1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
briguy_52732 from Eldridge, Iowa
9 September 2001
It's funny how time changes your perceptions of some TV shows. Take, for
instance, the 1985 NBC game show "Time Machine."
While the show was in its (deservedly) short run, this game was sort of up
my alley; at the time, I enjoyed the show because it was just one
opportunity for me to satisfy my appetite for learning about recent
and popular culture.
Today, I see the show as a piece of crap. Basically, the show's basic flaw
is in its concept; it's simply stretched too far. I mean, how many
can you ask about Watergate and the Vietnam War, certain memorable sports
teams and TV shows and Elvis Presley without boring viewers? And some of
questions themselves (though admittedly interesting) were simply inane
by how they were asked (e.g., "Were Twinkies introduced before or after
I don't object to the format per se; some of the elements of "Time
would undoubtedly work as an occasional feature on a TV show or even
drive radio show's quiz segment. But an entire 65-show series? That's
stretching the rubber band way beyond its elasticity.
Then, there's host John Davidson. Great performer, but I never really
for him as a game show host. He did OK (but just OK) as host of the 1980s
version of "Hollywood Squares," but seeing one episode of the series, I
don't think he really cared if his contestants won or lost (he'd just slap
on a plastic smile afterward and go to a commercial).
"Time Machine" tried to cash in on the then-growing popularity of trivia
games (both home and on television). Only one of them would succeed -- the
far superior "Jeopardy!" which of course wasn't a new game (having debuted
in 1964 and was in its first year of syndication when "Time Machine"
I have heard some elementary schools were planning to recommend this
to children (their families better have had VCRs) so they could learn
history. Any school which recommends a "history-based" game show (such as
"Time Machine"), whose questions tended to lean more toward pop culture
rather than recent history, is deficient. I'd have recommended reading
history books -- which avoid the inessential pop culture -- instead; if
show were to air today in an identical format, the far superior "History
would serve as the history-quiz show of choice.
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