I wouldn’t say I’m a game show junkie. In fact, I rarely watch any. However, I’ve recently rediscovered the Game Show Network and reruns of my absolute favourite game show, Match Game. I’m not sure anyone understands my fascination, not even me. I don’t even think I was alive when it first came out, and when I watched with my grandma, I was too young to understand most of it.
Nevertheless, there’s something endlessly entertaining about the celebrities of the day (which included Richard Dawson and virtually everyone from M*A*S*H*) smoking on set, speaking in innuendo, and shocking the tittering housewife contestants. And to judge from the attention Richard Dawson got, he must have been some sort of seventies Johnny Depp or George Clooney. To each his own, I suppose.
This made me recall a Canadian game show, Just Like Mom . The beginning played out like the Newlywed Game, but instead of “How well do you know your spouse” questions, it was “How well do you know your family” questions. Mostly boring. It was the final round that made it all strangely compelling.
The final round was a bake-off. The kids, which I believe were all under thirteen, were provided with various ingredients and were usually charged with making chocolate chip cookies – without a recipe and under a time limit. The moms had to taste each one and try to determine which sorry offering her own kid was responsible for. Sometimes the kids would leave out the chocolate chips. I mean, you might not have a recipe, but one of the ingredients is in the NAME.
Invariably, at least one kid added ketchup. Seriously. Ketchup. In chocolate chip cookies. The looks on those women’s faces? Priceless.
But in truth, watching game shows may merely be nostalgia. I spent a lot of time as a kid watching with my grandma, which may be why I still have a sneaking fondness for The Price is Right.