteed to win. The problem isn’t that the object of the game is to answer 9 riddles correctly. It’s that the losing team from the previous game starts the new one and keeps control of the game until they get an incorrect answer. It’s entirely possible for a really good team to win the game without the other team ever answering a question. The only reason that doesn’t happen in the pilot is because Joyce Bulifant isn’t too bright, which she has also demonstrated multiple times on Match Game, so it’s not like she was having a bad day.
Whenever Salvador Dali is around, things take a turn toward the strange. While What’s My Line?‘s master of ceremonies, John Charles Daly, often finds himself tied by the limitedness of the “yes and no” question format, Dali’s appearance makes matters worse because Dali wants to say “yes” to everything. Then again, you wouldn’t expect anything less from a man who considered himself to be drugs.
Chopped has four competitors take unusual ingredients and attempt to make the best dish possible. After each round, one person is eliminated. At the end of the third round, a winner is decided. Skill and creativity win Chopped. There is no sabotage. Cutthroat Kitchen‘s producers took one look at that format and said “forget skills, let’s give the contestants money and have them screw each other over repeatedly,” resulting in a show that targets the coveted aspiring sadist demographic and everyone else finds off-putting. Even if you find the concept intriguing, anyone with a conscience will watch five minutes and give up because they have standards.