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The All New Captain Kangaroo (1997)
Couldn't compare to the original, but a nice try
Saban, the same company that brought Power Rangers, went a different direction with this revival of Captain Kangaroo. Supposedly, Bob Keeshan, the original Captain, was offered a role as a Grandfather Captain, but he declined, premiering to be a creative consultant, but Saban said no thanks.
Most of the elements of the original are there, Mr. Moose, Bunny Rabbit, Grandfather Clock, even the treasure house has some resemblance to the one fans know and love. The opening has the Captain opening the doors and hanging his key onto a nail, just as it should. Frequent trips were taken to Sea World, just as the original Captain would frequently go to the zoo. The show also had the familiar gag of the Captain having ping pong balls poured over his head.
John Mc.Donough is passable as the new Captain. He wears the familiar jacket with big pockets, but it's blue instead of red. He has a long black beard, and like Keeshan, is a portly guy. To his credit, he seems to relish the role. I read an interview where he commented that he grew up watching the Captain and dreamed of having a chance to play with him as a kid.
Greenjeans (not MISTER Greenjeans) is much too young and is dorky. Lumpy Brannum's original Mr. Greenjeans worked so well because he was sort of a great sage and wise man. This Greenjeans just looks like he's just an amateur actor trying to play the part of a guy that loves vegetables.
Also, Joey the Kangaroo is an invasive addition to the cast. He's just too clumsy.
Still, with the exception of Digit, there was no attempt to "modernize" the show, it still had the feel and warmth of the original, despite the lack of chemistry between this Captain and Greenjeans.
3rd Degree! (1989)
Good, but short lived
Burt and Bert created a show that was basically a variation of What's My Line. The only difference was that they featured pairs that had something in common with each other. A similar premise was used in the classic game show Make the Connection, which starred Gene Rayburn.
Peter Marshall hosted the pilot, and was supposed to be the host of the series. However, for some reason, Bert Convy, who produced the show, decided he wanted to host it himself. As a result, Bert had to find someone else to host Win, Lose or Draw, and chose a guy that resembled Bert Convy, an unknown named Robb Weller. Peter mentioned in his book that he was hurt to be let go, and resented Bert Convy since.
Family Feud (1999)
O'Hurley is AWESOME
If you haven't seen the many preview clips of O'Hurley on Feud, go there now! The new set is basically 21st century Richard Dawson. The family poses and intro are now intact. The format and music remain the same.
O'Hurley brings in a welcoming breath of fresh air. He's exactly what the show's been needing for the last 6 seasons, a host with a quick wit that listens to the contestants and makes them feel at ease. He brings enough variety to keep the shows fresh and exciting.
Louie Anderson was funny, but his hosting style was inconsistent. Sometimes he was good, and other times he looks lost, and sometimes, tired. His voice was also grating to many, and the scoring format was a little unfair. It was 3 single rounds and one triple round. On quite a few occasions, a single family racked up a lot of points in the 3 rounds, and the strategy is to deliberately strike out and the other team couldn't possibly catch up no matter what answer they say. The set also had a "cold" feel with all the silver and blue. People I know have seen tapings of Louie's version of Feud and say that Louie makes a LOT of mistakes during a taping.
Richard Karn was... likable. Unlike Louie, Karn was VERY consistent and ran Feud like a well oiled machine. How can you NOT like Karn? Very nice, and a great smile. The set was also revamped with warmer earth tone colors. Unfortunately, just being likable doesn't cut it as a host for Family Feud. Truth be told, Richard Karn was never a quick witted guy, and while he had his moments, wasn't really that funny. He missed MANY opportunities for quick one liners when a BAD answer was given. If you watch especially the last season, it's easy to see that Karn has gotten stale. A good host can make every show different, and give people a reason to keep watching. With Karn, it seemed each show was pretty much the same. The set for Karn's final season was also all wrong. The set was overhauled with more lights, and a new backdrop that changed colors.
Archie Bunker's Place (1979)
Not as good as All in the Family
With Archie Bunker's place, Carroll O'Connor had much more creative control than he did on All in the Family... too bad he didn't have Jean, Sally and Rob to back him up, with the exception of a 2 part episode. Rob Reiner was supposedly reluctant to return, but being newly divorced, he needed the money.
The post-Edith episodes are much more maudlin than the first season, and it's depressing to see a sadder Archie. We saw much less of 704 Hauser St., and when it was shown, it looked a lot darker and emptier.
About a year before it was cancelled, Sally Struthers, who really had nothing better lined up, was talked into doing a spin off featuring her Gloria character, now separated from Mike Stivic.
Before the show was cancelled, there was talk of possibly having Rob Reiner return occasionally as Mike, but Rob had become an established director and had no desire to reprise Meathead.
Gloria was now a veterinary assistant, and the trainer from Rocky was the veterinarian that let her sleep in an extra room in his house where his practice was.
Unfortunately, not enough people were interested in seeing a single Gloria, who had matured since the original series. I saw the first show, and thought the show was awkward. It was an attempt to show a single woman struggling to make it on her own (and that's been done before, what, at least a couple times...Mary Tyler Moore, That Girl)
Bullseye was a good show! In the beginning, the game seemed very slow, but Jim later picked up the pace. The big strategy was when to bank the money. If you bank it too soon, your opponent could easily bank a larger amount or possibly win the game.
Bullseye, unfortunately, suffered the same fate as many shows of the 80s did when they went to an all celeb format. Whew!, Hot Potato, Beat the Clock, and Password went to all celeb formats and died quickly.
When celebs played Bullseye, some of them didn't want to be there, (F. Lee Bailey would've much rather been fighting high profile cases, and Jerry Mathers looked VERY bored) some feigned excitement (when you see 3's Company's Richard Kline mugging the camera, you know you have problems), as if they were actors playing contestants on a game show.
Worse, it didn't feel like it was much of a competition. The rules always were that any money banked was yours to whether you win the game or not. So, many celebs were just banking money when they could, not caring if they won the game or not. The match between Jerry Mathers and Tina Louise was a perfect example. Both celebs were banking money each round, thus taking away the element of risk that makes the game more interesting.
Let's Make a Deal (1990)
Still the same game, but not the same without Monty
I've seen Monty in many interviews say that he'd love Let's Make a Deal to make a comeback... but with someone else hosting. Monty gave game show announcer Bob Hilton a shot at filling shoes that would be VERY hard to fill.
So LMAD made a comeback in 1990, still the same game. Three doors, contestants in crazy costumes, pricing games, trading games, and the big deal of the day. There was only one rather obvious drawback... Bob Hilton was NO Monty Hall.
When Monty was on, he was the ol' used car salesman that you weren't sure you could trust. Monty knew just how to tempt the contestant to go for what might be a better deal... or a useless zonk. Yet, he had enough charm to not totally embarrass a contestant for making the wrong choice. He always had that "I know what you're thinking" look on his face.
Bob Hilton pretty much just "went through the motions". He would be straight up and offer money for the box or the box for a curtain, or whatever, but beyond the trading games themselves, Bob left much to be desired.
Monty realized Bob just wasn't right for the show, and had no choice but to take the reins back. He did so very reluctantly. Monty said in a TV Guide interview that besides letting Bob go, the last thing he wanted to do was to take the job himself. On the show, Monty openly acknowledged that his return was a temporary measure, and a new host would be found, but the show was cancelled before he had the chance.
LMAD would not return for more than 10 years, this time under host Billy Bush. Not enough people were interested in this hourlong LMAD, which had cameo appearances with Monty, and it too was gone, after just 3 shows.