One of the benefits (note: it is not actually a benefit) of having your cable/internet constantly go out is you get to watch a lot of free TV over the antennas you have hooked up.
Usually there is nothing on 90 percent of the channels, but when in doubt, we will flip to Buzzr TV, an over-the-air game show network, that is exactly like the actual Game Show Network, except with worse shows, and no budget to make its own in-house game shows to fill time.
And when you have inferior game shows to actual GSN, you get some really bizarre shows that you can see why they aren’t on TV anymore, or fondly remembered.
Now, they do have some of the big heavyweights, classics like Family Feud, Press Your Luck, Match Game, Password (and it’s variations), but many of them are on just to fill time, and because they probably have the rights to them bundled in with those good shows.
Without further ado, here are some of those shows and my quick thoughts/grading of them. Keep in mind that these grades are based on them being on free TV, and not something that you would actually pay for.
Show Description: Game show featuring two contestants as they attempt to correctly guess words based on definitions given by children ages five to nine.
Child’s Play lasted less than one year, from September 20, 1982 to September 16, 1983 but somehow managed to have 258 episodes get made in that time, which is insane.
Honestly, this show is kind of funny, and is worth a few laughs just to see how small kids describe certain words. Aside from that, there isn’t much skill, but any show that involves kids and makes you laugh is OK in my book.
GRADE: 7 out of 10.
$ale of the Century
Show Description: Contestants answered general knowledge questions posed by the host at a value of $5 per correct answer with prizes available for purchase both during and after the trivia rounds.
Truthfully, upon finding out we got an over-the-air game show channel I was excited for this show. But then it’s basically just a rapid-fire trivia show like every other game show of the era. The show had two runs in America, once from 1969 (nice) through 73, and again from 83-89. Combined it had more than 1,500 episodes!
The show tries to keep things interesting by having “instant bargains” where the person in the lead can buy something like a $400 color TV (it was 1983ish) for $7 of th earned money. The person with the most at the end can shop for big prizes, or bank their money for future episodes to buy the grand prize, which is usually a car. Not that interesting, amazing it lasted as long as it did. Twice.
GRADE: 5 out of 10.
Show Description: Two teams, each consisting of a contestant and a celebrity guest, as they compete in a game of charades to guess clue words for a puzzle.
Body Language lasted about a year-and-a-half, airing 396 episodes.
It’s charades. If you like charades and enjoy watching semi-famous people, this is the show for you. Betty White appeared in some episodes, so that’s always fun. Charles Nelson Riley also appears, and just acts like a general idiot. He was not good at this game.
GRADE: 7 out of 10.
Show Description: Blockbusters is the question & answer game that pits two players against a single player in a race to connect boxes from one side of the Blockbusters game board to the other.
The show aired from 1980 to 1982, then came back for a year in 1987. In all it aired around 450 episodes.
This is basically Connect Four (or Five if you’re the team of two) but in trivia form. Each block that you pick has a letter on it, which is the letter the answer starts with. The questions are not that hard, but it moves fast and is a Best-Out-Of-Three format, so there is some drama. The bonus rounds are also pretty good. There’s also some strategy in that you can block or force your opponent to take the long way. Not bad.
GRADE: 8 out of 10.
Beat the Clock
Show Description: Contestants were required to perform tasks (called “problems”) within a certain time limit which was counted down on a large 60-second clock.
This show was actually on four different times across three stations. On CBS from 1950 to 1958, then ABC from 58 to 61, then BACK to CBS in the late 70s and early 80s from 1979 to 1980. They then tried a reboot of it on PAX from 2002-2003.
Think of it like an adult version of Double Dare, particularly the second version in the 70s and 80s, with adults doing weird stunts to try to win money. Most were either insanely easy and done in a matter of seconds, or were really hard because of terrible props or ideas, and were never beaten. Meh, worth a couple laughs, but nothing great.
GRADE: 6 out of 10.