There have been a lot of game shows in the past, covering almost every possible gimmick. We've had Jepardy, Wheel of Fortune, $100,000 Pyramid, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Family Feud, Win Ben Stein's Money and more recently Cash Cab. Let's face it: it's hard to come up with a game show that's fresh and new, let alone something that you go out of your way to watch. However, I subscribe to Entertainment Weekly, and when I heard that they were going to make a pop-culture game-show on VH1, I set time aside to watch the premiere (I always loved those pop-culture quizzes they had).
The premise of the game is simple-enough: 16 teams comprised of three people each must compete in a single elimination tournament for $250,000. Actually, it reminds me of another show I saw a while back. So it's nothing entirely original.
The questions though, are quite difficult. What was the name of the Boat in Jaws? What was the name of the company who owned the building in Die Hard? While some are easier than others (Who played tinkerbelle in Hook, What's the Simpsons' dog's name, What black and white Speilburg movie made in 1995 won best picture?), there are rarely ones that are extremely easy, and even the relatively easy ones can be challenging.
There are a lot of little things that make this show great. The teams each pick their own names and logos, which can lead to some very memorable choices (Highly Effective People, Sexual Chocolate, I Love Jake Ryan, The Boegy Bunch). Unlike most game shows, the melodrama is kept to a minimum. It's there, it always is, but it isn't so over-blown as most everywhere else. The host is unobtrusive, and largely allows the show to run on its own accord (although the occasional witty quip is always at hand). Each team where's matching uniforms, and this gives them a singular identity (along with the names and logos). The crowd in the theater are very responsive, and the players are extremely good sports. This is what really makes it enjoyable, the fact that you see a level of sportsmanship here, among nerds (like myself, only more-so), that pales in almost everywhere else you look.
I don't know about anybody else, but I'm pulling for Almost Perfect Strangers to win. When you collect the three biggest nerds you can find online and put them in a team together, there's no force in the 'Verse that can stop them.
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