COLUMN: restart of the dating game marked by the kiss of death

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Vintage TV show reboots are all the rage, but as Wendy suggests in this week’s “Everything King”, some shows should rest in peace.

Reboots of old TV shows seem to be all the rage these days.

I don’t know if it’s a deep need for nostalgia and a simpler time or just that today’s producers don’t have original ideas. Probably a bit of both.

The summer replacement shows still leave a lot to be desired, but there’s a reboot that both distressed and fascinated me.

Have you checked The Celebrity Dating Game? I desperately wanted to love him because one of the hosts is Michael Bolton and I love him.

The main host is Zooey Deschanel and although she is cheerful and pretty she is a prime example that not everyone is cut out to host a show. She looks like a deer in the headlights reading the teleprompter. The pairing looks awkward.

If you remember the original Game of seduction, aired in 1965, it was a very hip show hosted by Jim Lange. There have been a few other remakes of the series over the years.

Singles and singles (the first time I heard this term) were asking questions of invisible candidates who were sitting behind a screen. The questioner was to base his choice solely on the answers and tone of voice.

In this new incarnation, they tried to copy the original set, which I guess looks vintage. It’s supposed to have a groovy, flowery vibe.

I don’t know if Zooey chooses her own wardrobe, but if so, she needs her boyfriend’s help with styling. Jonathan Scott from Property brothers. In fact, he should also rearrange the whole.

They have Michael sitting sideways in a chair looking completely selfless and robotic. It is only when they use a cattle prod in the middle of every performance that it comes to life to sing. He’s doing a song programmatically, which is a parody of a rewritten classic song with clues to the mysterious celebrity’s identity.

He still sings so well, but now his face doesn’t move. Like, not at all.

The jokes between the two are also painful to watch. I don’t even think a laugh trail would help.

On the original show, we had Farrah Fawcett, Tom Selleck, and Steve Martin, all before they were household names.

This time we have Bachelor franchise rejections, male models, former sports stars and a few D-List stars. Even when the big reveal takes place, it’s like the contestants have no idea who the celebrity is!

There are several reasons why this can never work today.

At the time, it was sweet. It was picturesque. It was innocent. If the questions were worded a certain way, it made the audience blush. There were innuendos.

It just doesn’t work anymore. Everything is too obvious.

Take a few sample questions:

If I were a banana, explain in detail how you would peel me?

What is your best part of the body and why?

In the 70s, it would be so daring and some might blush three shades of red. Now it just looks sticky.

Of course, the contestants are all gorgeous and the males are all handsome, so that hasn’t changed from the original. However, they now include LGBTQ candidates.

At the end, the chosen one leaves for a meeting that we neither see nor hear about.

Apparently it is because there is no Dated. According to television executives, this would be too problematic and potentially dangerous. So, I guess the star could take them out to dinner, but that’s not part of the deal.

At the end, they give the old giant aerial kiss onscreen, but they didn’t sync it, so it looks awkward and silly.

Michael never leaves his chair to participate. He rarely smiles and I don’t blame him.

But, here’s the crazy thing. I log in every Monday evening. I can’t stop watching. It’s like a train wreck.

Here is the other shock. It is the number one of the summer audiences!

Guess it’s because there’s nothing else to watch on a Monday night at 10 p.m.

And it could actually be renewed.

Hey, I love vintage TV shows, but some should just be left on a shelf and live in our memories forever and never give them new life.

This one deserves the giant kiss of death!


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