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Old July 17 2013, 05:36 AM   #27
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Re: The Return of Whose Line is it Anyway?

I never much liked Carey as the host. I still miss Clive, but Tyler's an improvement on Carey. If nothing else, it's a nice change of pace to have a host who can crack dirty jokes from a female perspective and have a new kind of banter with the male-dominated regular cast. Helps even things out a little.

I'm not happy that Tyler is keeping Carey's intro line, "The show where everything's made up and the points don't matter." I hate that line every time I hear it, because it's explaining the punch line before the joke is even told, and that ruins it. It also kind of insults our intelligence. In the original show, it was quite easy to tell how arbitrary and ridiculous Clive's scores were, and the fun was being in on the joke without being told outright. I know, I know, American viewers expect game show points to count for something, but it only takes a little observation to figure out that this is different.

Not to mention that Tyler barely bothered to award any points in the first place, or to name an alleged winner. So why not just drop that conceit altogether?

It seems odd to have both a fourth weekly cast member and a celebrity guest who comes out for a couple of skits. It doesn't serve either of them well. The first guest, the really hot woman from The Walking Dead, did two games where she had to stay totally silent; I was figuring they couldn't afford to pay her speaking-role rates, until she participated in reading the credits. And then in the second episode, the kid from Glee had more to do than the woman who was nominally the fourth panelist. Why not just have the celebrity guest be the fourth panelist?

Although, really, I wasn't as fond of the US format where it was always Ryan, Colin, Wayne, and someone else. The British show was willing to mix up the cast more. The problem with always having the same three is that their material gets predictable. I turned off the TV when the Helping Hands segment started, because I've seen Ryan and Colin do the same shtick over and over and over. I did like it that they tried some new games; the "Sideways Scene" bit with them lying down was fun, and the donated-handbags improv was novel (although I doubt it was quite as random as implied; I'm sure the producers searched the contents of the bags first to make sure there'd be nothing harmful, X-rated, or illegal). But I'd like to see more variety in the contestants, get some new player dynamics going. The celeb guests help in that regard, but I've mentioned my issues with the execution of that.

So it's nice to have it back, but it's not perfect.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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