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Game Show Marathon Isn't Wearing Any Clothes - June 2

As you all know, I have the 'Haterade' moniker on this web site for a reason. I am usually the lone dissenter in WLTI, and while other members of our group try to water the flowers, I bring to the party a vat of hydrochloric acid. I have always been the bad guy and I will probably continue to be the bad guy - but I do this because I want to be as fair and unbiased as I can to you, the viewer.

So with this being said, it's on to ravage the show that everyone is going to laud over - and the one that I am going to get a ton of hate mail over - Game Show Marathon.

Let me start by saying that I so wanted to like this show. I really, really did. Unfortunately, I didn't get a Game Show Marathon. I got a warped, watered down version of shows that I grew up with. I could write a short novel on why the first two shows made me sick to my stomach, but I will limit myself to 5 of them.

1. The Editing - Remember when Deal or No Deal's editing sounded like it came from a cave? Well, if Deal or No Deal was from a cave, then this was from Carlsbad Caverns. Besides the really choppy editing, we don't get to see Kathy Najimy's second putt from Hole in One (or two) and her whole deal from Let's Make a Deal.

We also are not privy to why Lance Bass decided to not to go into the Big Deal. The strategy was sound (if no one wins the big deal, then he gets the finalist slot), but we don't get to understand it because it was edited out. Whoever edited the show was obviously not a game show fan, because those were just a few of the major nuances that we didn't get to see - but we should have.

2. Ricki - Now I'm not going to blast Ricki as much as everyone else is. I think that she did an 'ok' job. There were two problems though with what she did. The first one is that it didn't fell like she was in tune with the game. She could read off the cue cards very well, but it didn't feel like she did her homework on how the mechanics of the games actually worked. The second problem wasn't completely her fault...

3. Everyone else - ...because Ricki was only limited to what she had to work with. Ricki seemed to be on one plane of existence and the other celebrities seemed to be on another plane of existence. Say all you want about the Celebrity Millionaire contestants, but at least they knew how to play the game. Not only did it seem that only Paige and Lance knew what was going on, but it also seemed like they were the only people who wanted to be there. They both understood the games, but everyone else were either playing badly or won their games out of sheer luck. We'll get to that on the later segment...

4. Pacing - So I know that you have to stretch a 30 minute game into 60 minutes, but both TPIR and LMAD showed us all how NOT to do this. Would it have been too much of a crime to get rid of the bidding altogether and have all 6 people be able to play a pricing game? You could have spent time on each person, had 2 Showcase Showdowns and you could have gotten a lot more gameplay in. I also don't care how brutal Kathy's deal was - you really needed to get that segment in, because the game was just too stretched out. These are 2 examples on how better decision making and timing could have made a difference.

5. The lack of gameplay - How can you not know how to play the Race Game? How can you bid a dollar over someone's non-existent bid? How can you bid $88,000 on a showcase when the podium only has 5 digits? The gameplay was so bad and surreal, especially on the showcases, I expected Sure we are here to see celebrities play, but it helps if they actually KNOW the games.

There are a whole lot of factors that made this show a disaster. When the woman who asks how the Race Game works and asks if Paige Davis (who wins a nickel on the Big Wheel) gets a prize for doing so manages to win the show despite being off over $18,000 from her showcase, it makes the show a satirical mess.

This felt like a Saturday Night Live game show skit gone painfully awry. I expected Will Farrell to come out with Jeopardy after the show, and come to think of it, it would have been vastly more entertaining. If I have to be the lone person to say that like the emperor in the fable, GSM isn't wearing any clothes, then so be it. I'm going to have to give it a robe and an umbrella, to shield it from the Haterade rainstorm that will certainly be coming its way.

Gordon Pepper just needs a hug. E-mail him at

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