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Author Topic: BREAKING: Pat undergoes emergency surgery, Vanna stepping in to host WOF.  (Read 10899 times)

rebelwrest

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Re: BREAKING: Pat undergoes emergency surgery, Vanna stepping in to host WOF.
« Reply #30 on: December 10, 2019, 01:41:26 PM »
So Vanna will be the hosting the next 2 weeks and the week of January 6th.  My question is what is being aired the two weeks between (weeks containing Christmas and New Years)?  Reruns? Classic Reruns?
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nowhammies10

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Re: BREAKING: Pat undergoes emergency surgery, Vanna stepping in to host WOF.
« Reply #31 on: December 10, 2019, 01:54:04 PM »
December 23rd-27th will be reruns of last year's Home For The Holidays week, then Dec. 30th-Jan. 3rd will be a regularly-scheduled America's Game week (made up of the 6th episodes from earlier taping sessions).

Joe Mello

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Re: BREAKING: Pat undergoes emergency surgery, Vanna stepping in to host WOF.
« Reply #32 on: December 10, 2019, 02:02:21 PM »
I'd be amused if Harry Friedman ended up doing it.

He certainly won't, but it'd be entertaining.
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Clay Zambo

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Re: BREAKING: Pat undergoes emergency surgery, Vanna stepping in to host WOF.
« Reply #33 on: December 13, 2019, 01:32:02 PM »
I'm going to take what may be a contrarian view.

I think she is charming as heck. Is she a little awkward? Mmm-hmm. Is she polished? NO. Does she make mistakes? Yes.

And I say, leave EVERY ONE OF THEM in. Let the show get a little, pardon the expression, free-wheeling again.

Vanna has such a long history with Wheel, and so much goodwill built up with the audience, that I think when Pat is ready to retire (or take over Jeopardy! when Alex needs to step down?) the job is hers if she wants it.
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Dan88

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Re: BREAKING: Pat undergoes emergency surgery, Vanna stepping in to host WOF.
« Reply #34 on: December 13, 2019, 06:32:45 PM »
I'm going to take what may be a contrarian view.
If that's a contrarian view, then I'm in the same boat because I agree 100% with you.

Between the lack of a studio audience (aside from contestants and their guests), Jim's introduction of Vanna ("And now, here's our host, Vanna White!"), and Vanna's mistakes (such as looking at the wrong arrow for a Final Spin), this week gives me feelings of late-80s/early-90s Wheel.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2019, 06:51:32 PM by Dan88 »
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BillCullen1

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Re: BREAKING: Pat undergoes emergency surgery, Vanna stepping in to host WOF.
« Reply #35 on: December 14, 2019, 01:59:03 AM »
I'm going to take what may be a contrarian view.
If that's a contrarian view, then I'm in the same boat because I agree 100% with you.

Seconded.

Chelsea Thrasher

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Re: BREAKING: Pat undergoes emergency surgery, Vanna stepping in to host WOF.
« Reply #36 on: December 14, 2019, 05:46:10 AM »
Deep down, at it's core, Wheel has been doing the exact same show, the exact same way, for years.  Yes, occasionally a gimmick gets added (and most aren't that great), or they figure out how to add a couple hundred thousand colors to the LED lighting but still default to blue, but even the most seemingly jarring gimmicks fast become sort of the blur of sameness that Wheel has been for years.

I genuinely think you could run shows from 2012 for weeks and if you slapped a 2019/2020 copyright date on there? Pretty much no one save the obsessives and superfans would even notice as long as you avoided episodes with topical puzzles. Scoreboards are a little smaller eight years ago, a few gimmicks shift around, haircuts are a little different - but Wheel has felt interchangeable with itself for like 15 years now. Every episode just feels and sounds and mostly looks the same.

Pat's surgery and Vanna having to host with almost no prep is the first time the Wheel "formula" has felt even remotely "thrown off" since Charlie died - and even then, and I absolutely do not mean this to disrespect anyone who has ever announced - but while the sound changes and the banter shifts, ultimately the show isn't much different whether Charlie O'Donnell or Jim Thornton or Rich Fields or whoever the heck is describing the trip to Tahiti.   

A new host, though?  Suddenly when your host isn't someone bitter that his late night talk show never took off, it becomes radiantly evident how banal and shallow the contestant interviews are. How Wheel's absolutely endless list of sponsorships and gimmicks just absolutely bring what otherwise is a fairly simple game of hangman with a prize wheel to a halt. Why are they shaking the prize wedge for a trip to Disneyland like a crackhead with a polaroid? Oh boy! Let's stop the game to celebrate half a car!  We're doing crosswords hangman style?

The moment in her first show when a contestant asks if he can buy a vowel so Vanna goes all schoolteacher on him to confirm he can was the most I've enjoyed Wheel in 15 years, hand to God. I'm not being mocking or taking a shot here, either.  Watching the two decades of nonsense Wheel has piled onto itself be deconstructed is genuinely beautiful. 

Honestly, and I know there are some that will get themselves into a dander over this:  It reminds me of Drew's early seasons hosting Price - especially Drew's first year and then the first year or two after they fired Roger.  A show that's done the same things the same way for years and suddenly you get a chance to look at things through new eyes and you realize that a lot of it just isn't that good or enjoyable - and you've accepted it as what it is because it's television comfort food, but it isn't actually that enjoyable. 

And in the little moments where Vanna isn't having to sort through the 500 bits of needless gameplay bullshit and can just be an actual human person and an emcee?  Vanna keeps the game on track, lets the contestants be the stars (and not just in the often sarcastic way Pat does), and really genuinely seems to care about their success as players in the game. 

With the same person who engineered Price's overhaul taking the reigns at Wheel starting next season, and with everyone getting a free preview of what Wheel ca. 2019 *really is* when you remove the comfort of familiarity? I'm looking forward to the future (both post-Harry Friedman and post-Pat Sajak) tremendously.
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SamJ93

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Re: BREAKING: Pat undergoes emergency surgery, Vanna stepping in to host WOF.
« Reply #37 on: December 14, 2019, 11:26:08 AM »
Agree with most of the above, Chelsea, with the exception of the animosity toward Pat--while he definitely phones it in at times, I never got the impression that he was bitter or disliked the contestants.

One obvious fix Mike should consider--and an obvious carryover from his time at TPiR--is to rotate the different gameplay elements from show to show. Put the Prize Puzzle in the first round as a surprise, make Round 2 the Mystery one day and the $1000 Express the next, heck, even revive the Jackpot round and throw that in once in a while. Do anything to get folks thinking of WoF as something other than the show Grandma watches while she cleans her dentures.
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BillCullen1

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Re: BREAKING: Pat undergoes emergency surgery, Vanna stepping in to host WOF.
« Reply #38 on: December 14, 2019, 11:27:11 AM »
Wow, that was some dissertation.

Vanna is a bit stiff and wooden at times, but the goofs are okay, much like Chuck Woolery and Bert Convy. She still comes across as more sincere that Pat, who's been phoning it in for some time now.

Also, from a friend who's been to WOF tapings - during breaks and stopdowns, Vanna comes out and talks to the audience, Pat not so much.

Jeremy Nelson

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Re: BREAKING: Pat undergoes emergency surgery, Vanna stepping in to host WOF.
« Reply #39 on: December 14, 2019, 11:39:33 AM »
I'll be the first to say I wasn't sold. I thought she looked kinda lost and Rolf-ish the first couple episodes. But then I realized- what am I even defending here? To piggyback on Chelsea's points, Vanna's hosting really does make me realize how dry Pat's humor is, and how a lot of it isn't really in service of the show. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of Cranky Barker during his last few seasons.
I never got the impression that [Pat] was bitter or disliked the contestants.
I don't think he dislikes the contestants, but to me, he does give off the vibe that Wheel is beneath him. Keep in mind that Pat thought the show was already on its last legs when he took over, so he always considered Wheel his vehicle to something bigger.

Do anything to get folks thinking of WoF as something other than the show Grandma watches while she cleans her dentures.
Here's my thing- why do they need so many puzzles? A standard 4 round episode has ten puzzles, and the need to fit more in has diluted the puzzle quality. They're this close to ACTUALLY including "The Prisoner of Zenda" as a puzzle in the show, and not as a sitcom joke.

Dan88

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Re: BREAKING: Pat undergoes emergency surgery, Vanna stepping in to host WOF.
« Reply #40 on: December 14, 2019, 12:04:14 PM »
Chelsea, you hit my feelings about the show right on the head.

Pat thought the show was already on its last legs when he took over,
In fairness to Pat, NBC was kinda in the toilet ratings-wise due to Fred Silverman, and it took several more years for the network to recover. More specific to Wheel, the show had narrowly escaped cancellation twice in 1980 and a major host shakeup could've easily turned away enough viewers for the show to finally be canned.

Here's my thing- why do they need so many puzzles?
That's exactly what I asked when I first learned about the Triple Toss-Up, but I suspect it's to take more and more time away from Rounds 4+ so the $5,000 space has less time in play.

Do we really need a Toss-Up just to determine who gets interviewed first, or the Triple Toss-Up? No and no.

A standard 4 round episode has ten puzzles, and the need to fit more in has diluted the puzzle quality.
I'd argue that the puzzle quality's been diluted for most of this decade, if not longer, since nobody seems to get the idea that maybe, just maybe, they should use the same mentality about game material that they've been using on Jeopardy! When's the last time Wheel's referenced current-day pop culture? How often do they mention songs that were made after 1990? Not to mention that Phrase puzzles commonly get few to no hits on Google.
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MSTieScott

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Re: BREAKING: Pat undergoes emergency surgery, Vanna stepping in to host WOF.
« Reply #41 on: December 14, 2019, 12:53:02 PM »
I'm surprised by the complaints about there being too many puzzles. The reason most of the home audience is watching Wheel of Fortune is to play along. Speaking from personal experience, once I've figured out the solution, if it takes the contestants another seven turns before somebody solves, I grow frustrated.

I acknowledge that the Triple Toss-Up feels a little bit like it was shoehorned in, but I understand why the show is doing everything in its power to present more puzzles.

whewfan

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Re: BREAKING: Pat undergoes emergency surgery, Vanna stepping in to host WOF.
« Reply #42 on: December 14, 2019, 01:27:18 PM »
Regarding Pat, I think he has long since gotten over the "my talk show didn't make it" blues. When Pat Sajak interviewed Marc Summers live for his "On Your Marc" tour a couple years ago. (Which I had the pleasure to see and thanks to Chris Jaunsen for capturing the whole thing!) Marc mentioned Pat's talk show, and Pat quipped "Really? I had a talk show?" To show the sort of class Pat has, he did not bring any attention to himself as he tried to sneak in to watch Marc's movie before the interview... but an alert game show fan did see him and Pat generously allowed him a picture and autograph. Pat also did not stick around after the interview when Marc was signing autographs and taking pictures afterwards... he knew it was not his event and didn't want to take anything away from Marc.

Joe Mello

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Re: BREAKING: Pat undergoes emergency surgery, Vanna stepping in to host WOF.
« Reply #43 on: December 14, 2019, 01:40:08 PM »
The reason most of the home audience is watching Wheel of Fortune is to play along.
This I wholeheartedly cosign on. The only current show I can think of where winning and losing is a driving factor for viewership is Jeopardy.
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TLEberle

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Re: BREAKING: Pat undergoes emergency surgery, Vanna stepping in to host WOF.
« Reply #44 on: December 14, 2019, 02:03:18 PM »
Do we really need a Toss-Up just to determine who gets interviewed first, or the Triple Toss-Up? No and no.
I mean, when we really drill down to it, do we really need Wheel of Fortune? Not really. For a show that everyone and their dog (yours truly included) says is "the same" the Toss-up provides a nice break in the action the same way that shopping or the Scrabble Sprint divided their shows into chunks. The $1,000 toss-up is a pleasant way to start the episode by instantly awarding some money, and the battery of toss-ups before round four allows either for someone to pick up some cash if the wheel hasn't been friendly to them or to forge ahead. (I also like the smaller meta-puzzle where if you can only figure out what connects the puzzles below the surface it can help win the third one.
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