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GSN > Fox?
Gordon Pepper

I'm going to spare you the claptrap and opening dialogue on how open and unbiased we are as a group. We try to be fair about what we cover and we try to give shows the benefit of the doubt before reviewing them. That being said, as you can probably tell in our We Love To Interrupt segments, we have noticeable biases towards and against shows and people. For example, if I told Chico that I set up a dinner appointment with himself, Trista Rehn and Mike Fleiss, he would probably shrink in a little ball, bury himself under the covers and start singing excerpts from Carmina Burana.

If his bugaboo is Fleiss and Rehn, then mine is GSN. Granted, this is the network that has given us gems such as Lingo and shows that I enjoy covering such as Poker Royale and Extreme Dodgeball. Unfortunately, there's some other stuff on GSN that I unfortunately got to cover, such as Greek Games and Fake-A-Date. In addition, they have unleashed upon us American Dream Derby, Burt Luddin's Love Buffet, The All New 3's a Crowd, Throut and Neck (though I sheepishly admit to liking that show), Kenny Vs. Spenny (I know they didn't create the show, but they did air it in the U.S and that's bad enough), Who Wants to Be Governor of California: The Debating Game (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0381708/) and had a deal to repeat episodes of The Next Action Star. Though I am not going to put Russian Roulette, Friend of Foe, Whammy! or Hollywood Showdown on the 'Bad Show' list, I am not a fan of any of those shows, and as you can see from my list, the bad heavily outweighs the good. And don't get me started on Decades, Trivia Track or all of those other call in and win shows.

Needless to say, I wasn't expecting much from Ballbreakers. What I got instead was a show that not only is based on pool, but has so much side betting and smack-talking that It actually adds to the entertainment of watching people play billiards.

Of course, it's fun to see skilled players go at it, but there's a completely different level of play that hasn't been tapped yet. You knock a player out of the game be draining him out of his money. There are 2 ways to do that. The way that the show preaches it an elimination match, but there is another way, which is to drain him of his money by side-betting him until he's out of cash. It's a great strategy to eliminate a shark if you know you have no shot against him at the table. All in all, a surprisingly good show from GSN.

Game #2 of the week - Extreme Dodgeball 3. They took the action and hooked it up a few notches to create a fully-contained game which will easily last an hour. It's an excellent transition from just trying to get rid of 5 people to an actual scoring match. This not only changes the game, it also changes the strategy. as you can have any combination of people playing.

The 'celebrity' captains are more like normal players, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. As much as I would like to see this as an 8 team league, the action is quick and furious, and most of all, compelling. GSN once again has another hit on their hands, and they are an amazing 2 for 2 on the week...

...which is ironic, because I thought that the best show on was actually the one I liked the least. Fox unleashed "So You Think You Can Dance", and although it wasn't bad, it wasn't what I expected. I would have liked to see any sort of different change of format, but instead, I was left with "Oh, It's  American Idol Gone Dancing."

We had everything that was Idol. Three judges. The girl who says nice things. The cranky Brit. The reject dancers. Sure, there were some good ones, but this had the patented 'Idol' play on it all the way. I expected that it should, but I expected something different from Fox.

I guess this was the biggest irony of them all. The reason why my expectations were raised is because it's coming off of the heels of ABC's dance show. How ironic is it that Fox's show lost some luster because ABC beat them to the punch? This is the same ABC that saw Wife Swap, Millionaire, Supernanny and other shows get cloned out by Fox, so imagine when Fox, who obviously had a decent budget riding on this show, gets to see a show steal lustre from them. Isn't it ironic, don't you think...

From that last line, you can tell that Gordon Pepper is stuck in 1995. E-mail him your favorite Alanis lyric at gordon@gameshownewsnet.com

 

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