Sunday, April 10, 2011

My Top 10 Best Game Shows

This list is in no particular order and was NOT stolen from another individual. Copyright Infringement will not be tolerated and all property goes to Steven Chung....AH SCREW IT! I don't what you want. :) 

- Blog #23: As some of my facebook friends may have noticed, I've had this urge to write a new blog about my favorite game shows. My life has been hectic as all fiery infernos and I've had less than no time on my Blogger site. If there are any loyal readers still left out there, please forgive my sudden "leave of absence." I welcome everyone back to Steven Chung's Top 10! COME ON DOWN!

1. WHEEL...OF...FORTUNE! - There's a big, giant wheel. There's loads and loads of money. Put it together and you get WHEEL...OF...FORTUNE! The game is pretty basic. It's a letter-guessing game where you must fill in the blanks to bring yourself one step closer to becoming a richer person. Now, the wheel is placed in front of the three contestants and each contestant takes a turn to spin the wheel. Most sections of the wheel have money values. If you land on a money value, you get to guess a letter. If the letter is on the board, you get the amount of money you landed on, times however many letters there are in the puzzle. If no letters are on the board, you get nothing. Some segments of the wheel have "Lose a Turn" on them. Self-explanatory. Other segments have various prizes (island trips, more money, etc.). Then, there are the dreaded "Bankrupt" pieces. You'll lose your turn and whatever money you've won thus far in the game. Whoever solves the puzzle first will win the money earned during the round. The reason why I like this game show is the fact that anyone could play this game. Even if you have no idea what the word could be, you can just keep guessing letters until you can spell out the word or phrase yourself. The question is, "Can you solve the puzzle before your other two opponents?"

2. (The) Hollywood Squares - This is another basic game, but one that can be an easy money gainer. We go from fill-in-the-blank to a game of tic-tac-toe! This is a very special version of tic-tac-toe where two contestants "square" off for a car or a large sum of cash. There's a large tic-tac-toe board, where each square is occupied by a celebrity guest star. The two contestants go through the game of tic-tac-toe as they normally would, one playing as "X" and the other as "O." However, for each square that's chosen, the celebrity that's inside must first answer the question that's given to them by the host. What was great about this was that most of the celebrities had some sort of funny joke answer to the question. Although most of these were provided, they still gave you a good laugh. In order to win the square, all the players had to do was either agree or disagree with whatever the celebrity's answer was. Even if you had no idea at all if the answer that was given was correct, it's a 50-50 guess. You have a good chance to win the square. You win the round by getting three spaces in a row or by a  5-square win. This show was excellent and, unfortunately, has not aired a new show since 2004. What was not to like about this show? It was fun, it was easy, and you had great celebrity guests come for every show! Whoopi Goldberg, Gilbert Gottfried, Martin Mull, Joan Rivers, Mario Lopez, Ellen DeGeneres, Big Bird, Alf, all those guys! This is a game show that needs to come back, someday!     

3. Deal or No Deal - Who doesn't love a game that can be comprehended by even the most simplest of people? You're alone and are presented with up to 26 cases. At the beginning of the game, you are inclined to chose one of these cases. One of these cases has $1 million in it. Your chance of picking that case is 1/26 (or about .04%). After you pick a case, you now are forced to go through and pick apart the other cases to ensure your chances that the case you have has that $1 million or an amount that's feasible to you. There's other sums of money in each of the cases. $1 to $750,000. Now, there's another factor in this game. The "banker" is an anonymous overseer who judges your performance in the game. After picking apart separate rounds of cases, the "banker" will give you an offer that may be better than the case you have picked. However, if your on a run of bad luck and you choose cases that have large digits in them, the "banker" will offer you a low price or lower a high estimate bargain that was previously given. It is your call to decide whether you take the "banker's" offer or go with your instincts and continue the game. This continues until the player decides to take the banker's offer or until you've realized that the case that you have has the $1 million in it (which is pretty slim, unless it's your damn lucky day). You'll go away with something, but how much?

4. Minute to Win It - A relatively new show that began to air in 2010. Minute to Win It revolves around playing a series of games inside a game. This is one of the few game shows that can give you the option of playing alone or playing with another person. There are 10 rounds in the game. Each round presents itself with a cash reward. Before a round begins, the contestant(s) is shown a cyber-blueprint of the game that's featured. As the levels increase, the games will become much more challenging. Somewhat like Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, there are certain spots in the game where you reach a "safe-haven" point. These points guarantee the player(s) the amount of money won so far, even if the contestant(s) loses the next challenge. If the contestant(s) does fail the round, there is still some hope. At the beginning of the game, the player(s) is provided with three lives. For each failed game, you will lose a life. Lose all of your lives and the game is over. If you've reached a "save-haven" point, you will leave the game with the amount of money won from that "save-haven" point. If the player(s) win all 10 rounds, the prize is $1 million! As of today, no one has won that cash prize.


5. Jeopardy! - There's a reason why I don't like this game show, but I included it in my list of "Best Game Shows" anyway. Having been one of the longest running game shows ever (around 47 years and 27 seasons), Jeopardy! shows no sign of slowing down. Due to this game show's success and popularity, Alex Trebek became one of the most well-known game show hosts ever. The success and the amount of time on the air are the only reasons why this game show deserved a spot on my list. The problems I have with this show are pretty simple and, yes, a little biased. This trivia game-show is fun to some, but absolutely excruciating to others. Why? It's because most of the questions are beyond the knowledge of most of Earth's population. Sure, it's fun to try and guess the answers, but really. How many can you get correct, honestly? Jeopardy! does make up for some of these problems by opening up the show to younger viewers. There are "Teen Weeks" (or whatever they're called) where a specific age group in the teens get to play the game with simpler questions, but even some of those questions are hard. You'd have to be a genius or an over-achieving study to win this game. What's so fun about watching people answer questions that not many people can understand? Maybe the success came from the idea that watching the show made you smarter. Another thing that bugs me. Why do some contestants on "Final Jeopardy" wager amounts like $1 or $399 or $1093? Is that really necessary!?  Oh well...the theme song and "Final Jeopardy" theme will always be an instant classic.


6. "Is that answer?" - And here is Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and all its glory. Like Jeopardy!, the questions in this game are just as difficult. The difference is that, in this game show, you're given four choices instead of taking shots in the dark. The contestant is placed on the hot-seat and you are left to answer a series a questions leading to the $1 million mark. Here's a game show that was one of the main inspirations for "save-haven" checkpoints. Once you reach a checkpoint, you will safely keep the amount of money in that checkpoint even if you miss a question. If you're stuck on a question, you have the option of walking away from the game with the amount of money won thus far. Another option would be to use one of three (or more, as the seasons moved on) lifelines. There are three main lifelines. The "50-50" lifeline eliminates two answers, leaving you with one right answer and wrong answer. The "Phone-a-Friend" lifeline gives you the ability to call your friend or family member to see if they know the answer to the question. The "Ask the Audience" lifeline...well, what do you think it means? There used to be a "Fastest Finger" round at the beginning of a game, where the audience is asked a question and must put the four answers in order to what the question pertains. Whoever solved the question fastest would play Who Wants to be a Millionaire? next. The game is even more fun when Disney theme parks use the attraction!


7. Street Smarts - I miss this show. There wasn't much prize money when compared to games like Wheel of Fortune, but it was a fun game! There are two contestants that are poised to predict the outcome of interviews that were taken from three people on the streets. The question is given to the two contestants, but the contestants are not the one who answers the questions. There are rounds where the contestants guess who got the question right or who got the question wrong. This was a short-term program, but it's one that should be watched and looked up on YouTube.

8. Family Feud - There are two opposing families and there's a feud. Two teams consisting of five family members go head-to-head in a contest to name the most popular response from a survey question that was asked to 100 people before the show. At the beginning of the show, one member from each team face off to determine who will take control of the question. Whoever guesses the more popular answer will be given the choice to "Pass" or "Play" the game. Players who chose the #1 answer on the board will automatically go first in making their choice. "Pass" and the other team takes control of the question. "Play" and your team gets to play. The host will then go to selected team and go down the family line and ask them the same question. The family tries to get every single answer on the board to win the round. If the team gets three strikes from not having their answers on the board, the other team gets a shot at the prize. The other team only needs to get one answer on the board. If the other team misses just once, the opposing team wins. This continues for about four rounds (except for the tiebreaker round), with answers worth double or even triple the point value. Whichever team has more points at the end of the triple-point round will move on to the final round ("Fast Money"). One member of the winning team is sent to an isolation booth, while another member begins "Fast Money" and must answer five questions in 20 seconds. If he or she can't answer a question, he or she can pass. A contestant can return to a passed question, if time allows it. When revealing the number of people giving the same response, the phrase, "Survey said!" comes into action! After that, the second player comes out and does the same thing, except that player is not allowed to answer the same things as the first player. If both player's points add up to 200, the family wins $20,000.

9. Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? - If you're not smarter than a 5th grader, you might be a redneck. Hosted by that All-American redneck, Jeff Foxworthy, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? took learning in the classroom to a new level of fun and interesting. This one basically consisted of asking grade-school level questions to adults. So, we're getting a kick out of this show just because some poor adult can't answer a simple school question? Yup. That's exactly what we're getting. The contestant is presented with a set of 10 subjects and grade level question topics. Questions can be given in the form of multiple choice, true or false, or some may require the contestant to answer the question with no available option at all. With each correct answer, the contestant moves one step closer to $1 million. 10 questions must be answered in order to win. Along with this, there are five other classmates playing who are about 5th grade age (they do not get the prize, but are only there to help the contestant). They also get to answer the question given. At the beginning of the game, the contestant chooses one of these students as their helper. The chosen one has the ability to give the contestant two "cheating" options, each being available only once. If the contestant is unable to answer the question ("FLUNK OUT") or the contestant leaves the game ("DROP OUT"), then the contestant must say to the camera: "I am NOT smarter than a 5th grader." It's only happened twice where the game was won and the contestant got to say: "I AM smarter than a 5th grader!"


10. "COME ON DOWN!" - Time to start watching more game shows. Just watch The Price is Right, if you've never seen it! It's one of the greatest games ever. There's not much need to explain this one. "Go help control your pet-population..."

- Done. "Thanks for watching! Tune in, next time!"

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