Category Archives: Game Shows

Friday from afar

I have just stepped out of the shower in my Overland Park hotel room, and it’s already 20 minutes before noon. Actually, that’s not too far off for a Friday during the school year, since football and basketball games are at night, and unless I have a very long way to travel, I don’t leave Russell before 2 p.m., usually after 3. Track meets are different, since those always start at 3 on Fridays, except for state, which runs all day.

No futbol today. The World Cup traditionally takes a day off between the end of the group stage and the beginning of the knockout round. The round of 16 will be conducted Sunday through Tuesday, two matches each day. The quarterfinals are next Friday and Saturday, two per day, with one semifinal July 8 and the other July 9. The third-place match (which is totally useless) is July 12, with the championship match the next day. It used to be on a Saturday, but like The Open golf tournament and Wimbledon, playing on Sunday became more acceptable through the years, given the popularity of American football, namely the Super Bowl.

After getting hardly any sleep watching One Tree Hill Thursday morning, I needed to sleep in today. I tried to watch The Price Is Right at 10, but I dozed off and didn’t wake up until Drew Carey was signing off. I did stay awake long enough, though, to see one major gaffe and the one thing about TPIR which angers me.

First, a lady playing Swithcheroo lost a car. In case you aren’t familiar with TPIR, in Switcheroo, there are five numbered blocks which must be plugged into the prices of five prizes. Four of the numbers are the first number to a small prize valued at $99 or less. The fifth numbered block is the fourth number in the price of a car. The contestant gets 30 seconds to place the numbers, after which time the number of correct prices are displayed. He or she then gets another 30 seconds to make changes, and those prices which are correct are the prizes the contestant wins.

As it turned out, the lady had only one price right the first time. She made changes, and only one price was right. She won an ice cream maker. Turns out on the first try, she had the car right.

Second, I saw a lady bid one dollar more than the previous contestant on contestant’s row. That aggravates the hell out of me. I wish TPIR would adopt a rule where bids must be at least $50 apart. Just because someone goes last should not mean he or she gains a significant advantage. It’s been worse, though; I’ve seen three contestants bid one dollar more than the next down the line (for instance, $700, $701, $702, $703). What chicken crap.

I always watched TPIR on summer mornings during my youth. Thirty years ago, there were numerous game shows on the three networks, and my brother and I would always watch Press Your Luck and TPIR on CBS. My mother would occasionally watch them, but she was much more into talk shows back then, especially Donahue, who was still going strong and was the king in the mid-1980s, long before Jerry Springer, Ricki Lake and others turned talk shows to total trash. My mother was also big on the ABC soaps All My Children and One Life to Live, so much so she would record them on our Betamax VCR. She was never a fan of General Hospital for some reason, but GH started before the other two and is the only ABC soap left on the air.

TPIR is one of only two game shows left on network TV; the other is the new Let’s Make A Deal, which also airs on CBS.  Family Feud airs in syndication, but interestingly, WAFB, the CBS affiliate in Baton Rouge, airs the Feud back-to-back at 10 and 10:30, and then TPIR at 11, meaning The Young and the Restless doesn’t come on until 4 p.m., which angers many soap fans.  CBS tells its affiliates it would prefer that it air The Young and the Restless at 12:30 Eastern/11:30 Central for the proper lead-in to The Bold and the Beautiful, but most in the Central Time Zone air Y&R at 11, news at 12, and then B&B at 12:30, which is the case at least in Kansas City, New Orleans and Wichita, the CBS affiliates I’m most familiar with.

I’ve now got a couple of hours to kill. I was planning on getting to Buffalo Wild Wings other side of Kansas City at 3, but maybe I’ll go at 2. Then again, I can take my time driving there and take a more scenic route.