Roughly 8:30 p.m., Oct. 28: I see the Australian import, “Who Dares Win” for the first time. It”s in a nine-hour marathon, so it”s hard to miss. Participants are set up by close friends or family members and must do zany stunts. If they do it, they win a trip for two the contestant and the person who set them up. A guy goes grocery shopping in a dress and high heels. Oh the zaniness. I switch back to the World Series, flipping back occasionally. It would be cooler if the cameras weren”t in plain sight. At least it would have some semblance of “Candid Camera.”
Midnight, Oct. 29/30: There”s no better way to conclude a hard night of TV watching than “Family Feud,” hosted by Richard Dawson. Is there anything better on? “Real Sex” and John Travolta on Leno are the high points of the alternatives.
When Dawson wasn”t a panelist on “The Match Game” (a gig he mentions numerous times), he was hosting the original “Family Feud” pre-Ray Combs, and definitely pre-Louis Anderson. Basically, that involved asking the question and kissing every female guest several times. The unofficial count this show: Seven women times roughly three kisses per female equals 21 quick but passionate smooches on the lips. Dawson ended up getting hitched with one of his contestants several years after she appeared on the show.
On this episode, the Fletcher family prevails fairly easily and heads to fast money. Although the second player takes way too much time on the final fast money question (“Name a reunion you might attend”), Dawson, exuding chivalry, gives her enough time to give the answer, which puts the Fletchers over 200 points and $10,000 richer. The old man and his four female family members leave happy. That”s the true spirit of the game show.
1:30 a.m., Oct. 30: “Press Your Luck,” not the most well known of Game Show Networks” shows, but certainly one of its cult faves among viewers. Anybody who doesn”t know what a whammy is should not be admitted to the University. Peter Tomarken runs everything smoothly with an ugly suit and a soothing voice. The classic “80s game show is all about slamming down on the big red button as the cursor moves “randomly.” Hit a whammy, no more money. Hit four whammies, you”re done.
I say “randomly” with hesitation because one contestant actually figured out the pattern of the cursor and won over $100,000 during his brief stint.
The Game Show Network is easily the most addicting channel on cable. The only downside is the dark lords of Comcast only air GSN for half the day in Ann Arbor. The other hours of the day are wasted on the Home Shopping Network and its annoying hosts.
Whether it be the “survey says” of “Family Feud” or the “no whammies” on “Press Your Luck,” the Game Show Network has a wide sampling of the finest in programs for all your viewing needs. Tune in and you may never be the same.