An updated version of the classic game show, hosted by John Davidson. Celebrities, seated in squares in a tic-tac-toe arrangement, would give their answers to questions on various subjects.... See full summary »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Himself - Host (126 episodes, 1986-1989)
...
 Announcer / ... (125 episodes, 1986-1989)
...
 Himself / ... (87 episodes, 1986-1989)
...
 Herself - Center Square / ... (61 episodes, 1987-1989)
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Storyline

An updated version of the classic game show, hosted by John Davidson. Celebrities, seated in squares in a tic-tac-toe arrangement, would give their answers to questions on various subjects. The contestants would then have to guess whether or not a celebrity's answer was right. Contestants guessing correctly would gain control of the square. Gaining control of three squares in a row would win the game. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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non fiction | See All (1) »

Taglines:

"It's Hip to Be (The New) Hollywood Squares."

Genres:

Game-Show

Certificate:

TV-PG
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Release Date:

15 September 1986 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Followed by Match Game (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

It's Hip to Be Hollywood Squares
(Theme No. 1)
(1986-1988)
Written and Performed by Stormy Sacks
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User Reviews

 
Very strong attempt at recapturing the original
24 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Admittedly, any attempt to revive a show that lasted for 15 years is going to be a very difficult task; however this version of Squares is very underrated and should have lasted longer.

Positives: -Theme music. Next to the prize music in the H2 era (2002-2004), this was the best music ever used for the show. Yes it was cheesy, yes it had "80's" written all over it, and yes it was mostly catered to the daytime crowd, but it worked, it was catchy, and it was fun.

-Celebrities. I was surprised when I hear Joan Rivers' comments stating that she felt there wasn't enough "star power" on this version. I thought the cast of celebrities offered up was very unique and varied. Obviously we had the unpredictable and over-the-top Jm J. Bullock, Joan and Alf among others, but it was also cool seeing Richard Simmons on the same show as John Matuszak, having Louie Anderson and Rose Marie taking turns in the center square, or about Howard Stern himself making an appearance on the show, despite his well-known disdain for it. Also making announcer Shadoe Stevens a regular was a neat idea and something that had never been done before. Most announcers are lucky to get so much as an acknowledgment from their host, let alone camera time.

-Shadoe Stevens. OK I have to mention again. He was easily the best announcer Hollywood Squares has ever had. He was enthusiastic and involved, and always did a great job with the introductions of the celebrities. I wish they'd kept him through the entire 98-2004 run.

-The set. The one thing that separates this from the other versions is that the audience is right up close to the celebrities. They literally are the ones that divide the host and contestants from the panel. It did make for some awkward camera angles, but it was still a nice touch.

Negatives: -The end game. It relied too much on chance and not skill. For those not aware, the contestant had to pick a giant prop key out of a jar that might or might not start up one of the cars displayed on the set. There was no process of elimination based on knowledge or success from the main game, so it wasn't very fair. Admittedly, the losing sound effect was funny, and the good luck celebrity was again a nice way to bridge the contestant and panel, but it was completely skewed.

-The bits. Sometimes the game would rely on a visual prop or skit involving the celebrities (Cooking, singing, etc.) It was a distraction and too "cutesy" for my taste, not to mention taking up valuable time from the main game.

You'll note I have not mentioned host John Davidson yet. It's simply because I have no real opinion on him. All in all, he was a pretty good host, and a worthy follow up to Peter Marshall, but hosting didn't really seem to come naturally to him. He clearly knew the game and had fun with it, but he wouldn't have been my first choice, personally speaking. Then again, he had to follow in the footsteps of the Master of the Hollywood Squares, so that no doubt had an effect on his performance.

This show used to rerun quite frequently on USA but has been retired. However, you can still catch some episodes on YouTube. I recommend checking it out.


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