Game Show Marathon: Beat the Clock
(S01E03) Much better! After the awkwardness of The Price is Right and the emotionally robotic Let's Make a Deal, CBS's Game Show Marathon finally came up with a game that was fairly enjoyable: Beat the Clock. There were two reasons for that. First, it's always good to watch celebrities knowingly make fools of themselves in front of an audience. Second, they didn't have to guess the friggin price of Aspercreme to win a prize!
Add to that the fact that Beat the Clock is one of those quietly classic game shows that has endured since it first premiered on television in the 1950's. In this game there's no getting close to the actual dollar amount, no pressure to choose what was in the box or what was behind door number three. It's basically a game of teamwork. And, if the team works really well then riches abound. The concept has been used other shows such as Double Dare and, Lord help us, Fear Factor.
There also one more reason why I could tolerate this episode a bit more than the last two: Paige Davis is just so spunky!
Seriously, out of all of the celebrity contestants on the show Paige has the most energy and the right attitude. Especially compared to someone like Leslie Nielsen, who seems to be playing while half asleep. She has always played the games like she was going to win all of the prizes she was offered.
Last night's episode of Game Show Marathon was no exception, as she and her partner excelled on the tasks they were asked to play. Paige and her partner beat the clock on two occasions. First, she beat Tim Meadows and his friend in an event that asked them to get into a playpen and push it along the floor to obtain two baby bottles. Then she beat Kathy Najimy and her husband in a task to push a helium-filled balloon into a tube with only a butterfly net that actually didn't have any netting. In the final bonus round, Paige was able to get a hat, which was attached to a rope, which was attached to a pulley, which was attached to her on a belt, onto her head without touching it. During all that time she did it with smiles and laughs.
Some comments in general about the show. Beat the Clock is one of those shows that can run in a hour format; the original show ran for 45 minutes when it premiered in 1950. So, unlike the first two episodes, there weren't really any lulls. I liked that they used games from the classic shows for the celebrities to play, and they interspersed the show with clips from the original series. I did not like Ricki Lake this time around. For some reason she didn't fit into this type of format. We'll have to see how she does in the remaining three games.
One final thought: A piece on tonight's episode showed the Game Show Marathon prize truck pulling up to the first call-in winner of the series. The man who went with the truck was Todd Newton, who has become one of the new generation of game show hosts (Hollywood Showdown, Whammy!, the live theater version of The Price is Right). Why was he doing this when he should have been hosting these classic game shows? Shouldn't Ricki have been the one to go along with the prize truck? I think that the shows would have had a different feel with him at the helm. Oh, well, maybe next time around.
On Thursday's episode Press Your Luck with the original set. No Whammys!