Reviews: Guy's Grocery Games & @midnight
Originally posted: October 25th, 2013

By Cyndi Seidelman

We're two months into the new TV Season and already the new game shows are flooding in.  Multiple new vehicles are being developed and finally put to air on TBS, Comedy Central and Food Network.  On Food Network, they take the Chopped Formula and change the setting from a generic kitchen to a grocery store and fill the Food Network Personality role with Guy Fieri.  On Comedy Central, The Nerdist's Chris Hardwick takes his cup of tea in Social Media and turns it into a comedy game show for comedians to crack wise and become the funniest person on the internet...for the day.  Here on my takes on Guy's Grocery Games and @midnight.

Guy's Grocery Games:  As I have said in the past, I've grown tired of the Chopped formula being dissected and reimagined over and over again to the point where all the shows on Food Network are becoming one in the same.  I've usually taken current Food network shows to make comparisons to describe a show, but thankfully I can't here.  Instead, it's the premise of the rounds of Cutthroat Kitchen with having to create a menu item combined with the atmosphere...of Supermarket Sweep.  Yes, Guy Fieri is David Ruprhect in this version of Chopped as 4 contestants run wild through the aisles to get ingredients from a supermarket in order to impress the judges with their cooking to win a shot at $20,000.  Yes, something new in that you play a bonus round in a show like chopped.  I wanted anything new in these shows and I'll gladly take a bonus round.  Not to mention, the challenges for the chefs are supermarket based too.  I personally love the Budget Challenge where the chefs have to cook a family meal of four...with less than $7, something that most families have to do. 

The bonus game here is this, Guy gives you a list of 10 items.  Some are straight forward, but some are parts to a bigger dish i.e. Hummus Ingredient.  For each item you collect in two minutes is worth $2,000.  Get all 10 for $20,000.  I love the bonus game, as it reminds me of Supermarket Sweep, but I want to see the running wild through the aisles, and have it not be interrupted by post-game commentary.  That's fine for the first three rounds, since that's expected, but not during a bonus game. 

Another plus is Guy himself.  He plays the role of energetic family host, but serious at times better than Alton Brown plays maniacal douchebag auctioneer on Cutthroat Kitchen.  Sure it gets lame at times, but it's a more welcome approach than Justin Willman's lifeless hosting or Anne Burrell's annoying delivery.  In closing of it all, I really want this show to do well.  It's more lively and entertaining than Cutthroat Kitchen and actually rewards good cooking instead of douchebaggery like Cutthroat Kitchen.  I think it's safe to say that I despise that other show and will put my full support behind Guy's Grocery Games.
Grade: B

@midnight:  Let's get this out of the way fast, I didn't know this show existed until I was staying the night at a friends house and I was flipping through the channels and found this.  Once I watched it, I was hooked.  Quite simply, it's a bunch of comedians cracking wise on stupid social media tweets, facebook posts, instagrams and viral videos in the guise of a game show in order to be called "The Funniest Man On The"  I personally enjoy the buzzer rounds where a dumb tweet is shown and the comedians have to buzz in and give a funny hashtag for it for points.  Chris Hardwick is finally give....actually, Chris Hardwick made this show and I'm glad he did, otherwise he'd be another good host who was given crap shows that he couldn't make work i.e. Trashed and Shipmates.  His hosting is great and while the show could be called a remake of Bunk, it's a damned good way to spend your overnights when you can't sleep or if you're kinda tired of Red Eye's new format.
Grade: B

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