Relax (Just Do It) -
I don't get GSN on my
television. I barely get the networks and a few UHF
stations. I have to remind several internet
acquaintances that I don't get cable, and likely haven't
seen the newest game or adventure show. Last week, while
visiting my parents, I scanned ahead and found nine
hours of "Press Your Luck" on the next day. Knowing of
Peter Tomarken's death, I thought to myself, "What a
nice idea, to do a tribute to a host all game show fans
love." However, I did not see any of the marathon. For
me, one episode of "Press Your Luck" is as good as
another. It is not appointment television. GSN will show
"Press Your Luck" again, I'm sure of it.
At the end of the day, I checked a couple of game show
message boards as I do, and I was appalled at what I
saw. Instead of saying what a fitting tribute it was to
a selfless man who died serving others, I saw complaints
like "They shouldn't have aired an episode where one
contestant is a student pilot." Or "One of the episodes
shows a Whammy divebombing the scoreboard! How
inappropriate!" And it went on. "How many shows does GSN
have? Certainly they could show something more than
eighteen consecutive episodes! What about the Larson
'reign of terror' (T-Note: their words, not mine), or
the 'passed spin battle,' or the guy who swore at the
board." And it continued. Several people complained that
they didn't like the shows that GSN aired.
It was all I could do to not open up a reply window, and
give those louts the e-mail equivalent of being whacked
upside the head by a two-by-four. So I'll do it now.
Are you people insane, or
just plain stupid?
GSN is a money-making
venture. They are out to draw eyeballs on their
advertisements, not to comply with your every whim. This
is the first thing that you all must realize before we
can move on. If you can't get that through your head, I
have nothing more to say to you.
Decided to stick around? Good. Let's press on.
The fact that GSN thought
enough of Peter Tomarken to run a nine-hour block of his
most-remembered show was wonderful on their part. They
took out almost half of their day that is spent airing
repeats of $100,000 Pyramid, Match Game and Family Feud.
I would bet that not a single person that posted to
those message boards called up the network, or e-mailed
them, or faxed them to say thanks. Instead, they took it
upon themselves to soil Peter's memory by saying that
the marathon wasn't up to snuff. GSN probably only gets
seen by a million or so viewers a day. The 'game show
geek' demographic is probably 1,000 at most. The rest
are channel surfers, nostalgia buffs, or dedicated fans
of a certain show. They are not programming for you.
Until 1994, there was no
such thing as a Game Show Network, and if you wanted to
see "Match Game," you would have to pull out a tape. The
remaining 99.9% of the viewing base probably didn't know
that Peter had died in a plane crash, and even those who
did weren't so uptight as to get huffy and indignant
over an animation from 23 years ago.
Our fandom as a whole is geeky by nature. We're right up
there with Star Trek and comic-book fans. When some of
our group behave in this way, it reflects badly upon our
group. Some of us are carbon copies of the Comic Book
Guy on "The Simpsons," and nothing is going to change
that. Even so, any steps we can take to de-geekify our
little corner of the internet would be welcome.
Rather than e-mail him, Travis would like to suggest
donating to Angel Flight West, which you can do by going
to their website, www.angelflight.org.