If one of these people plays their cards right, they could win over
$50,000! It's time for the all-new...
AIR DATES: September 17, 2001 to January 11, 2002
CREATOR: Chester Feldman (based upon the original series)
PACKAGER: Mark Goodson Productions for Pearson TV
HOST: Pat Bullard
WATCH IT HERE:
From the 70s into the 80s, from Jim Perry to Bob Eubanks (with Bill
Rafferty sneaking into the syndie version), EVERYONE knew "Card Sharks",
the show that took "acey-deucey" and turned it into a thought-provoking
social experiment with surveys that even "Family Feud" didn't touch.
Each player tries to guess how many out of 100 answered a question a
certain way, then they tried to guess whether cards were higher or lower
than the card before it. So simple. So easy. So what the HELL were those
in charge of Mark Goodson's legacy THINKING when they green-lit THIS
turd? Both Goodson and Todman must've been spinning on their axis six
feet under at seeing what happened to their baby. Why did they turn this
simple game into a hybrid of itself and "Street Smarts"...and not a very
GOOD hybrid at that?!
HOW WAS IT PLAYED?
Four contestants compete in one-on-one competitions. Only one advances
to the bonus round.
Two contestants battle each other to finish a row of seven cards by
determining if the next card is higher or lower than the previous one.
When the first base card is revealed, the contestant in control
(determined by a card draw at first, then by the loser of the previous
game) decides whether to keep control or pass it to their opponent.
Whoever's in control after says "higher" or "lower" concerning the next
card. If they are right, they retain control and continue down the row
of cards. If they are wrong, control goes to their opponent. Whoever is
in control after the seventh and last card is turned wins the game and
$500. Winning two games wins the round and advances the contestant to
the next round. If a third game is needed, only THREE cards are used.
Each contestant is given two "Clip Chips" at the start of the game. At
any time they don't like the current card, they can use one of the chips
to show a recorded clip of a "man-on-the-street" situation involving
bystanders. The contestant must guess how the scenario plays out and, if
they are correct, they can change the current card to the next one from
the top of the deck.
ROUND 2 ("BIG DEAL")
The winners in the first round bring whatever "Clip Chips" they have not
used into this round. The two play ONE row of seven cards the same way
as in Round 1. Whoever is in control after the final card is turned wins
$1100 more (for $2100 total) and advances to the bonus game.
BONUS ROUND ("MONEY CARDS")
This is similar to the Money Cards of the original with a few tweaks.
First, the $2100 "won" by the champion is used, $700 for each row.
Second, there are three cards in the bottom row, two in the middle and
one for the "Big Bet" (now called the "Major Wager") at the top. A
shuffled and cut deck is used. For each card, the champ must wager at
least $100 and guess if the next card is higher or lower. Being right
adds the wager to the bank, being wrong loses it. Pushes did nothing at
first but were changed to a loss later on. Losing all their money on one
row automatically advances them to the next row. Otherwise, all cards on
a row must be played before the last card is moved up. Champs may only
change the first card of each row to the next card in the deck. At the
final row, champions MUST wager at least half their bank and, after
that, they keep any money left in the bank (up to a maximum of $51,800).
If they bust on the final card, they keep $700 as a consolation prize.
The set looked like a small-budget version of Card Sharks shows past. It
WORKED for this case, though. I guess small sets were en vogue for
syndie game shows in the early aughts (see aforementioned "Street
Smarts") but it was functional enough to get the job done.
Hard to believe this was Pat Bullard's FOURTH game show (he did a "Love
Connection" reboot in the late-90s), but it showed in that he kept the
pace going and kept things exciting. Also nice to see the "dealer", Tami
Roman, wasn't the typical "Barbie doll" hostess and actually DRESSED
like a casino dealer in ever episode.
WHAT DIDN'T WORK?
Again, they complicated a rather simple concept. Even with the relative
slowness of the surveys, things seemed exciting. Here, they were trying
to keep the excitement of the card-turning going and going and
going...and people got numb to it until they felt, "This isn't exciting
And those "Clip Chips" clips...YEEEESH! I hope the people who were
involved it that were duly compensated for the time and embarrassment
and were happy with the fact that they got to be seen ONCE on TV in
their lifetimes. I understand they needed a way to include changing the
cards in this version, but I think they'd've been better off just
spinning a wheel or flipping a coin or something.
And what's the deal of taking the money the champ just supposedly
WON...and putting it on the line in the Money Cards?! Did Goodson not
leave enough money from his will to pay for $2100 PLUS the Money Cards
WOULD IT WORK TODAY?
The original way? Sure. Everyone liked Ricki Lake's take in the Game
Show Marathon. But THIS one was truly unnecessary. Bring back the
surveys and the separate lines of cards, and even bring back the
"Jokers" and the car game for the "Money Cards". Ditch the "Clip Chips"
and let money won be KEPT, for Mark and Bill's sake! Leave this crap to
the garbage bin!
NEXT TIME: America's
most controversial game show reborn...like we ASKED for it.
Chris Wolvie is more of a "card goldfish" himself.
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