#106: Perfect Match (1986 Version)
I can't believe it's not The Newlywed Game
Syndication: (January 1986 - September 1986)
The standard bearer for marital game shows seems to be The Newlywed Game and its timeless format. People always seem to enjoy the shaudenfreud of seeing average couples describing in some detail their personal lives, even if the couple doesn't win and they sell their soul for a toaster so to speak. Either way, the show has had its share of hosts and sets and spinoffs and rip-offs. Yes, I said Rip-offs. I already talked about a couple of the rip-offs in the kids game show world in I'm Telling and probably one of the worst game shows in history in the original 3's a Crowd, which I'm convinced killed Jim Peck's game show career and sent Barris into exile. However, unlike the show being featured here, they at least changed the formula, of the show. This show, is the most blatant rip-off of The Newlywed Game in television history. Not only that, the production team features two names that strike fear into game show fans hearts: Scott Stone and my friend and pal, Scott Sternberg. So since that seems to be a perfect match, here's Perfect Match.
The Host: Bob Goen with his sweet 80s pornstache. I feel really sorry for Bob. He's hosted so many stinkers like The Home Shopping Game, Blackout and Born Lucky. However, unlike the shows themselves, Bob has always hosted the shows very well. He's like Corbin Bernsen in the way that he could make a really terrible show very watchable. Also, if you note in the beginning, it opens with a very "Newlywed Game" esque open. However, what's different is that the couples come in when Bob introduces them instead of the announcer, which is Johnny Gilbert. So, you have a really good host, and announcer and the set looks flashy enough.
But the format is where it all falls apart. One of the charms about The Newlywed Game was that we got to hear answers from both sides. This show doesn't. Instead, we have this weird beast. The couples are given $200 in betting money and with that money, they can risk anywhere from $10 to all of their money on if they can correctly match what their spouse said. If they are right, they gain said money. If they are wrong, they lose it. I miss the cards, and also the thought bubble above the contestants heads seems even more cheesy than the original show itself. Not only that, after the reveal of the correct answer, you got to see moments of joy just for 5 or 10 points. I also miss hearing one side tell their story in front of Bob Eubanks and all, but this format just makes it seem like the arguments sell the show instead of the answers. Which is kinda sad, if you ask me.
And to help out with said arguments, pillows are used to help to heighten the "excitement" factor of said argument. I guess when you hit someone on TV, it's funny. I mean, look at Pictionary and the infamous Bill Maher/Erik Estrada incident. I mean, everyone was in stitches when that small thing happened. But here, it just seems forced. I bet Sternberg at least told the contestants that if they got it wrong, have an argumentor hit them with the pillow. It always happens. Heck, even The Newlywed Game didn't make it that blatant, even with Bob's prodding or Paul's somewhat lame jokes and even Carnie's perversiveness didn't cause arguments like this to be turned on at the stroke of stupid.
So, in order to make it a bit different, aside from the lame thought bubbles, red set and "pillow talk", we have the "$5,000 Perfect Match Round". All the contestants have to do is recite a love letter to one another with three blanks in it. If the person hearing the first love letter correctly matches, the team gets $100 to their total. The second love letter has the same three blanks, but it's $200 for a correct match. If they match all 6 lines, they get the perfect match and win $5,000. At the end of the show, if nobody has made the "perfect match", the couple that has won the most money will win a bonus $1,000. So, it's ripping of the end bonus of Tattletales as well.
At the end of the day, it brought nothing new to the table, except Bob Goen could host a show and should have gotten a better vehicle, which he did get with Wheel of Fortune, GSN Radio and even if Sternberg was behind it, That's the Question. Aside from that, the format was terrible and was just a blatant rip-off of The Newlywed Game, even to the Love Letters where it ripped off the Fill In The Blank questions from The Newlywed Game. The set, albeit flashy was just there and the contestants looked like rejects from The Newlywed Game. I don't have much to say about it, except at least it wasn't as icky as 3s a Crowd or as embarrassing as I'm Telling. This might be the worst show featuring married couples. No extras, just married couples. The kicker, The Newlywed Game was on the air when this came about. So, when this got cancelled XALTP decided to ditch Sternberg, give Bob Synes and Scott Stone the ways and means to make their own show. They gave us The $1,000,000 Chance Of A Lifetime. So, in fairness, it was a great Trade-off and Scott Sternberg would continue to suck ever since. Whereas Bob Synes and Scott Stone came up with Fun House until Bob's passing in 1990.
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