Sunday, November 27, 2022

The Eagles Pack In the Packers

Began the morning with breakfast and the A Colonial Christmas CD I bought yesterday. Listed as "Early Music New York," this release from the Metropolitan Museum of Art is apparently a collection of 17th century dance music intended for the huge balls and parties Colonial America loved during the holidays. As such, it was mainly reels and ballads played with the flute and fife.

Hurried out well before the CD ended. It wasn't raining when I left, just cloudy and a little warm-ish for this time of the year. Thankfully, the rain arrived well after I got in and vanished well before I finished for the night.

Work remains a pain in the rear. I get flustered too easily to handle people well. Everyone says not to be hard on myself, but I feel so guilty for getting upset and causing trouble in the first place. I really do not like cashiering. We were steady early on, but once the rain came in and the football games started, our customers died down to a trickle. It picked up again a little during rush hour, then died for good around 5. I spent my last three hours standing around, cleaning registers and organizing coolers. And of course, my last customer was a frantic woman buying soda for the Arby's across the parking lot. Apparently, their soda machine died. I ended up calling a manager to deal with her so I could get out on time.

After I got home, I went straight into dinner and Match Game PM. Bill Macy of Maude joins in for this episode, and I wish he'd come again. He played very well and looked like he had a great time. Elaine Joyce is absolutely delighted when the audience cheers her answer to the question about what a snake does when his snake charmer is a bad musician. Richard Dawson has less luck figuring out "__ Beans" in the Head-to-Head.

(Oh, and Buzzr's last marathon of 2022 sounds like it'll be its annual "Betty White Christmas" week. They run Betty-centric episodes of Match Game, Tattletales, the '94 Family Feud, and the Passwords the week before Christmas and on Christmas Day. I've enjoyed it every year they did it, and this year shouldn't be an exception.)

Switched back and forth between the games and the Eagles-Packers Sunday night game. They once again didn't start out well. It was 20-20 at halftime. Things picked up after that. They played like gangbusters in the second half, ultimately winning 40-34. 

Finished the night with my own shopping game marathon on YouTube, since I didn't see Buzzr's Black Friday Frenzy this year. I had no idea Supermarket Sweep ran over a decade on Lifetime, The Family Channel, and PAX until recently. The episodes I have here are one of the earliest from 1991 and one of the last from 2002. 

The show evolved a lot over the years. David Ruprecht traded colorful shirts and sweaters for colorful ties. More mini-games were added when the show hit the new millennium, including a Password-style "guess the food word" game. The inflatable bonuses found during the Big Sweep increased in size and price, and there were more mini-games to make extra money during the Big Sweep itself. 

Many people nowadays don't remember Wheel of Fortune used to stop between rounds for people to use their accumulated cash to buy prizes. They continued to do that at least as late as the early 90's. I know they still did it when we were watching. By the time I was in college, the prizes were listed on the Wheel and could only be won by landing on them. This Chuck Woolery episode from 1978 is an example of people being able to buy prizes between rounds.

Sale of the Century also ran through several formats during their six-year-run on NBC. I found one of the earlier daytime episodes from 1984 that still had the contestants deciding if they'll take that day's prize, or come back and play again for the possibility of a bigger prize. This was a really exciting game, too. The Speed Round literally came down to the wire. The champ won by two points. Even host Jim Perry looked really excited. 

Shopping shows go way back on TV...and so does the ultimate shopping show, The Price Is Right. Bill Cullen hosted the original version in 1956, which ran on two networks until 1965. It's a lot simpler than the version from the 70's onwards most people are familiar with. Four people bid on an item. That's it. The fun is in seeing the things they bid on that are luxurious even by today's standards, like a huge kitchen and a beautiful new sportscar. The episode I have here is the original test show...and let's just say we're lucky NBC picked it up, given how well some of the bidding goes.

The Honeymoon Race replaced the original Supermarket Sweep on ABC for five months in 1967. Three honeymooning couples drive little cars around Hollywood Mall (apparently now Hollywood Plaza) in Hollywood, Florida. They stop on the way to play mini-games. It's extremely silly to see these grown couples driving around and bumping each other in what amounts to toy cars. I can kind of understand the short run. 

Shopping Spree did better on The Family Channel in 1996. In fact, this would be the closest game show producer Jay Wolpert got to a hit. One half of a couple dresses in small objects that are clues to larger prizes. The other person has to guess which prizes fit the clues. The bonus round - the couples grab items from a board that fit a particular celebrity printed on cardboard and shove it at the cardboard figure - belies the show's low-budget origins, and frankly, it comes off as more than a bit bizarre today. 

Most shopping shows had plugs for the products they sold, but Save to Win was more blatant about it. This short-lived CW show from 2016 had shoppers competing to see who could guess products on a conveyor belt right. Each right answer won them an item for their cart. The second round smacked of Double Dare gross-outs. The contestant's partner has to decide what three food items are based on smell and texture. The third had everyone trying to remember five items in a bag. The bonus round involved one half of the couple choosing an item, and the other half having to match it.

Not only is the game cheap and simplistic, it's just a long advertisement for Family Dollar. The show is set in a Family Dollar that's far cleaner and better-stocked than any real one, and it uses Family Dollar products mixed in with national brands. Frankly, I would have rather seen the Family Dollar shopping spree given away as a consolation prize than the dull matching bonus round. 

See how good you are with spotting bargains by playing along with these super shopping extravaganzas!

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