If you are a baseball fan, you have to deal with exceptionally long off seasons. During the offseason, you see a lot of different hobbies and personalities emerge from the generally Mets-only twitter feed.
If any of you read my offseason feed, you’ll probably see it littered with aviation talk, train enthusiast talk, current events and game shows.
If you’ve never watched a game show before, you should probably stop reading this and scroll down for Mets content. But, if you have seen a game show (and yes, it’s an expectation that you’ve watched a Game Show in your life), and you wish to elaborate your knowledge of Game Shows, take a one-way trip to YouTube and check out the Game Show Reviewer, a man that has reviewed dozens of game shows, while making it easy for a beginner to understand, and incorporating funny, humorous gags into the show.
Yes, the Game Show Reviewer. Reviewing the “Game Show greats and the occasional dud”, the reviewer was nice enough to sit down and talk to MetsPlus about some of the ins and outs of his show, but to understand some of the questions, it might be easier if you watch some of his videos, which are available here. If you are like me, you might get so captivated in his videos that you don’t come back to the interview!
Anyway, without further ado, here is the interview that was conducted with the reviewer himself on The Plus in MetsPlus:
1. Can you give us a brief synopsis of what the Game Show Reviewer is exactly for someone who has never watched the show?
A. Sure thing! “The Game Show Reviewer” is an internet web series that’s 50% review show, and 50% sci-fi adventure show. The sci-fi element is sort of an overarching storyline that ties each episode to the last one. The storyline is somewhat similar to the 1989 sci-fi show “Quantum Leap”. Basically, the Reviewer character is a test pilot from 2260. He’s test-piloting an experimental time traveling fighter plane that ends up with a computer virus that sends it on a wild adventure through time and space…and game shows.
2. What was your inspiration for starting the Game Show Reviewer? What was your favorite game show growing up?
A. Well, my main inspirations for starting up a review series was shows like “The Nostalgia Critic” and “The Angry Video Game Nerd”. I also wanted to do a sci-fi adventure show, and another review series “Atop the Fourth Wall” showed me that it was possible to combine both into a single, cohesive, and entertaining show. Now, I’m not sure I got the entertaining part done right, but at least I like to think I’ve make the show interesting to watch. Honestly, I don’t think I have a ‘favorite’ game show. I can’t even really narrow it into a few game shows, because all the ones I watched growing up were just great! Let’s see…”The $25,000/$100,000 Pyramid”, “Press Your Luck”, “The Price is Right”, “Legends of the Hidden Temple”, “Double Dare”, I could go on and on…
3. Personally, I think the side-storyline is brilliant, it makes me want to watch the next episode and it’s actually an excited story with a very interesting cliffhanger. How do you balance the side story and the review when filming?
A. Well, I actually have virtually the entire storyline plotted out, and have had it from day one. I know there’s a certain amount I want to move the storyline forward each time, even if it’s just a brief reference or the timeleap sequence. I usually first get a good grasp of the show that’s going to be reviewed, usually that’s simply getting refreshed with a show I remember from my past. Once I know how the general review is going to go down (usually, introduction – gameplay – history – conclusions), I see what I can fit in a work from there. As for those cliffhanger endings, you can thank “Quantum Leap” for being my direct inspiration for that! I’ve also loved those endings!
4. I like to consider myself a game show enthusiast, and I was surprised to learn about shows that I had never heard of before watching your review. For example, I had never heard of the Carmen Sandiego Game Shows or Shopping Spree, and it was was interesting how you took that show over a more popular show like “Millionaire” or ‘Password”. How much preparation did it take to gain info on these lesser known shows, or do you actually know it all coming into the review?
A. I never try to claim that I “know it all”, that’s just a setup for failure. The Carmen Sandiego game shows and “$hopping $pree” (yes, seriously, it’s official spelling is with dollar signs) are shows I used to watch growing up, so I was mostly familiar with the material. I also knew that virtually no one knew about $hopping $pree. In fact, that little gag with Ben from the Oddity Archive is based on basically every conversation I’ve ever had with anyone about that show. So, I figured it’d be a fun one to bring to the masses. Now surprisingly, the one I really had to dig into was “Card Sharks”. I never really watched that one growing up, so I really had to research it deeply. I now count that one among my favorites, because of all the research I had to do.
5. Speaking about Shopping Spree, while your series is not a well known Hollywood movie, a very interesting cliffhanger esque moment occurred at the tail end of your review, when Sarah was talking to the Orion 3 commander, and the Orion A.I showed you a visual that the audience didn’t see. Do you think we are going to be able to see more of this soon? Obviously you are a busy man, but is there any timetable for any upcoming episodes?
A. That scene will be explained, and it will have a sort of effect on a future episode. Originally, “Double Dare” was my penultimate episode, but, that has actually since changed. I have a video or two in the works right now, a couple of specials that will help me get back into it. Unfortunately, I’ve also found that if I announce a timetable, it’s effectively like a jinx on me, so all I can ask is the fans be patient while I try my best to get more quality episodes out to them
6. In your show, you did a comparison of kids versus adults game shows. Do you have a favorite kids and adult game show respectively?
A. Now that’s hard. All the shows I reviewed in my Nickelodeon trilogy are the shows I loved growing up, and that’s not including the others I loved so much. “Legends of the Hidden Temple”, “Get the Picture”, “GUTS”, “Double Dare”, “Nick Arcade”, there’s just no way for me to pick a favorite. Likewise with the adult game shows, how could I possibly pick between “The Price is Right”, “Press Your Luck”, “The $25,000/$100,000 Pyramid”, “Scrabble”, etc… I guess my honest answer is that I can’t name an “absolute” favorite for either category.
7. You also frequently mention that “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” started a new wave of high-stakes million dollar games. Additionally, I’ve noticed that comedians and celebrities like Howie Mandel and Regis Philbin have replaced the traditional game show host and combined with the high cash prices, these shows seem to be cancelled before they reach 20 episodes. Also, sets seem to be more “dramatic” rather than “comfortable” these days. Do you agree with me on any of these points?
A. I can pretty much agree on all except one point. “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” sort of set the new benchmark for game shows in the second half of 1999. Heck, there’s a website called “TVTropes.org” that has a trope called “Who Wants to Be ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’”. But, with the exception of Greed, these have all been rather long running shows. “Deal or No Deal”, “Minute to Win It”, of course “Millionaire” all had or currently have pretty decent runs. And yes, I unfortunately have to agree that the sets are more dramatic and very cold these days, almost like they just assembled some chromed tubing, attached spotlights, and called it a day. Guess where that started…”Millionaire”. I really do miss the game show sets of the late 80s and early 90s, where bright colorful SOLID shapes ruled the day. The sets just seemed so much more inviting, as opposed to the sets of today which, again, feel extremely cold and uncaring.
Who Wants to be a Millionaire started the wave of HIgh Stakes Game shows.
8. I’m personally a Legends of the Hidden Temple fan. Legends had always been the last 90s game show without a reboot of any kind (if you count enthlevel for Nick Arcade’s revival.) Do you think this TV Movie could “ruin” the legacy of Legends?
A. I want to withhold judgement of the movie until I see it…I really do. I mean, at least they acknowledge the original show with references to the original, right down to Mr. Kirk Fogg himself slated to play a role. I’m only going to hope they treat it with respect to the original game show. Yes, I’ll watch it when it comes out, and hope that it stands true to the one and only “Legends of the Hidden Temple”. Unfortunately, if it’s not done right, then hopefully it can be an overlooked footnote in the history of Legends.
9. Do you have an all time favorite game show host?
A. Now that’s nearly as bad as the favorite game show question. I’ll just say among my favorites are (no surprise) Bob Barker, Peter Tomarken, Dick Clark, Marc Summers, and Kirk Fogg…just to name a few.
10. Fun Question: If you could actually go back in time and fill in for a host on a game show, which show would it be and why?
A. Let’s see, if I really had a Tempest One and could travel back in time and fill in as host for a game show…I’d have to say, I’d want to fill in for Peter Tomarken on “Press Your Luck”. That show was always so intense, and I’d love to see if I could keep the energy going as well as Peter did back in the day. That, and I admired that big board & the whammies!
11. Finally, since this is a Baseball blog, do you have any connection or have a liking to Baseball? I’m having a hard time trying to find a connection between Baseball and Game Shows!
A. Well, I can’t really say I can point out a definitive connection between game shows and baseball…but I personally do have a connection. I first started to really fine-tune my motion graphics skills by doing graphics work for a local Double-A Team. Year by year, I’d always want to come back and try something new for them. At first, I just did really basic stuff in After Effects, but by the time I left, I had done my fair share of 3D work for them too. In fact, we even had a promotion that was “Wheel of Fortune” themed! Of course, I did a version of the wheel in 3D and used the video display system in a way to make the puzzles work just like the actual show. It was fun, I’ll definitely say that.