As one could surmise by spending time with me, or reading my fascination with King James’ performance on Jeopardy!, I love game shows. I don’t know why that is, maybe it’s the knowledge I gain by watching them, the music, the set, the hosts, but the point remains that game shows are very enjoyable to me.
Growing up as a child in the 1980s, game shows were very much in season (how many sick days did you use as a kid to watch the legendary Bob Barker on The Price is Right?) The classics that we see now had thier rebirth, besides The Price is Right. Game shows like Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud, Tic-Tac-Dough, Password and Pyramid among many others were on the air, in repeats granted, but still, there were a lot of programs to choose from. The best of the best, though, was the classic game show, in which players spun for high stakes and big bucks, all while avoiding the Whammy and playing the most exciting game of thier lives. That show was Press Your Luck, live from Television City in Hollywood (also knows as CBS Television City, 7800 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036, just to be specific)
Growing up in the 1980s, if you never heard of it, then after the exploits of the late Michael Larsen, whom I’m mentioned on the Super-blog during King James’ reign, you would know of Press Your Luck. Watching it now on Buzzr and seeing clips of its short-lived reboot on GSN (as Whammy!: The All New Press Your Luck) made me miss it and be nostaligic for a modern showing to a larger audience. Fast-forward to today and that day, today, is finally here.
As such, I decided to take a look at it and do my own review on Press Your Luck 2019 and how it holds up to the legacy it has. First off is the set, it has a modern feel to it, having a Millionaire vibe to it, but the design of it harkens back to the classic, especially the big board. The bucks have increased, which makes sense considering the time period, things cost a lot more now than it did in 1984.
The gameplay was tweaked a bit, with 3 questions for Round 1 and 4 questions for Round 2, even though the payoff in spins hasn’t changed, 3 spins for a buzz in answer, 1 spin for the rest. It streamlines gameplay but still is a welcome change, the rules of the board could’ve used some explination for first time watchers, but they remain the same throughout. The Bonus Round, which is a new feature for those who know the classic game, really isn’t that bad, as it takes the temptation of personalized prizes to give them a chance to go on for $1 Million. It feeds off the core game in general, as it tempts people with the basic strategy of risk vs. reward, it’s a change, but it’s a minor welcome change.
The host, Elizabeth Banks, isn’t a Peter Tomarken (God rest his Soul) or Todd Newton, but she brings her flavor into her role as host, but she’s exciting and as energetic and funny as well, much like Drew Carey had to not compare himself to the Legendary Bob Barker (though, honestly, whom really can?) Elizabeth must’ve taken notes on what she can do and shines because of this.
For me, the thing that feels flat are the Whammies, they tried to make them funny (and at times they succeeded.) That said, they dont feel as modern as the rest of the game does, relevant yes, but when you look at the graphics of the show and the detail they put in, the Whammies seem like an after thought, though they are still funny.
Overall, the new Press Your Luck is a wonderful, adrenaline rush that fits well with the present format, it’s a show worthy of the name and legacy. As long as they don’t bring in a Big Bank, that’s all well and good for me, I wish them all the luck in the world and hopes that they can change lives and help others…