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Gordon Pepper

As most of you know (or have figured out), I am a Jew and I celebrate the Jewish holidays. This past holiday was Yom Kippur, which is the time that you atone for your various misdeeds and transgressions. I decided to include the atonement to this website, where I am known as 'Haterade'. The assignment for this column - to say nothing but nice things about 7 items, all provided by the friendly co-editor, Chico Alexander. Knowing how Chico thinks, I have a feeling that this isn't going to be easy at all.

We start with...

1. Bad Reality Shows

The nice things about bad reality shows is that they make you want the good shows even more. It also gives us great material for WLTI and other columns, because if everything was perfect, there wouldn't be things for us to make fun of. Okay, that wasn't that bad. Let's see the next one...

2. NBC over the past year or so

So NBC has had a down year. They still have The Biggest Loser and The Apprentice series. They will be bringing back Fear Factor - and don't forget that they are serious about airing Deal or No Deal. Despite the fact that we harp on them, they still have some viable properties. Next?

3. GSN

We like to bust on GSN. They are still creating good programming like Ballbreakers and Extreme Dodgeball. They picked up The Amazing Race, much to the happiness of many reality fans. They are continuing to bring poker content such as the Poker Royale series, and they have as many as 9 new games on the horizon. That's a pretty good track record.

4. William Hung

Now we're getting tougher. As much as people want to dump on Mr. Hung, it's not his fault. He was someone who has a talent that a niche group wanted and he took advantage of it. As a matter of fact, he should be credited for milking as much as he can - not every American Idol has shot 2 videos for GSN, and Hung's albums have outsold all but a handful of Idols - or any other contestant on a reality music program.

5. Of course, Schwabbie.

Of course, he was going to do that. Regardless of what people think of his personality, The Schwab is an incredibly smart man who earns every penny of what he does in the sports stat department (and as someone who has done sport stats, I can tell you first hand that it is a VERY hard position). Props to the Schwabbie, who not only knows all of that information, but who has the ability to stay cool under the pressure of the hot television lights and be the powerhouse that he was for the 3 seasons that the show was on.

6. Jim Caldwell

Jim Caldwell was the host of the ill-fated final season of the 1978 version of "Tic Tac Dough", and you can see him hawking imported slot machines on those late night infomercials. Some people think that he was the cause of TTD going down in flames, but I have bigger problems with that show - like the rapping dragon in the 1990 revival (Ugh). Caldwell shouldn't be remembered for that, as he has been a good host on other shows. He hosted a very underrated show for CMT called Top Card, and he was very good on that show, which should have been on longer than it was.

7. The 2001 version of Card Sharks

We're getting into the heavy penance. Although our site deemed Card Sharks the worst game show of the pastfive years, it did had some very good ideas. One of which was the splitting of the money in 3 layers for the bonus, as not only does it have a higher maximum payoff ($57,400 for a complete run through the cards, Vs. 28,800 for the original and $32,000 for the remake), but it also provides bigger payoffs at the end for the contestants if they played their cards right.

For the final atonement, however, I open the floor for you. What items do you want me to be praising? Let me know, and I will write up the results in a future column. To all Jews everywhere, have a wonderful New Year, and to all non-Jews, the best of health to you as well. L'Chaim!

Today, Gordon Pepper is a fan-man. E-mail him your atonements at


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