Review: Just Like Mom
Text by: Cyndi Seidelman
You may notice that Just Like Mom is on our Viewer's Choice poll right now for February's induction. I tried to sit through a few episodes of the original and it was just a dreary show and not enjoyable at all. Many things made the show unbearable to sit through, not all of them being Fergie Oliver as host. I'm going to keep what I think was wrong with that hidden, just in case it does win the poll. In recent years, MarbleMedia bought the rights to the show and has succeeded in making a brand new version for the new generation called Just Like Mom and Dad. The question that we have with this one is this: Is it any better than the original? Well....it is, but that's a really low hurdle to jump over.
The hosts for this version is married couple and actors Sandy Jobin-Bevins and Kylee Evans. First question is are they better than either Stephen Young or Fergie Oliver? Well, they are better than Fergie Oliver at not being a perverted kiddie stalker mongoloid. But something seems off about them. They seem nice and cheery, but come off as really stiff and uncomfortable. Watching them when they are doing interviews are cringeworthy bad. Answering questions though, they remind me of mid-market, fresh out of college reporters who do interviews to concerned citizens about the topic of the day. They are competent, but don't have the experience to add the oomph that those in the top 50 markets can pull off.
The format....is a carbon copy of the original, with either parent playing the game instead of just mom. Honeestly, that kinda ruins the title. Shouldn't it be titled Just Like Mom or Dad? Eh, I'm stretching for a criticism there, where there is more than enough to go around. Two questions in the first round asked to the kids with parents in isolation with the first question being worth 5 points and the second question worth 10 points. The second round is reversed with the adults being asked the questions and the kids in isolation with the first question being worth 15 points and the second being worth 20 points. The questions are fine, and I like the little visual aids in this version as it helps the kids better understand some of the questions. This is fine.
What isn't fine is the cringe-filled baking round. I didn't like it in the original version and I don't like it here. What I also don't like about it is the main hook for this is to see the adults convulse while eating terribly prepared food. I sometimes enjoy Fear Factor, but I enjoyed the more dangerous stunts such as the glass Pyramid slide from the Las Vegas episode or any stunt involving moving vehicles. The gross food segments are the worst and the kids baking segment is just as bad as those. Oh, and the parent has to guess from the three which is their kids item and guessing right is worth 50 points. The correct answer basically makes the entire front game worthless as you can get zero points in the front game, get a 1 in 3 shot at getting a right answer and still wind up winning the game. It's gamebreaking and it's annoying. This is something the original didn't mess up. The end game is the same as the original with the prize wheel with the grand prize being a trip. I'm fine with this since out of all the Newlywed Game clones with tacked on bonus games, this one is the most removed from the premise and is one of the better ones.
In conclusion...it's too cringe for me to enjoy or even recommend to those who look at the original with even the tiniest of fondness. I never liked Newlywed Game clones involving kids, and the original Just Like Mom may be the worst of the bunch. Some part to the baking segment, mainly to Fergie Oliver perving over the kids on camera the way that he should have with his then-wife in private...who was the co-host. This version's cringe is given to us by the hosts but more in terms of awkwardness rather than being disgusting to the contestants and in the taste test, which needed to go away. I can see this making an impact come Wayney time, if people even remember it even exists.
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