#24: Card Sharks 2001
Lower? Can't Get Much Lower than This.

Syndication: (September 2001-December 2001)

It's not uncommon to see revivals of classic game shows every now and then.  I mean, sometimes they can turn out really good, like the revival of The Price Is Right in 1972 & Sale of the Century in 1983.  What they did is they took what worked in the original version, and made it better.  Then there are other revivals that take what worked in the older show and tweak it a bit and it works for the better or worse, such as the 1987 version of High Rollers where they added mini-games and slowed down the show to a crawl.  But then there are those shows that take what worked on the old show, and throw that out the window.  The most recent example of this was Temptation: The All New Sale of the Century.  Where the only thing that was reminisicent of the old show was the instant Bargains, the rest was a horrible mish-mash of Wipeout, Wheel of Fortune & generic speed rounds.  Don't worry dear readers, that show will get its day on here in the future, but Card Sharks in 2001, took everything that worked in the older versions...and set them ablaze.

I should get started about the host, Pat Bullard.  He had a talk show in 1996, where pretty much everybody had a talk show.  Before hosting this, he did Hold Everything, which I've never heard of or could find anything on Wikipedia, and the 1998 version of Love Connection, where he proved that he might be a writer and a comedian, he blows as a game show host.  He's really smarmy and doesn't care about the contestants.  He's there to make jokes & just read from the prompter.  So, in short he's there just for the check.

He then introduces the dealer in Tami Anderson.  I.E. someone I've never heard of at the time, mainly because I never watched an episode of The Real World or any of those bad MTV shows that involved people hanging out in a house or RV, getting drunk every 10 minutes and sleeping with each other.  My bet is that she was on this show to forget that she slept with half of the house.  I'll say this, if that's your only claim to fame...then you need to go away and just find a regular job.  Nobody above the age of 24 cares about that show.

Oh, the format.  Yes, the absolute worst thing about this show.  Now, on the older version there was 2 rows of 5 cards played with two decks, one red and one blue.  In this version...only 1 row of 7 cards.  This is just lazy at it's best.  But it gets even lazier as they just do a high card draw to determine who got control offstage.  Why couldn't they have gone out and asked several people a simple survey question like the old show?  Oh wait, this was produced by Pearson.  The production company that screwed up Family Feud and Match Game earlier. 

Oh, but it gets much worse.  Instead of simply being able to freeze or pass the play, and then change the card later, you have to use these stupid Clip Chips in order to change the card, where you have to watch a situation unfold and then predict if one scenario will happen or not.  This is very bush-league when you have to rip-off shows like Anything For Money, another titanic pile of crap from the mid 80s.

Another thing that grinds my gears about this version is that if you get to the last card, and miss, your opponent can with without having to do one damned thing.  Another reason why you need to have two rows of cards, or to have your opponent actually earn a win.  I remember seeing one episode where one person missed a card early one, and went to the Money Cards because the opponents missed the last card.

Going back to lazy, it seems like the set designers were really lazy as well.  I mean, the 70s set and the 80s set were really good sets, but this version looks really lazily done.  It looks like they just spent money on a projector screen, two card tables & the card shelf like it was built in a high school shop class.  I mean, show some passion for what you're doing. 

But that isn't the laziest thing.  In the main game, nobody turns the cards over.  It's all done via pressing a button.  That's just sad.  There was some real tension that happened when Bob, Jim or Bill from the early days turned the card over to either delight or sadness.  But here, it's all manufactured with a pathetic, *WHOOSH* sound effect. 

Another thing is that, someone's too lazy to pick up the cards either, so they just drop out of sight as well, with yet another unneeded sound effect.  Anyways, they play best 2 out of 3, which is pretty much the only decent thing they kept from the original series.  Then we get two new players out and repeat the horror.

Finally, the two winners play one last game of Card Guppies to determine who plays the Money Cards.  They take the $2,100 they won to the money cards.  So at least they have some good money to take home with...


Ok, apparently, the $2,100 that you had thought you had won gets split up and transformed into a bastardized version of the Money Cards, apparently now looking like The Money Pyramid done by the same High School Shop Class that did the front game board.  What did they pay the students in?  EXTRA CREDIT!  And the rules are like the old version, but C'mon guys, at least have that third card in the second row.

Oh, and once again, Pat proves that he's one of the laziest hosts in the history of the Genre when he doesn't even flip the cards himself, Tami does all the work, while Pat does all the talking.  But at least, Laizer won over $27,000 suffering through this monstrosity of a game show.

This show has to be one of the worst revivals in history!  The host does nothing but joke and read from the prompter, the set is very lazily put together and done so on the cheap it's unbelievable, the Clip Chips are a horrible idea, ripping off other shows that have done it better & It's not even Card Sharks.  It makes me want to feed whoever came up with this revival that Hot Water Heater/Bomb that Roy Schider fed to the great white in Jaws that made him blow up.  At least that would have been more entertaining that this train-wreck.  I don't care what happened to Tami or Pat, and to be honest, nobody's missing them at all. 

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