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Old July 17 2013, 01:40 PM   #31
shivkala
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Re: The Return of Whose Line is it Anyway?

I'm just happy to have Whose Line is it Anyway back! Yes, in some ways it paled in comparison to Drew's version and certainly nothing can hold a candle to the original, British version, but it kept me entertained and laughing through both episodes.

I imagine (hope), they stuck to old favorites as a way to attract the viewers of Drew's version. Sadly, we as American consumers don't like change.

Lauren Cohan's guest spot was just awkward. I would have liked a better introduction and better games for her to play. Kevin McHale got the better end of it, but even then, it seems the celebrity guest was a lame addition and they'd do well to drop it.

The first episode's third player, Gary Anthony Williams, was much better than Heather Anne Campbell. Sadly, with Lauren staying mostly quiet in the first episode and Heather in the second, it seemed that they decided with a female host, the other females on set need to be pretty much silent.

While I hate to complain, because again, I'm thrilled to have WLiiA back, but Wayne seemed a bit off his game. In the Drew version he stole the show almost every time he was on. At least in the beginning, it was great because he wasn't "WAYNE BRADY," but rather "That really great improv guy." Now it seems we've got "TV's Wayne Brady" and he seems downplayed. He did come alive doing the gospel bit with Kevin McHale.

Overall, I think it will improve. Though, they really do need to ditch the celebrity guest, it's a crutch the show does not need.
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Old July 17 2013, 02:15 PM   #32
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Re: The Return of Whose Line is it Anyway?

It was a bit of a rough start, but I hope they make some improvements. It's great to see Ryan, Colin and Wayne in action again, and Shivkala is right on about Wayne Brady. He seems like kind of a different guy. The celebrity guest stars really took away from the 4th comedian, which was too bad. I hope they dump that part of the show.
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Old July 17 2013, 02:24 PM   #33
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Re: The Return of Whose Line is it Anyway?

shivkala wrote: View Post
I imagine (hope), they stuck to old favorites as a way to attract the viewers of Drew's version. Sadly, we as American consumers don't like change.
It's more than that. Wayne Brady and Ryan Stiles are two of the executive producers now (alongside its original producers, Dan Patterson, Mark Leveson, and Jimmy Mulville).


Lauren Cohan's guest spot was just awkward. I would have liked a better introduction and better games for her to play. Kevin McHale got the better end of it, but even then, it seems the celebrity guest was a lame addition and they'd do well to drop it.
It's a reasonable idea to have celebrity guests to draw viewer interest. But like I said, it'd make more sense to have the celeb be the fourth panelist. The previous show did it that way sometimes.


The first episode's third player, Gary Anthony Williams, was much better than Heather Anne Campbell. Sadly, with Lauren staying mostly quiet in the first episode and Heather in the second, it seemed that they decided with a female host, the other females on set need to be pretty much silent.
I doubt it was planned that way. The thing to keep in mind is that a given recording session for this show runs for maybe 2 or 3 hours and they distill it down to what they consider the best 20-some minutes (of the material that's clean enough for TV, anyway). So it could be that in both cases, the women did participate more than we saw, but by the luck of the draw, a lot of it ended up on the cutting-room floor.
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Old July 17 2013, 02:27 PM   #34
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Re: The Return of Whose Line is it Anyway?

I wish iTunes would have this.
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Old July 17 2013, 04:26 PM   #35
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Re: The Return of Whose Line is it Anyway?

Christopher wrote: View Post
shivkala wrote: View Post
I imagine (hope), they stuck to old favorites as a way to attract the viewers of Drew's version. Sadly, we as American consumers don't like change.
It's more than that. Wayne Brady and Ryan Stiles are two of the executive producers now (alongside its original producers, Dan Patterson, Mark Leveson, and Jimmy Mulville).
Ryan was an executive producer on the ABC iteration as well.

Christopher wrote: View Post
It's a reasonable idea to have celebrity guests to draw viewer interest. But like I said, it'd make more sense to have the celeb be the fourth panelist. The previous show did it that way sometimes.
Yeah, I was surprised when they didn't do that. I think the fourth panelists both ended up getting the short end of the stick.

All in all, I enjoyed it. I just hope that hoedown makes a return in later weeks.
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Old July 17 2013, 04:34 PM   #36
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Re: The Return of Whose Line is it Anyway?

I was interested to see Gary Anthony Williams on the show, since he's an actor I'm somewhat aware of from his occasional animation voice roles. He's probably best known as Uncle Ruckus on The Boondocks, but that's a show I rarely watched; I know him mainly from such roles as Mongul on Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Riff Tamson in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the Mutant Leader in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1, and Michael Holt in last Saturday's debut of Beware the Batman.
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Old July 17 2013, 05:25 PM   #37
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Re: The Return of Whose Line is it Anyway?

I think Gary Anthony Williams is more well known as the cross dresser from Boston Legal, it's aways great to see him.

I think the mess of the celebrity is staying around for this season. But the ratings were massive (For CW) so the show will be around for awhile.
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Old July 17 2013, 07:12 PM   #38
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Re: The Return of Whose Line is it Anyway?

Here are my thoughts (already posted elsewhere, so there is some repetition):

- They really just picked up where they left off from the last tapings of the show in 2001. The format is basically identical, with (IMO unnecessary) guest stars dropping in for a game or two. Notable changes include keeping the host at the desk versus them doing a game with the cast.

- I *did* like the new host. Aisha Tyler was snappy and seemed to genuinely surprise the cast at times with her banter. I won't miss Drew Carey - while he's better now, during the previous run he was not a very good improvisor IMO and I think it hurt the show, as I've posted about previously.

- Two new games: the "sideways scene" we've seen in Improvaganza, Trust Us With Your Life and the show Colin and Brad were doing in the intervening years; and a neat one which found the gang improvising along to whatever they found in two handbags provided by the studio audience.

- The "fourth chair" improvisors were woefully underutilized. They were even kept to the easier games (Scenes From a Hat, etc.) and had very little stage time. The guest stars had just as much, if not more time. Sad to see, since at least Heather Anne Campbell (also from Improvaganza) can easily keep up with Colin, Ryan and Wayne, and Gary Anthony Williams has quite the improv history himself.

- A review of the show I read in the paper yesterday suggested that the show was deliberately pimping fellow CW shows; I guess last night was the anomaly with shows from other networks lending out their stars. Since I don't watch CW besides Arrow (and now this) I'll be mostly in the dark with people coming from various Vampire shows or whatever.

As an aside, you can YouTube up more recent stuff, like a good half-hour Skype interview with Colin on the revival that delves into the show in some detail, and similarly a Whose Line UK Comic Relief "reunion" show from 2011 with Clive, Josie Lawrence, Niall Malarchy and Tony Slattery, plus Humphrey Carr and David Walliams. It was great to see some of those guys in action again, and also Whose Line with the classic UK feel to it.

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Old July 17 2013, 08:49 PM   #39
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Re: The Return of Whose Line is it Anyway?

Mark_Nguyen wrote: View Post
Notable changes include keeping the host at the desk versus them doing a game with the cast.
Which is a return to the way the original British show did it. The only reason the US version had Drew Carey participate in the sketches -- even though he wasn't very good at improv -- is because he was the big star at the time and the network wanted him to be more prominent.

Actually I think I wouldn't mind seeing Aisha Tyler participate in the occasional sketch. She had some good banter with the players.
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Old July 17 2013, 09:03 PM   #40
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Re: The Return of Whose Line is it Anyway?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Mark_Nguyen wrote: View Post
Notable changes include keeping the host at the desk versus them doing a game with the cast.
Which is a return to the way the original British show did it. The only reason the US version had Drew Carey participate in the sketches -- even though he wasn't very good at improv -- is because he was the big star at the time and the network wanted him to be more prominent.

Actually I think I wouldn't mind seeing Aisha Tyler participate in the occasional sketch. She had some good banter with the players.
Exactly. People are complaining about the credit reading and the host not playing, but that's exactly how the UK version is.

Plus the ratings were good, we can hope for more seasons and to fix the issues. However I have a feeling the celebrity guest stars will be around forever so CW can use it to get people to watch new CW shows.
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Old July 17 2013, 09:11 PM   #41
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Re: The Return of Whose Line is it Anyway?

I enjoyed it immensely. I know I was laughing more than my fair show through both episodes.

Aisha is a wonderful host, her laugh is infectious, and the regulars are every bit as funny now as they always have been. Colin and Ryan are definitely starting to show their physical age, but there's nothing wrong with that. And Wayne Brady... well, I don't get the criticism he's getting. If anything, he's simply shed the "whitest black guy ever" image and embraced himself for who he is. That skit on the Chapelle Show went a long way to helping with that, too.

The one criticism I agree with is the "random celebrity" bit. While seeing Lauren Cohen being used as a toboggan made me happy in my pants, it really did detract from the fourth improviser. Especially the episode with the guy from Glee who was trying too hard to contribute rather than just being the prop he was intended to be. Just awkward and uncomfortable.

I much preferred it when they pulled someone from the audience whenever they needed another participant.

I guess they were trying to recreate the awesomeness of Robin Williams' appearance a while back, but that's just not going to happen with it being a regular thing. Or not having someone like Robin Williams doing it.
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Old July 17 2013, 10:47 PM   #42
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Re: The Return of Whose Line is it Anyway?

The last season of the ABC run had tons of gimmicky guest appearances: David Hasselhoff, Hugh Hefner, Florence Henderson, and of course Richard Simmons among them. Then there was the contortionist, the gymnasts, Miss America, and so on. Unfortunately the producers have seen fit to continue this trend, possibly because the feedback on lots of these appearances was very positive.

If it's one per episode, it's certainly gonna be over-used, and make the fourth chair actor even more superfluous. Heck, for some reason they put WAYNE as the alternate with Lauren Cohan in "Living Scenery". For a non-speaking role where you basically just jump in as a prop when prompted, they coulda used the fourth chair. I just hope that when a classic audience participation game like "Sound Effects" comes along, they'll stick to using the audience as in the past. Or at least Ryan.

This show's formula is at its best when sticking to the four casted improvisors, the host (and their banter with the cast), plus audience volunteers. Everything else, from Drew jumping in on games to the various gimmicky guest appearances, is IMO little more than sprinkles on the cake. This latest version has plenty of sprinkles. However, the show musn't forget we're here for the yummy, delicious, improvised cake.

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Old July 18 2013, 03:50 AM   #43
shivkala
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Re: The Return of Whose Line is it Anyway?

Christopher wrote: View Post
shivkala wrote: View Post
I imagine (hope), they stuck to old favorites as a way to attract the viewers of Drew's version. Sadly, we as American consumers don't like change.
It's more than that. Wayne Brady and Ryan Stiles are two of the executive producers now (alongside its original producers, Dan Patterson, Mark Leveson, and Jimmy Mulville).
I wasn't aware of that. I'm not against them, in fact in both the British and American previous versions, I was excited to see them and Colin in the cast. Greg Proops also. I thought I heard him mention that he was going to be doing the show on his podcast, but I can't find any thing on-line to back that up.


It's a reasonable idea to have celebrity guests to draw viewer interest. But like I said, it'd make more sense to have the celeb be the fourth panelist. The previous show did it that way sometimes.
I'm not against guest stars, I just didn't like how they were used in these episodes.


I doubt it was planned that way. The thing to keep in mind is that a given recording session for this show runs for maybe 2 or 3 hours and they distill it down to what they consider the best 20-some minutes (of the material that's clean enough for TV, anyway). So it could be that in both cases, the women did participate more than we saw, but by the luck of the draw, a lot of it ended up on the cutting-room floor.
I didn't mean to imply it was done on purpose, it was more of an observation. Never having been to a taping, I'm admittedly naive about how it's filmed. I guess it does make sense for there to be more that's edited.
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Old July 18 2013, 06:11 PM   #44
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Re: The Return of Whose Line is it Anyway?

As previously noted, on ABC they filmed for 3-4 hours and got at LEAST 3-4 episodes out of it, versus the UK version where they filmed 2-3 hours for ONE episode, plus an extra game or two that made it into a clip show at the end of the season; also ABC later went back and got at least one more episode of less-than-stellar material from each taping and aired that (without additional pay to the actors).

Upon rewatch of the new episodes, I somehow get the impression that they may be shooting in shorter blocks and using a director / editor who was looking for a little continuity in the material, adding in callbacks to previous games. I agree though that there are likely games that were cut that will be made into a separate episode or two down the line.

Looking up Laura Hall on Facebook, she further notes that the stuff that is cut or edited out includes multiple takes of games like Hoedown (which Colin noted in that Skype interview they only did once or twice, to the cast's relief). Laura says that in a typical Hoedown each actor will do at least a couple verses, not counting the ones they can't make it through; editing takes care of the rest and makes it appear that they get the perfect verse right out of the gate. Other games like Greatest Hits will have Wayne doing five or six songs, but we only really hear two or three... On ABC there was indeed a later episode which had the identical intro from Colin and Ryan ("Songs of the...") but Wayne singing completely different numbers to the theme. Strange but true.

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Old July 18 2013, 06:56 PM   #45
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Re: The Return of Whose Line is it Anyway?

Mark_Nguyen wrote: View Post
As previously noted, on ABC they filmed for 3-4 hours and got at LEAST 3-4 episodes out of it, versus the UK version where they filmed 2-3 hours for ONE episode, plus an extra game or two that made it into a clip show at the end of the season; also ABC later went back and got at least one more episode of less-than-stellar material from each taping and aired that (without additional pay to the actors).

Upon rewatch of the new episodes, I somehow get the impression that they may be shooting in shorter blocks and using a director / editor who was looking for a little continuity in the material, adding in callbacks to previous games. I agree though that there are likely games that were cut that will be made into a separate episode or two down the line.

Looking up Laura Hall on Facebook, she further notes that the stuff that is cut or edited out includes multiple takes of games like Hoedown (which Colin noted in that Skype interview they only did once or twice, to the cast's relief). Laura says that in a typical Hoedown each actor will do at least a couple verses, not counting the ones they can't make it through; editing takes care of the rest and makes it appear that they get the perfect verse right out of the gate. Other games like Greatest Hits will have Wayne doing five or six songs, but we only really hear two or three... On ABC there was indeed a later episode which had the identical intro from Colin and Ryan ("Songs of the...") but Wayne singing completely different numbers to the theme. Strange but true.

Mark
Yeah how ABC treated the show was crap and Drew Carey called them on it. He said just because his show was fading doesn't mean you throw another show he does under the bus. Craig Ferguson makes fun of ABC all the time, and jokes it's why everyone now works for CBS.
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