Zone38 Presents...
Letters to the World

20-Jun-2001

Well, they managed to turn

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 11:54 pm

Well, they managed to turn You Don’t Know Jack— one of my all-time favorite trivia games– into a TV game show. And they did it quite faithfully, too. Indeed, this may be one of the most refreshingly amusing programs I’ve seen on ABC– perhaps even on network TV, period– since “Whose Line Is It Anyway” was carried over to American network television.

I won’t spoil the fun for those of you who haven’t caught a glimpse of YDKJ on TV so far, as many of the show’s running gags work best without any prior introduction. I will, however, mention that Paul Reubens did a much better job in his game-show-host persona than I had originally expected, and that the two episodes which aired tonight had me literally rolling on the floor laughing at certain points (and groaning at the intentionally corny jokes every once in a while as well, heh). Let’s just say that even those of you who absolutely detest game shows will probably enjoy this one, simply because of all the silly questions and incidental gags that it entails…

But will it stay on the air long? I’m cynically guessing that ABC might drop the show after a couple months– but only time will tell what actually happens. One thing, though; I’d hate to see YDKJ completely go off the airwaves. It’s just too good to be thrown out entirely; indeed, if it fails on network TV, there’s plenty of opportunity for some cable channel such as Comedy Central to pick it up.

My rating? A very high 8 out of 10. Some of the running gags exclusive to the TV show got a little tedious in the second episode aired tonight, but not so much that they deterred or bored me; in fact, the producers intentionally left room for variation, and even when I knew the basis of the joke I literally fell out of my chair laughing upon seeing some of the gags in the second show. And the half-hour format seemed to cut the game somewhat short; an hour-long format would have suited the show better, I think. (Yes, I do prefer the 21-question game on the CD-ROM; why do you ask?) But other than that, everything else pretty much stuck to the original computer game– in this case, not a Bad Thing at all, given the excellent quality and sheer lunacy of the source material. In short, despite YDKJ’s few minor faults, it’s very well worth watching– and even better yet worth taping to watch on a night with pitiful TV programming, heh.

Oh yeah– and if you’ve never played the original computer game, go ahead and check out the official web site at ydkj.com. Great stuff; anyone with a slightly warped sense of humor should very much enjoy it.

Only follow those news stories

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 5:17 pm

Only follow those news stories that someone claims are actually important? Too bad; there are plenty of amusing tidbits to be found in local newspapers, especially in those pages that almost nobody bothers to read. Check out Chuck Shepherd’s News of the Weird or Jim Romenesko’s Obscure Store to see some of what you might have missed…

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