Review: Late Night Liars
Originally posted: June 11, 2010

Text by: Cyndi Seidelman

GSN has had no luck whatsoever when it comes to having a once-a-week show on their network. Their first attempt was with Big Saturday Night, a horribly botched idea which brought us some of the worst things to grace the network. The shows that BSN housed, 20Q and The Money List were victims of BSN tanking. That was followed up with by Carnie Wilson: Unappealing...I mean Unstapled and Hidden Agenda, two shows that were so bad that within weeks, both pulled in less than 100,000 viewers. How bad do you have to be to get less than 100,000 viewers on your show? Geez, I thought McEnroe tanked in the ratings, but I was wrong. What followed that was Instant Recall, a show that had good intentions, but was saddled with somewhat poor execution. Wink was still fun to watch, but the vehicle itself was pretty bad. So, with expectations low, GSN unleashed Late Night Liars, a joint venture between them and the Jim Henson company. So, does it actually succeed in being a show that doesn't stink?

Well, to start, they have gone the whole 9 yards and promoted this thing not only on GSN, but they have gone viral. There are ads about this show on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube among other popular places. All the celebrities have their own twitter accounts. I've also seen no less than 6 Late Night Liars ads on TNA Impact. So, that's something. But does that mean they got a good show here?

Believe it or not, they're not lying. This is a very fun show that's a more risqué version of the old classic game show, Liars Club, or better yet the super-long running British panel show, Call My Bluff. The celebrities are very fun and funny, and all of them have interesting quirks. For instance, Shelley Oceans is the old, bitter comic; William A. Mummy is like Paul Lynde, if he was a puppet; Cashmere Ramada is the young celebutante who is supposedly a mix of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and others who can't keep their pants on & Sir Sebastian Simian who's a great takeoff on Simon Cowell. The host is comedian Larry Miller. He has that dry wit that fits the demeanor of the show. He seemed a little stiff in this episode, but I think he does well in later episodes.

The game itself is light, yet fun. The first two rounds have all 4 celebrities giving statements about a category given. In the first round, two are telling the truth and the other two are lying. It's the contestants job to find out who's the lying. If they correctly spot a liar, then they win x amount of dollars. I have to say x because the amount varies from show to show. It's a cute running gag. In the Second Round, it's only 1 liar out of the 4. A correct spotting is worth x amount of dollars as well for the same reasons as above.

Round 3 changes up the format a bit where the contestants pick one celeb and the celeb will read a statement. The contestant must decide whether the celeb is telling the truth or lying. A correct answer activates a dollar Randometer where it could be anything from a little over $100 to higher than that, I'm assuming about $1,000 or a tad more than that. The winner gets to keep the cash and plays the Two Subject Showdown for $10,000 whereas the loser receives $500 and a small parting gift.

The Two Subject Showdown is a really nice change of pace. One celeb will give quick statements about one subject and another celeb will give quick statements on another subject. The contestant must then decide if it's the truth or a lie. A correct guess is worth $500, but if they can get 8 in 43 seconds, a time not seen in a bonus game since Video Power (although the time might be 41, but it's close enough), they win the $10,000.

In closing, it's a fantastic show. I hope it lasts quite a while. I don't know how many episodes were taped in Season 1, but it's not enough. On the first night, they've reaired the first episode 3 times, not counting its original 11pm airing. I'm sure this will be remedied in week 2 where they might put something else in some of those slots, like another run of John O'Hurley Family Feud or something like that. But that last part is GSN's scheduling fault and not of the shows. But back to the show, it's perfect for its time slot and maybe in Season 2, it can be paired up with more risqué episodes of Baggage or The Newlywed Game or something like that. My favorite celeb is Shelley Oceans, who can seem to get lies past through anybody & everybody. Plus, I love that she's a take on Joan Rivers, a celebrity panelist for many incarnations of Hollywood Squares. It's not the perfect show, but it's damned close.

Grade: B+

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