Catching Up on Stuff: Face Value, Snap Decision & Funny You Should Ask

Text by: Cyndi Seidelman

Because of life getting in the way, I haven't been able to review a lot of new shows that have come out.  So, I'm going to take a look at three of the newest ones out right now in Face Value, Snap Decision and Funny You Should Ask.  I'm not going to do a proper Fall Breakdown this year, but it'll be back for next year.  So, let's talk about the three new shows that run the gamut of various quality.

Face Value (BET): I loved Street Smarts, and I think this was a neat little take on it.  Instead of solo players, it's two teams of three with one celebrity and a couple, trying to figure out strangers just by watching an interview they have with an on air reporter.  While I can't remember her name, Deon Cole makes for a good host. He knows how to play off the celebs and contestants and I just like the way he does his job. When he was on Mind Of A Man, I thought he should have hosted and I was proven right.  As for the game itself, the meat of it is in the discussion between Deon and the teams. The rest is a standard Street Smarts affair where the contestants figure out how the interviewee would answer a question. First round is a simple yes/no question for 100 points.  Second round is a more open ended question with four possible answers for 200 points.  The third and final round is where Deon gives a statement and the teams have to figure out what interviewee said it for 300 points.  The bonus game is your box standard 10 in 60 bonus game where the team picks 1 of the 4 interviewees and has to correctly guess yes or no to 10 statements about them for the modern game show box standard grand prize of $10,000.  The format isn't the strength. The strength of this show is the comedy, intentional or not, and the reactions of Deon Cole and the contestants.  That being said, it does its job well and I enjoy laughing alongside the contestants and Deon and just enjoy this show.
Grade: B

Snap Decision (Sinclair Stations & GSN): This Street Smarts variant came before Face Value, but it comes off as hollow and not as fun as Face Value.  David Alan Grier is the host for this one and he is the lone bright spot for this show. Like Deon Cole above, he can play off the contestants and street subjects well. The game however, is middling at best. It's your tried and true three contestant format where they have to guess what a subject said.  First round introduces the three subjects and asks two questions about each subject in an either/or format for $100. In round 2, the contestants have to guess what one of two subjects said what for $200 with the last place contestant being eliminated. The third round is just the Pick Your Pony/Brain round from Street Smarts where the first question is $250, second is $500, third is $750 and the contestant with the most money plays the bonus game.  The bonus game has David reading a statement and the contestant has to pick which of the three said it. Getting 5 right or 7 right (Depending on when the show was taped) makes the champions cash total into $10,000. It's not bad, but it's not as funny as Face Value or as entertaining as Face Value. On the other hand it's miles better than Divided, so watch this instead of that miserable pile of junk, despite it being an average show.
Grade: C

Funny You Should Ask (Syn.): Unlike the two above, this is a variant of Hollywood Squares. Unlike the two shows above that have something going for them, this show has nothing going for it, especially the lame 20 second loop of Pharrell's Happy it tries to pass off as a theme.  Jon Kelley is not a good host at all.  He doesn't play off the celebrities like how Peter Marshall or Tom Bergeron did on Hollywood Squares, or even how DeRay Davis does in the current run of Hip Hop Squares. Not only that, he tries to build drama in a game that should just be played for laughs, so he comes off as way out of place.  The game is Hollywood Squares without a gimmick or any form of strategy whatsoever.  The game is just Jon asks question, comedian gives off middling or bad joke, gives scripted answer, contestant says if it's right or wrong, repeat 18 times until there's a winner.  First six are $100, next six are $200 and the final six are worth $300.  A problem that I have is that if a contestant can't catch up, they just continue on with the game, burning through material that they could save for another day.  So, they are being wasteful.  The Bonus Game is answering three more questions with 3 answers, 4 answers or 6 answers. Getting all 3 questions right wins $5,000. This is Byron Allen's trademark: making cheap shovelware style TV that he can pump out and rerun without spending a dime. It is as Roger Ebert has dubbed, "An entertainment free dead zone". That is what Funny You Should Ask is and it is not worth your time to check out.
Grade: D-

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