Picks and Pans Review: Gameshow Marathon
CBS's attempt to steal a little of the success enjoyed by NBC's Deal or No Deal is a counter-evolutionary boo-boo. Like other recent game hits, notably Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Weakest Link, Deal or No Deal has a linear, modern-looking neatness that acts as a coolant even as contestants panic or undermine their dignity. Marathon, hosted by Ricki Lake and airing two nights a week before settling into a regular slot June 15, pools together a few lesser celebrities (Leslie Nielsen, Lance Bass) and has them play at old-fashioned games like Beat the Clock and Let's Make a Deal. (That was the one hosted by Monty Hall. Contestants would turn up in cornball costumes, as if they were lunatic courtiers trying to win the favor of the king.) The prizes all go to the stars' favorite charities, which is the one good thing. Otherwise, these shows have no retro chic, and they don't evoke nostalgia. Marathon feels like some awful way to pass the time at a sales convention.