The Fall Breakdown Part 2
Originally posted: October 16, 2009

Text by: Cyndi Seidelman

As you know that last time, I gave you the first half of my fall breakdown. This time, here's the 2nd half of the Fall Breakdown.

The Ultimate Fighter - Heavyweights : In my mind, the best show of this style out there right now. It delivers what people come to expect from the series. Not only that the coaches this year are former Ultimate Fighter 2 winner Rashad Evans and former Ultimate Fighter coach Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, so you know you're in for some great trash talk between the coaches. Plus, the action is great as well, which features former IFL Champion Roy "Big Country" Nelson, former NFL player Marcus Jones and famed internet sensation Kimbo Slice. Now, we're already halfway through the first round of fights and Nelson beat Kimbo via Ref Stoppage, but there's still a ton of great matches left. In short, it's a great series where you'll see 16 people in the fight of their lives trying to make it to the big show. Nobody does it better than Dana White and the Ultimate Fighter crew. Top marks all around.

Grade: A-

Survivor - Samoa : Before the season started we were given promo upon promo on Russell, who was going to be the biggest Survivor villian of all time, and so far they haven't disappointed. Now, that aside they went with 20 castaways on the unforgiving isle of Samoa. Already we've seen camp depression, mental and physical anguish and a medical evacuation from the game. Not only that, we're getting some great one-liners from the castaways, like the one Shambo laid on us when she accidently let a chicken loose after her tribe won it in a challenge, "I didn't know chickens could fly." Well, it's a bird and if it's not a Kiwi or a Penguin, they can fly. Moron. Anyways, the game is as it was in the past, but this time around there's no Exile Island. I figure this was eliminated when Russell found the Idol with no clues. So, instead the winner of the Immunity challenge sends one of their tribesmen to the other tribe for observation of the other tribe. Not only that, they are given a clue to where the Immunity Idol is hidden. Well, enough of that. It's the same old Survivor as before. Either way, it's still great stuff.

Grade: A-

The Newlywed Game: In a recent interview with Buzzerblog, GSN Vice President David Schiff said that they want to make host Carnie Wilson one of the faces of the network. If that's the case than the network is in bigger trouble than we thought. Not only that, she has been so syrupy sweet on the show, if she was any more syrupy and saccharine on the show, I'd be a diabetic right now. She doesn't have that edge on TV, or from reports she does have the edge, but they are left on the cutting room floor. Anyways, complaints about Carnie aside, the game is miles ahead from last season. Thankfully, the Goldywed's Round has been axed and in it's place is a much more pallatable 30 point 2-part bonus question. The set is just as it was last season, and that's a good thing. So, if you can stomach Carnie Wilson, then the show is fine. If you can't then you won't.

Grade: C+ (Averaged from Game: A / Host: F with leeway given to the game)

Catch 21: This is the third season for Catch 21, and in a way I'm happy for the show, although the game isn't that great. They haven't fixed the two biggest flaws in the show. One of them is the points system. Basically it's saying if you win one round, you're moving on to the next stage of the game. This is easily remedied by getting rid of the points and after one of the three players wins the round, they move on to round 3 where the others battle it out to see who goes on to round 3 along with the winner of round 1. Or in simplistic terms, lift the elimination format from Top Card and you'll have a much better game. But the main gripe for this is the same as The Newlywed Game; the hosting. Alfonso Ribeiro is way too hyper for the show. He really comes off as a fake. To be perfectly blunt, he looks like he graduated from the Patrick Wayne school of hosting. He's the worst host that GSN has ever had for a regular show (I would have said all time, but Ross The Intern gets that award). Anyways, I'm glad they changed the prize from the second season. I can't get excited about an Oreck Vaccum, but for a trip, that I can get excited about. Anyways, the scoring is flawed and the hosting sucks.

Grade: C-

Brainsurge: Nick's first venture back into game shows after Double Dare 2000 doesn't disappoint whatsoever. Jeff Suthpen is very adept and makes the kids feel very welcome and very comfortable in the game, plus some of his one-liners are very funny, like Lew Schneider's from Make the Grade. The game is probably the most mental game the network has had ever since Get The Picture. The first round involves a ton of mental puzzles which are quite cute and clever once you see them. The second round is very reminiscent of History IQ first round from its season where the host will read a story from "Jeff's Book of Super Fantastic Chronicles of Truth....That are absolutely true" where the contestants have to memorize facts about the story until 2 are eliminated where the other 2 play a game of concentration until one messes up or they both complete the game. The Final Round is "Memorize the Light Pattern" Where they have to memorize a path of a 4x4, a 5x5, and finally a 6x6 grid. The bonus round lasts for 90 seconds where completing each path wins a prize where the 6x6 wins the contestant a trip. All and all, it's a fantastic show. Nothing more can be said about it.

Grade: A-

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