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Relax (Just Do It) - March 29

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.

 

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