Sunday, December 07, 2014

TV: The New Password

TV rarely provides answers.  Hell, it doesn't even ask needed questions most of the time -- as any viewer of The NewsHour can tell you.

So it's an actual event when a TV show actually provides an answer.

That happened recently on the successful syndicated game show Celebrity Name Game.

The show started airing last September and the best way to explain it to game show buffs who've not yet caught it?

This is Password where no answers are phrases.  Instead, every answer is the name of a celebrity.

And two celebrities show up each episode to assist contestants.

Often, the two celebrities are Courtney Cox and David Arquette.  The two produce the show via their production company Coquette Productions.

Unlike Password, the rounds move much faster.  You better be a fast talker or an expert at giving clues quickly.

Or, like one mother and daughter team of contestants, have some strong connection that makes words unnecessary.

"Drew Barrymore" was the answer and, as Craig Ferguson pointed out, the mother and the daughter team got the name across to each other with just  "Ah!"

The quick rounds are for the best.

The show would go stale quickly if they spent, for example, 30 seconds or more trying to provide clues for the answer of Vanilla Ice.

Instead, the viewers less focused on the answer and more focused on whether the answer will be guessed fast enough.

Between rounds, Craig Ferguson often creates some nice moments with the guests.

Ferguson's the host and the answer there is because he's relaxed and funny.

But the real question is why he insists upon introducing himself, at the start of each episode, by declaring, "I'm your host, TV's Craig Ferguson."

"I'm your host, TV's Craig Ferguson"?

Does anyone really speak like that?

Maybe the character Troy McClure on The Simpsons but does any actual, living person speak that way?

It really bothered us, that introduction, until the sixth episode we watched.

In this episode a woman was getting clues from her husband.

One of the answers?

"Craig Ferguson."

As the woman stumbled around on the clues provided to her, Craig pointed to himself and said, "This guy right here."

To which the woman exclaimed, "Oh, no! Are you kidding me!"

She never got the answer.

Which is probably why Craig has to declare, "I'm your host, TV's Craig Ferguson," at the start of each episode.

After that predictable moment, however, you never know what's going to happen next and why this show is quickly become the first real real hit new daytime game show since Win, Lose or Draw.

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