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All Episodes Talk: What's in a name?

A place to discuss particular episodes, arcs and moments from the show's run. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

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Eh, I liked it, mainly because of Craig's energy & lack of structure. Twas about what I expected, though : a typical, short-format game show that allows for a bit of Craig hanging out w/ his celebrity friends without the constraints of a talk show format.

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I was disappointed in the game itself, but okay with Craig himself.

 

If these aren't all pre-taped already they need to rethink the game's rules and how they're explained.  It's like they took the worst possible mini-game from Hollywood Game Night and built a whole show around it.

 

Can it be fixed?  Maybe.  But first they need to REALIZE it needs to be fixed.

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I have only seen the first two episodes that aired in my market (Joely Fisher/Heather Graham and David Arquette/Courteney Cox).  My least favorite part of the show is when Craig gives the clues (sorry, Craig).  What is frustrating is how bad some of these people are and the awful clues they give!  Courteney, I'm looking at you!  You produce the show!!  Practice a little!  (Heather Graham was awful too).  I don't know if I will be in this for the long haul, but I like Craig and I like game shows (especially anything reminiscent of the Dick Clark Pyramid shows).  Some of the contestants seem fine, others are annoying (blonde jumper who likened herself to a Kardashian).

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Caught this while channel-surfing as I wait for the Big Brother finale to air in my time zone. Is this supposed to be a low-rent Hollywood Game Night?

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I kind of like it but it needs tweaking.  The graphics at the opening are cheesy.  It moves along at an almost frenetic pace at times, but when Craig gives the clues it slows down to a crawl. He needs to speed it up, even if he's given the answers before-hand.  In an interview, CF said they had taped over 100 episodes before the premiere. That baffles me.  They should have taped a small number, checked out viewer reaction, and then tweaked the game.  With 100 in the can there's nothing they can do to change it at this point.  The game-shows that last (Wheel, Jeopardy, Price is Right) let the viewers at home play along.  They should have at least one round where the home-viewers can't see the answers. 

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I saw more episodes (my first reaction had been only after the first one). It does get better. Craig tightens up his explanation of the game a bit, and the guests get better. It's not going to steal any thunder from Hollywood Game Night, but the pilot episode does seem like a worst case.

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The pilot was the one where Craig's not wearing a suit, yes? He did go on and on in that episode.

 

Some of the contestants are more "Central Casting" than others, like the aforementioned blonde Kardashian and the disco band. I bet it'll even out over its run.

 

 

I have only seen the first two episodes that aired in my market (Joely Fisher/Heather Graham and David Arquette/Courteney Cox).  My least favorite part of the show is when Craig gives the clues (sorry, Craig).  What is frustrating is how bad some of these people are and the awful clues they give!  Courteney, I'm looking at you!  You produce the show!!  Practice a little!  (Heather Graham was awful too).  I don't know if I will be in this for the long haul, but I like Craig and I like game shows (especially anything reminiscent of the Dick Clark Pyramid shows).  Some of the contestants seem fine, others are annoying (blonde jumper who likened herself to a Kardashian).

 

I recently saw an episode of the revival, featuring guest stars Yvette Nicole Brown and Danny Pudi. They're both very good gameplayers (plus Yvette's excellent HGN appearances), so I wonder how well they'd do on this show.

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I feel like the contestants should get $100 per correct answer in the final round. Give them SOMETHING for if they did better than others, but didn't get them all right.

My lord some of these people are terrible and annoying.

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After watching spottily, I like it, but the show is very much HGN finale + Family Feud finale. I agree that there should be some tweaks, but I'm not sure how exactly. I'm not against Violet's idea of something for the final round, but I'm not sure. They aren't walking away with nothing. Besides, if they have broken the $3k goal, then the other teams were (usually) soundly trounced as is.

 

The third round is pretty straight-forward, but really, don't answer if you are guessing! I get wrong answers like that one woman's "Pinocchio!" (Famous people who had streets named for them; it was Craig's clue that set off that misfire). There have been teams that were $100 apart entering Round 3, but are left in the dust by a combo of the winning team and their own wrong answers. (I live in fear of actually getting on a game show and going totally blank, so I feel for those teams.)

 

My hubby isn't thrilled with the second clue-giver getting less time than the first clue-giver in the final round. I have to agree. Family Feud gives their second person just five extra seconds. Not enough to save most of the teams that I've seen so far.  Maybe the team that got nine right, but not most.

 

Overall, it's a fun way to pass a half hour. You can multi-task or you just watch and kibitz.

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I watched it once.  I don't know if my liking for Craig is strong enough to get me to watch it again.

 

Isn't he also supposed to have some half-hour talk show in the works?  If so, I'd prefer that to this.

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The Will Sasso/ Candace Zimmer episode was great fun!

 

I sorta love the goobers who come on and just go all out. You have to embrace your ability to remember all sorts of folks to even try out for this show, so why not have fun while trying to get 20k?  That said,the people that are obviously guessing during the 3rd round need to stop, unless they are being told by directors to guess ( possibly for time matters.) Still, why give money to the other team?

 

Despite that, still enjoying this.

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The same names keep appearing- (Kim Kardashian seems to be used in every episode!)

That's bothering me too.  There's a core of about a dozen names we've seen used over and over again.  Which would be fine if this show had been on the air longer than a month (but it hasn't been).

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Two of HGN's best players, Yvette Nicole Brown and Michael Ealy were on last night, thought the $20000 win was a sure thing, alas the contestants were by far the worst ones so far.  One described Judy Jetson as on the Flintstones.

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I've seen Courteney* Cox and David Arquette on at least three separate episodes.  It makes sense since they're the executive producers.  However, I'm always surprised at how nervous Courteney seems.  She looks like she's so worried about screwing up that she's not having any fun at all. 

 

* I had to go look up how to spell her name on IMDB because I knew that it wasn't the usual spelling.  Why, oh why, do people have to come up with unique spellings that no one else uses?  (I just checked an online baby names site with 60,000+ names and when I typed in "Courteney" I got "no results found.")  Courteney must constantly have to tell people how to spell her name.  Okay, rant over.... 

Edited by MMLEsq.
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However, I'm always surprised at how nervous Courteney seems.  She looks like she's so worried about screwing up that she's not having any fun at all.

 

I saw one of her and David's episodes recently and I agree. The woman looked more nervous than the civilians and seemed to agonize about missing or biffing. I think it was during the second round when one of the civilians really biffed an answer and it looked like Ms. Cox was commiserating with the woman. Maybe it was just the expression on her face. Still, I appreciate that she is thoughtful about her civilians ( Martin Short) and obviously wants to do well, period.

 

Two of HGN's best players, Yvette Nicole Brown and Michael Ealy were on last night,

 

I saw that episode too. I was sooo excited to see YNB ! I hope she returns.

 

There have been several teams that came within one or two screens of their $20k. Part of the inability of some teams seems to be genuine blanking on either the name given or an ability to explain who/what the name is. Another part is that with some of the names, the contestants seem too young, which, to me, is no real excuse.  You know you are going to be on a show that is going to throw a variety of famous names at you. People study for Jeopardy!, brush up on some older famous names!

 

Maybe that is some of the disconnect? Why we seem to have a core of repeat names so often? That the general public now only think of celebrities as Movie/TV/reality TV/Sports/Music as celebrities? That folks like Mother Teresa, Queen Elizabeth II,  and Norman Schwarzkopf aren't celebrities?  If there isn't a movie/song/book/famous spouse to quickly signify to your teammate, then just pass?   Maybe  I'm just feeling my age, but I hope they keep the older names in rotation.

 

Having said all that, I now adore Kathryn Hahn, mostly for 

her anger/disbelief at having her last second save not be accepted by the judges. She was about ready to tear something (-one) up!

     

 

Spoilered just in case.

Edited by Actionmage.
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I thought the final quiz showing a picture of Zooey Deschenael instead of her name was mean. She is a dead ringer for Katy Perry and I thought it was her as well.

I wish they'd get better contestants for this show. It seems some of them don't know anything about pop culture.

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I thought the final quiz showing a picture of Zooey Deschenael instead of her name was mean. She is a dead ringer for Katy Perry and I thought it was her as well.

Superficially, sure, but for some reason I've never confused them myself. The face shape is totally different, Katy rarely wears bangs, and Zooey always does.  And at least in body shots there's no confusing them.

 

katy%20and%20zooey.jpg

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I kind of like the show so far. I'm not sure it'll hold my attention in the long run, but for now it's okay. A few of the regular guests are kind of annoying, but a few others are consistently entertaining. And a few of the same names do come up too often. And some of those never seem to get a decent clue despite that.

 

I do not like the photo clues in the last round. A few of them I didn't recognize at all, and even the ones I did it would take me a few extra seconds to process, which is pretty precious time with only a combined 75 seconds to get 10 correct. I remember one of them was a cartoon animal I wouldn't have been able to name at all (and the contestant clearly didn't know either).

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There have been several teams that came within one or two screens of their $20k. Part of the inability of some teams seems to be genuine blanking on either the name given or an ability to explain who/what the name is. Another part is that with some of the names, the contestants seem too young, which, to me, is no real excuse.  You know you are going to be on a show that is going to throw a variety of famous names at you. People study for Jeopardy!, brush up on some older famous names!

Keep in mind that this is the first season and that the contestants went into this and weren't told what the rules or format would be until day of taping.  I'm a contestant, although our episode hasn't aired, and my teammate and I practiced what we thought would be asked, but we had no idea until the day of.  And that is all I can say about that for now :)  It's like the first cast of Survivor.  You learn as you go.

 

Now, for contestants on the next season, absolutely, they should be brushing up on older famous names and other categories which are featured.

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Now, for contestants on the next season, absolutely, they should be brushing up on older famous names and other categories which are featured.

Actually, if this season is any indication, they should bone up on Kardashians.

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I'm a contestant, although our episode hasn't aired, and my teammate and I practiced what we thought would be asked, but we had no idea until the day of.

 

Oh, ghertigirl! That is fabulous! Please give us a heads up when your show is coming up.

 

That somehow doesn't seem fair, though, the swerve on the show's part. I guess I understand, what with Craig still with his talk show during the time you all probably taped. Some secrecy was needed at the time.

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Wonder how many days of taping it took for Craig to decide to ditch the tie and untuck the shirt?

 

Felt sorry for the team that lost out because they didn't recognize "Tonto". Maybe if that Johnny Depp movie last year had done better more people would know the name.

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Being a long time game show fan, I like this show because it's like a cross between Password & Pyramid, though I'd be dead in the water w/current names. Have also become a big fan of Craig's over the years - the man's proven he can do just about anything, and he gives just enough snark. I had no problem w/Tonto & couldn't understand why in 3 shows last week where Ronald Reagan was the clue, he was only guessed correctly once.

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Am I the only one who thought not allowing "Prince Joffrey" because he was a king when he died was a total rip-off.  There have also been a few others in the past that bugged me, like not allowing "Huck Finn" or "Ben Franklin" until they said the full name. Hell, they insisted on "Vivica A. Fox" even when she herself gave her name as "Vivica Fox".

 

Also, did those contestants not realize Martha Washington was George's wife? They were lucky they had time to spare with that roundabout way of getting that one.

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It made me sad that they had to struggle so much to get Martha Washington - "First President's Wife"!! And what about that guy who passed on every actor who was in a movie before 1998 - Charlton Heston, Marlon Brando. Really, the Godfather?

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Okay, not accepting "Alex Keaton" instead of "Alex P. Keaton" is just wrong. I'm shocked they allowed "Fred Rogers" for "Mr. Rogers" given the other decisions they've made.

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My favorite is when Craig goes on about the rules and say you can't rhyme, you can't spell, etc and he does that every time he gives the clue.

 

The worse is a celebrity who is too busy trying to be funny or is not in it 100% for their team.  I've seen it on Hollywood Game night as well.

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To be fair, when Craig is giving the clues there has to be an answer eventually, passing isn't an option. It's great when even rhyming doesn't work and he just gives them the answer and it takes a few seconds for one of the contestants to realize it.

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The worse is a celebrity who is too busy trying to be funny or is not in it 100% for their team.  I've seen it on Hollywood Game night as well.

Martin Short was the worst at this on HGN.  I couldn't take his mugging and camera hoggery.

 

I'm still laughing at the clue for Shaft.  The contestant said "I'm a bad mother____" and Mel B yelled out "FvCKER!"  Even though they bleeped her you could totally read her lips.

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Man, losing out on 20k because neither celebrity (who were otherwise pretty good players) remembers "Jackie Robinson" based on the best possible clues, that had to hurt. I guess if there were a few more seconds they could have gotten it in a more roundabout way ("blank Joyner-Kersee plus Swiss Family blank").

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Bad enough they have so many reality show "stars" as answers, but Tila Tequila as an answer in 2014 is ridiculous. I think they need to have a rule on the final round that reality show stars have to have had a show on within the last year. I had to look up what Tequila's show was, and it ended in 2008! Given the half-life of reality TV fame, that's like using a silent film actor other than Charlie Chaplin as an answer. This was at least the second time a team with a good shot of winning lost out based on a reality show star who's been off-air for more than four years.

 

Also, while he's not a bad player and I appreciate he's enthusiastic, I could do with much less Tom Arnold on my TV.

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My episode aired yesterday!  It was the one with Sherri Shepard where she couldn't come up with "Scooby Doo." (*insert eyeroll).  I was pleasantly surprised by how much of my dorky awkwardness they cut out :)

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Man, Sherri Shepard trying to remember Scooby Doo was painful. She's one of those players on the game whose brain can pull out just enough to make you think she's going to get the answer, so you don't want to pass quickly like you would if it was a complete blank stare, which only winds up wasting time. I think she did the same with "Hansel and Gretel" in the final round that episode.

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Man, I feel for you. Certainly celebrities just kill their teams - Mel B, Sherri Shepherd are two of them. I am hoping that celebs that suck at this show are phased out in later games.

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Man, I feel for you. Certainly celebrities just kill their teams - Mel B, Sherri Shepherd are two of them. I am hoping that celebs that suck at this show are phased out in later games.

They have to have burned through that big initial bunch of episodes by now that Craig filmed back to back to back before the show even started airing (I think it was like a few months worth). If so, then a new bunch ought to be filming now, I guess around the schedule edges of Craig's last few weeks of the Late Late Show.
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If I was the guy in the last episode I would have shouted out Paddington Bear the moment I saw those words appear.  It just seemed like that was one of those items which had a high probability of biting you in the butt as something that not everyone would be able to recall.  So toss it out and let your partner have something new.  I am hoping that future contestants do start to realize the strategy of getting an new clue to guess by purposely saying it rather than always just passing it.  The Jackie Robinson episode was another one where once you have mentioned the baseball color barrier, the movie 42, and the Dodgers and the celebrities are still staring at you with a blank look on your faces then you should just immediate say the answer get buzzed and let your partner get a replacement item while you don't waste unneccessary time with that clue.  Otherwise your best case scenario is trying to break it down which takes considerably more time and greatly decreases your odds of getting all 10 done.

Edited by Xenith22.
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That is an excellent idea and I am not sure I would have thought of that.

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Yeah, I've thought a few times that it would be better if the first contestant intentionally said a word in a really hard answer and hope for a better replacement, especially if it's something you know the celebrities or your partner are weak in (some people just don't know sports figures, or recent music, or older music).

 

Since I spend too much time thinking of strategies for game shows I'll never be on, I'd say:

 

First round, you're mostly at the mercy of the celebrity but don't hesitate to urge them to pass at the first sign of hesitation. With ten answers there should be at least four or five which are easy in most categories, and getting four in this round is pretty good. Unfortunately some celebrities take three or four seconds just to get their first meaningful clue out, and take too long to pass.

 

Second round you have some more control, try to get through all ten names, assign each answer a difficulty rank of 1, 2 or 3.  1 you think you can get in just a few seconds, three or four words, pass if they don't get it right away. 2 you play, give a few more seconds (but not more than 5 or 6). 3 you pass right away unless it's one of the last two, in which case you give it try unless you absolutely don't recognize the name. Don't waste time trying to cobble together a name from other celebrities with common first and last names. That rarely works, and even when it does it takes so long you might miss a chance to do two or three easy ones.

 

Third round, obviously, the only strategy is not to buzz in unless you're 100% sure, and listen carefully for when Craig decides just to give you the answer.

 

Final round, I wonder if it might be best if the first contestant intentionally leaves a few easy ones on the top row, ones they're confident that their partner can get, in order to get through all ten names and defuse any potential landmines by saying a word in the name of answers that seem impossible. So try to get maybe two answers on the top row, leaving three easy ones (or replacements if any seemed impossible), and then play pretty much like normal on the second row, but try to pass fairly quickly so you at least see all ten answers. Of course this depends on the celebrities being reasonably good players, but if they aren't then you're screwed regardless. One advantage of this is that the second player has a good chance of starting with some easy ones you left, instead of starting with one you got stuck on, so they get eased into the game instead of thrown into the deep end. One wrench in this strategy is the photo answers, if you don't know the name you can't intentionally blow it.

Edited by BobH.
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I have no idea why Cox even created this show. She looks bored and pissed the entire time she is on. Plus, she is horrible at this. Of course, it could be her joker face that makes her unable to show joy or happiness. It is hard to tell.

I've given up watching the Craig sections of the show. His clues are horrendous and not even funny. It's painful to watch.

Marilu Henner and the other chick were really good at the final round tonight on some tough celebrities.

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I have no idea why Cox even created this show. She looks bored and pissed the entire time she is on. Plus, she is horrible at this. Of course, it could be her joker face that makes her unable to show joy or happiness. It is hard to tell.

There's a simple answer.  Arquette created it.  They were either still married at the time it was created (this was probably in the development hopper for a long time) or she felt enough pity for his horrible prospects of ever getting work again, she went along with it.

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Ah, that could be. Arquette also sucks at this game but he seems to at least be enjoying it. But, there is still no reason for either of them to be guests when they are this bad.

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Can I just say I lurrrve Cat Deely? I've had a girl crush on her since the first season of SYTYCD.  And I want to play on any game show anywhere, any time, as long as I can play with Marilu Henner.  With her autobiographical memory, she's the perfect partner.

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Wow, that contestant who played with Cat Deeley and Ross Mathews was pretty great, almost finished the board by herself (helped that she had two good celebrities, but she'd have done well with almost anyone. Except maybe Sherri Shepard and Courteney Cox...). Wonder what they would do if someone did finish the board solo. I think they should cover up all but one answer, bring out the partner and tell her that they need to get nine more in 30 seconds, and then have the answers shown be impossible ("Tsar Nicholas II"). Worth it just to see if anybody could keep a straight face (on Family Feud, did anyone ever finish the last round without help from their other family member?).

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on Family Feud, did anyone ever finish the last round without help from their other family member?).

 

Yes. Fast Money, the final round, has two family members come out, one at a time. The first family member is given 20 seconds "on the clock" and has to answer five questions. Like the earlier rounds, however many other folks polled is the number assigned to the answer. ( Ex. "What sport is the US best at?" Answer 1: Swimming. Result: 0. Taken from a show I watched today.) Both members have to reach 200 points.

 

The second family member is given 25 seconds and asked to answer the same questions. They are not allowed to duplicate a given answer. That is why the 5 more "seconds".  The audience and remaining family members are cautioned to be quiet for both Fast Money players.

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Sorry, I was unclear. I know how the Family Feud last round goes, I was asking if it ever happened that the first person playing got all 200 points required, making the second player's round superfluous. That would be the equivalent of one person on this show getting all 10 names in the last round.

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This is the first one I came across, BobH. It's pretty funny.  http://www.wimp.com/familyfeud/

 

Sorry about the misunderstanding.

 

eta: Here's an interesting tidbit from the Family Feud Wiki:

[from the section on Fast Money]

 

◾Very rarely, the first contestant from the winning family playing Fast Money would get 200 points and win the big money all by himself/herself. During Ray Combs' tenure, whenever that occurred, he would trick the second player into thinking that the first player did terribly and then ask him/her five phony ridiculous questions. There has never been a contestant to get 200 points by himself/herself in the current incarnation.

 

So the above lady may not be alone in her achievement?

 

More on topic: When is Craig's mustache going to start showing up in episodes? It makes him look like the magician from Frosty The Snowman!

Edited by Actionmage.
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