TV & List Review: GSN's 50 Greatest Game Shows of All Time

Discussion in 'Other Reviews' started by YulisEclipse, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. YulisEclipse New Member

    GSN's 50 Greatest Game Shows of All Time
    Type: Documentary Show Series
    Aired: Summer 2006 (July to August)
    Episodes: 21
    Run Time: 60 minutes per
    Notes: This review is more of the content
    of the list rather than of the TV show showcasing
    it, though references will be used at times.
    Plot: Join Bil Dwyer (GSN's I've Got A Secret and
    Extreme Dodgeball) as GSN counts down the Top
    50 Game Shows of All Time.
    The game show. A staple of TV both back in the days of radio to the birth of TV and even to this day. The tapes are hot collectors items and the moments that made us cheer and laugh are still in our memories. As such, it's somewhat hard to pick out what can be called the greatest of them. GSN tries such a thing (as does TV Guide, which will be in another review) and I'll review if their decisions were good or bad. Let's begin by showing what got onto the list and where it is:

    #50: 3's a Crowd
    #49: Treasure Hunt
    #48: Blockbusters
    #47: Studs
    #46: Hollywood Showdown
    #45: Shop 'til you Drop
    #44: Truth or Consequences
    #43: Tattletales
    #42: Queen for a Day
    #41: The $1.98 Beauty Show
    #40: Twenty-One
    #39: G.E. College Bowl
    #38: Whammy!
    #37: Greed
    #36: Remote Control
    #35: Beat the Clock
    #34: Sale of the Century
    #33: Dog Eat Dog
    #32: Tic Tac Dough
    #31: You Bet Your Life
    #30: Card Sharks
    #29: Scrabble
    #28: The $64,000 Question
    #27: Win Ben Stein's Money
    #26: Deal or No Deal
    #25: Password Plus (Super Password)
    #24: Win, Lose, or Draw
    #23: The Joker's Wild
    #22: Weakest Link
    #21: I've Got A Secret
    #20: Concentration
    #19: To Tell the Truth
    #18: Love Connection
    #17: Name That Tune
    #16: Lingo
    #15: Password
    #14: What's My Line?
    #13: Press Your Luck
    #12: The Gong Show
    #11: Hollywood Squares
    #10: The Dating Game
    #9: The Newlywed Game
    #8: Pyramid
    #7: Let's Make a Deal
    #6: Wheel of Fortune
    #5: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
    #4: The Price Is Right
    #3: Family Feud
    #2: Jeopardy!
    #1: Match Game

    OK, now you know what is on the list and what isn't. Right now I can tell you that while it SEEMS like a good list, some parts of it reek of unprofessionalism. To begin on a good note, the list has many "usual suspects" like the Newlywed Game , The Price Is Right, Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, and the Match Game, among others. However, some shows, for better or for worse, absolutely do not belong on the list. For example, what the heck is "Studs"? When I checked, it was a FOX game show that drew decent ratings. Deal or No Deal isn't too good of a selection due to it being too recent to see if it can hold its own, but given that it's holding up well, I guess I can overlook it. More power to them. Twenty-One and $64,000 Question are also questionable choices, given that they came SO CLOSE to killing the whole medium during the Quiz Show Scandals. While I do not doubt their impact, their impact was much more of a negative one than positive. Finally, why is Love Connection on the list? It barely qualifies as a game show, and even Chuck Woolery has come out and said he didn't think it was a game show.

    However, the utter travesty of the list in terms of selection, to the day I die, will be why Lingo is on there. While I do not doubt Lingo is a good show, it does not belong on this list (and CERTAINLY not on the top 20) for all the following reasons:

    -The "Yulis Death Rule": Never put your own shows on a "Best of" list, and ESPECIALLY never put them higher than halfway up.

    -The hype machine on the show is at SquareEnix calliber. It may be a good show, but when you're hyping it up, it has more to live up to, and usually it fails.

    -The show, as compared to shows like To Tell The Truth, I've Got A Secret, Weakest Link, You Bet Your Life, Card Sharks, and Name That Tune, is a nobody. All these shows can be called classics in their own right, but why were they pushed down for some egotism; from a show that was put on the list by its own network, no less.

    -Worst of all, and most condemning, is how they inducted it. On the shows, they usually give a little about the show and, if clips are available, show an episode. Lingo got two (one of the few that did). The first was the first episode and second was a jackpot winner with an appearance by Chuck's son Sean. However, the true dagger in this induction was what was written on the Wiki page for this show: No mention was made of the original 1987 series.

    NEVER, and I mean NEVER, do this. Never induct your own show and completely forget the original. (By the way, that series lasted to 1988.) Whammy was on the list, but at least Press Your Luck was mentioned either there or later in the list.

    Let's go back on track. Like with Lingo (ick), they show episodes of some of the game shows. Some of the best choices include Press Your Luck (the Michael Larson episodes), Treasure Hunt (a regular $25,000 winner), Match Game (the school riot), Newlywed Game (the infamous "In the a**" episode), Let's Make A Deal (the first Super Deal win), and Family Feud (the infamous performance by Fred). However, in this case, Lingo does not get the worst episode choices. Millionaire does. The episode they aired was of David Goodman's $1,000,000 win. Now I ask: Why didn't they show John Carpeter's win? Why not the special where Kevin Olmstead broke the bank? Why not a special? There were too many other shows that could have occupied Goodman's spot, but his show is vague at best (I barely remember the name, but nothing else).

    Even with all the good and the bad, my biggest gripe about this list is why the lack of kids shows? If they opened the gate for shows for kids, I'd guarantee you Double Dare would be high on the list and Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego would crack the top 40 at worst.

    While the list seems well-compiled, I have huge peeves about it, specifically why Lingo and Whammy are on there (Yulis Death Rule), the choice behind Millionaire's episode, the misplacing of the game show positions (Lingo is not more memorable that To Tell The Truth, Beat the Clock, or I've Got A Secret) the ranking of Studs, and the lack thereof of Double Dare and Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego, among others. As it stands, it's a commercial list and nothing more to it.

    I give this list/documentary a......................6.75 out of 10.
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