Picks and Pans Review: You Don't Know Jack
ABC (Wednesdays, 8:30 p.m. ET)
It's pretty funny, but does it bear repeating? That's the hardest question facing this comedy quiz show, based on the CD-ROM and Internet game of the same name.
You Don't Know Jack, continuing its five-week run through July 18, would be virtually indistinguishable from a Saturday Night Live game-show parody if it didn't give real people a chance to win real money. "The only thing unreal on this show is me," says Paul Reubens (known in the '80s as Pee-wee Herman), who plays host in the character of Troy Stevens, a sleazy wiseacre with a garish wardrobe and a Beatles hairdo. Though he occasionally tosses off a Weakest Link-style put-down, Troy is more apt to distract contestants than insult them. In the premiere, a mariachi band marred the panelists' concentration as they struggled with a mathematical word problem. Amusing? Sure. But each episode has a variation on the same bit, with a university marching band providing the disruption on June 27. It gets old, folks. A weekly gag that wears better is the "$2 million question," which rapidly decreases in value while Troy finds excuses to avoid reading it.
Bottom Line: Only a short-term answer
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