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October 6, 2015

Game Show Marathon: Beat the Clock

by Richard Keller, posted Jun 8th 2006 10:45AM

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!

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Mason Caldwell

You know how you mentioned the first prize winners and the big truck and Todd Newton. Well that was my dad. w00t! We rock. Todd Newton is a really nice guy and yeah, he would have been a better host of GameShow Marathon.

June 22 2006 at 4:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I mostly agree with everything you said in your review. Paige Davis has been the standout in all the episodes. She is just fun to watch. The classic clips were great, except for one thing. And it was the one small complaint I had about the show. They showed a few of the bits from the original show where the contestants had to do something that resulted in them getting covered with some manner of mess. I was hoping at least one of the games would go that way. Paige Davis getting drenched in chocolate syrup or some such would have been fun. Overall though, a really good episode.

Is Ricki hosting the Press Your Luck edition? If so, that's just wrong. I have been pleasantly surprised with how well she has done with the hosting duties, but you don't hire Todd Newton and not let him host Press Your Luck.

June 08 2006 at 1:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought that last's night's Beat the Clock on Game Show Marathon was good, much better that Let's Make A Deal. I liked how they mixed the old clips into the show to explain the games. Most times I couldn't stop laughing when the bottles popped in that game. Or how the pairs were scooting down the floor in the crib to get the bottle! Paige Davis was the best and played the games well! Had fun and energy too! Leslie Nielsen doesn't really fit well into game shows. Tim Meadows was a little better this time.Would have liked Ricki Lake instead of Todd Newton (he's done a good job on recent game shows) to have personally presented the prizes to that family from that Game Show Marathon prize truck. Probably time constraints or being stuck in Hollywood to tape the show might have kept her from coming. But the mountains and landscapes near Eugene, Oregon that the prize truck was driving through were BEAUTIFUL! Breathtaking! The prizes won last night were nice too. All I can say is....can't wait for Press Your Luck! The energy is going to go over the roof in that studio! Big Bucks, No Whammys!!!!!!!
Also, I was pleased that the show finished 24th and 22nd in the ratings last week and averaged over 8 million viewers per show. A rarity in a wasteland of summer reruns!

June 08 2006 at 11:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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