Well, we’ve reached the end of our journey. Over the past five weeks, we’ve discussed the goofiness of dropping prizes off a conveyor belt, eviscerated revivals that sullied the material they revived, called to the carpet game shows that were light on the game and heavy on the show, and issued a concentrated blast to NBC’s post-Deal failings. In our fifth and final installment, we will reveal four more shows that are worthy of being on our bottom-20 list. We also have one last sidebar, which we’ll be saving for the end this time as it puts a nice ribbon on all of the sins committed by these shows. So without further ado, let’s wrap this thing up:
While I have everyone’s attention…
On Saturday, November 2nd, I will be taking part in my second Extra Life gaming marathon. The event consists of people playing video games for 24 hours, to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals across the country. I will be playing on behalf of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, as I did last year.
The goal this year is to raise $365 for CHLA, up from the $350 I raised last year. So far, there’s already $100 in the pot, so we’re well on our way towards reaching that goal. There are incentives for various donation levels, which are described on the fundraising page.
You’ll probably see more of these posts as the marathon draws closer. But even though it’s still six and a half months away, you’re still welcome to contribute. 100% of your donation will go towards helping treat kids in the Los Angeles area.
Thanks for your support!
We continue on our journey to find the twenty most insipid, slapdash, and otherwise incompetent shows from the past decade with another four entries, but first here’s a recap of the twelve shows we’ve touched on so far:
Week 1 was all about the four shows that we weren’t able to find categories for, but still deserved to be called out (Downfall, Hole in the Wall, Merv Griffin’s Crosswords, Show Me the Money).
Week 2 took a closer look at four attempted revivals of previous shows that all fell flat (Temptation, American Gladiators, Chain Recation, Lingo).
Week 3 featured the four most prominent examples of game shows where absolutely no skill was required (Deal or No Deal, Set for Life, National Bingo Night, How Much is Enough?).
Before we go into this week’s quartet of fail, here’s our sidebar for the week:
We’ve reached the midway point of our list where we call the 20 most poorly conceived, poorly produced, and poorly executed game shows that have aired since 2003. In our first installment, we looked at four shows whose only common thread was how bad they were. In the second part, we focused on four revivals of previous shows that completely missed the mark. Before we get into part three, here’s a bonus list for your enjoyment:
Last week, we began our look back at the 20 worst American game shows to air in the last 10 years. In that article, we covered shows where contestants squeezed themselves through styrofoam walls, watched prizes tumble off a so-called “skyscraper”, have victory spoiled on the last clue, and suffered through William Shatner’s ham-handed hosting style. This week, we’ll be crossing four more shows off the list, but first, here’s a little bonus for you:
The past 10 years have not been very good for American game shows as a whole.
Since 2003, a total of 65 traditional (or at least, semi-traditional) game shows have made their debuts on television for national consumption. Of those 65 shows, only three are still in production today: CBS’ revival of Let’s Make a Deal, ABC’s summer obstacle course show Wipeout, and Hub’s surprise hit Family Game Night. Even shows that debuted at the end of last year have already vanished from the airwaves.
Let’s not beat around the bush: a lot of the reason why so few shows have survived the decade is because a lot of them were outright trash. In fact, there are a lot of shows that you can probably think of that could conceivably be on this list of 20. But after several weeks of research and observation, I can now comfortably present to you the list of the 20 worst shows from the past 10 years.
The criteria was simple:
- The show had to have debuted no earlier than March of 2003.
- It has to be either a traditional, studio-based game show, or some other open competition that could be resolved within one episode or, if a game straddled over multiple episodes, started on one show and ended on the next. This would rule out most reality-type competitions.
- The game had to involve civilian contestants. All-celebrity shows like AMC Celebrity Charades and Gameshow Marathon were ruled out.
- It has to be a show that was especially bad. There were plenty of shows that were produced between 2003 and now that were basically throwaways: shows that neither aspired to be much more than schedule filler nor generated much attention.
- Finally, this list is not a countdown; there is no #1 worst show of the decade, mainly because a few of them are collectively among the bottom. Instead, they’re grouped based on the specific properties of the show: ill-fated revivals, for example, or shows that all originated from one particular network.
Along the way, I’ve asked a few of my friends to chime in with their own insights on these shows. In some cases, you’ll hear from people who were a contestant on the show, tried out to be a contestant, or sat in the audience for one of their tapings. If you’d like to make your opinions known about these shows (or any of the shows we’ll be revealing in the future), feel free to leave a comment.
And so, without further ado, here are the first four shows of our list:
Has it really been a year since I did anything with this place?
(A careful study of the post date for my last update would indicate that yes, it has been a year since I did anything with this place.)
The first thing I want to do is apologize for my lack of production here on The Bloog. When I said last year that I was acquiring more free time on account of leaving the hotbed of sloth and suffering that was Commerce Casino (and the industry of third-party casino banking in general), I miscalculated a bit. Yes, I did end up having more free time now that I wasn’t faced with the prospect of nightly shifts that lasted ten hours and ran until 2 in the morning. But what I didn’t count on how much of that free time would be taken up doing other stuff. Namely, helping my roommates out with our fledgling Home Game Enterprizes business, and preparing for our thrice-annual Strategicon apperances. I’m also writing a weekly column for Field Gulls where I compile the playoff and draft rankings of every team in the league, with from the perspective of how the Seahawks rank on both lists. I’ve always been somewhat of a rolling stone interest-wise – think back to about ten years ago when this place had game show rulesheets, video game reviews, political rants, and a serial fiction about one Hogan Atwater – so my current list of projects should come as little surprise to anyone who knows me.
The downside to all this, as far as The Bloog is concerned, is that it takes time away from doing anything with the website. Hell, it’s been over a year and a half since I’ve done a video review.
Which brings me to another point – I honestly don’t know what to do with the site anymore. I think we can all agree that video games has been the site’s bread and butter for most of its existence, but being down for so long has created a measure of inertia that I’ll have to fight against in order to get started again. There are countless games that I have yet to play – at least a half-dozen of them in my entertainment cabinet alone – and the notion of plowing through them all is daunting to say the least. I was in the midst of a walkthrough for Dragon Quest VIII, but those videos don’t even have 20 views three months after the fact, and in any case I got nailed with a copyright strike for my Catch 21 episode, so that pretty much torpedos any hopes of finishing that off. (I’ve lost the ability to post videos over 15 minutes, which makes a walkthrough for a game like DQ8 prohibitively choppy.)
The one idea that I’ve had is to do a weekly livestream where I play one of those games that everyone but me has played – I even have a title thought up, “Monday Night Fubar” (I was genuinely surprised when I discovered that nobody on the internet had come up with that phrase yet). But that’s not necessarily something I could feature on The Bloog, unless I knew some way to integrate uStream with WordPress. And while I could continue rewriting all my old reviews – a project that stalled about a year ago, at about the same time my video reviews dried up – I get the sense that people don’t necessarily want to see me regurgitate my Mega Man 5 review for the fifth time.
Don’t get the sense that I’m euthanizing the site, though. As a matter of fact, the domain name was re-upped for another year by an anonymous benefactor, and I feel like I’d be doing a disservice by taking the site down after such a monetary investment has been made. That’s part of the reason I’m posting this, after all. I recently had a chat with some friends about the old days of the site – they were even humming the old theme to Strikeout! – and I also feel like I’d be letting them down to allow what is now 15 years worth of Loogaroo goodness to disappear. I know I’ll find some way to keep this place personally relevant.
So before I ramble on for too long, I want to thank everyone out there who is still interested in the future of the site. Who knows how long it’ll take for me to produce anything worthwhile (I don’t have “rarely updated” on the header for nothing), but rest assured The Bloog is still alive, and when something does make its way on here, I’ll be sure to let everyone know.
All the best,
-Tim “Loogaroo” Connolly