The Password Is "Overgeneralize"
If anyone should be
thankful for technology, it is Betty White. A Facebook crusade got her a
hosting gig on Saturday Night Live and back in the public consciousness.
So why is she blaming technology for the demise of the most recent
version of "Password"?
Beats me, but that's her line from a June 15, 2010 blurb in the New York
Post. On The View, she said "young people can't keep up with the game,"
they "can't think on their feet," they need to use a device.
I still believe that I'm young, even if my knees pop and I can't
remember where I put my keys. I'd say that Super Password did more to
bastardize the game of Password than did the most recent incarnation.
And I was able to play along just fine.
In case you didn't see the episodes from 2009, you can catch repeats on
GSN Sunday nights. Contestants would play an elimination game where each
side tried to communicate five passwords in thirty seconds, and the
contestant who scored more had a chance to win prize money by
communicating more passwords, but this time with just three clues and
guesses each. It wasn't classic Password by any stretch, but it didn't
have to be.
I think Betty's claims are misguided. The show had several problems that
were secondary to "young people can't sit still enough to play." (Never
mind the fact that classic Password was relegated to a tiebreaker round
in the main game.)
It was a rarity to have an episode with two competent players. Usually
there was one really good player (e.g: Neil Patrick Harris) and one
piss-poor player (Rachael Ray was on Neil's episode) So contestants
could count on one decent round and one crummy one, hoping to maximize
the good and minimize the bad. There were also some stars who really had
no business being there, like William Shatner. Some standouts were
found, like Tony Hawk, but more often the talent pool was mediocre at
The timing of each hour episode was such that there were two full games
each time. When the hour began to run out, it would become apparent
whether the contestant was going to bail out with the accumulated money
or flame out just before the credits. The unpredictability of the
original series (where you could have two bonus games in an episode of
Password Plus) was gone, shucked for homogeneity. No spontaneity, no
excitement, no fun, no viewers.
The game wasn't the same, and I think that had more to do with the show
being done after two series (so far) than anything that has to do with
young people. Instead of ragging on the youngins, Betty should be
stumping for more episodes.
Travis Eberle has seen the word, and is deciding whether to pass,
play or double. Have a guess at