Tag Archives: game show

Top 10 Signs That Game Shows Were My Calling

My high school years were filled with multiple visits to the guidance counselor… I guess I needed a lot of guidance. I fondly remember those chats and the several tests I did to try to find out what I might want to be when I grew up.

This was me in 2007, rehearsing for my Swedish final exam, a grocery pricing game using IKEA products.

This was me in 2007, rehearsing for my Swedish final exam, hosting a grocery pricing game using IKEA products.

Several of the tests seemed to point to the same conclusion: an actuary. Once I had looked it up in the dictionary to figure out what that was, it made sense given my affinity for numbers. But for some reason, it didn’t quite resonate with me.

I have no regrets whatsoever for the path I ended up taking and where I am today. It has been a very satisfying career. But I often wonder why the suggestion of a career in game shows never made it in the dialogue with the guidance counselor.

Let’s face it, the signs were already there as I spent most of the 1970’s watching every game show made. But even today, there are still signs I may have missed my calling.

Here they are: The Top 10 signs that game shows were my calling… and we missed it!

10- I have a playlist of game show theme songs and game show background music on my iPod… and it gets played regularly;

9- I don’t just open curtains, I pull them apart with a flourish, just like the big reveals on Let’s Make a Deal;

8- I can’t just say “yes”, it’s usually an emphatic “You’re aaaabsolutely right!”. Similarly, “no” is often replaced by “Ohhh, I’m sooo sorry”;

7- When I climb a staircase with my suitcase in hand, the Deal or No Deal theme often comes to mind;

6- The last time I did a full day of management testing, I couldn’t help thinking that the activities were like reality show challenges;

5- I still can’t open a combination lock without hearing The Price is Right’s Safe Crackers theme in my head;

4- I still use the expression “phone a friend” at least once a month;

3- I still say “final answer” at least a few times per week;

2- In brainstorming sessions, I can often be found enthusiastically clapping my hands and exclaiming “Good answer! Good answer!”

1- I love walking through multi-panel doors like on certain elevators or in shopping malls… they are just like the ones on The Price is Right. It’s too bad it doesn’t generate the same amount of applause when I walk through.

And a bonus for my Québécois friends: Quand un ami (un peu plus jeune que moi) me donne une réponse favorable, souvent je répondrai: “Deux morceaux de robot”!

Did you enjoy this post? If you did, please know that there are plenty more where that came from! If you haven’t already, you can check out the rest of my blog at andrebegin.net. From there, you can click on the “Follow” button to receive future posts directly in your inbox.
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Sincere thanks for reading!
Have a great day,
André

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I’ve Been Waiting In Line So Long…

Just before our trip to New Orleans, I was waiting in a long line at the currency exchange office for a good 35-40 minutes. Of course, that was not a problem in itself, that is part of the fun of getting ready for a trip. But had the office not been so warm while I was wearing my winter coat, I might not have been drifting off into my own little writing world thinking of punchlines for “I’ve been waiting so long in line… (blank)

(For my fellow game show fans, it’s a little like Match Game)

I’ve been waiting in line so long…

– My skip-a-day deodorant needs to be reapplied
– I need to take my next one-a-day vitamin
– A mortgage payment just went through
– I’ve completed all levels in Candy Crush
– I’ve watched YouTube… All of it.
– My “daily defence” moisturizer surrendered.
– My iPhone says I am missing 91 app updates
– I am ready for my next haircut
– My outfit is now considered retro
– My passport has expired
– My library books are overdue
– My Blockbuster movies are overdue… waaaay overdue
– Scientists have found two more planets, and Pluto is really pissed! Continue reading

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Deleting Without Watching – The Madness and the Guilt

Remote A couple of weeks ago I did the unthinkable… I deleted 25 shows from my personal video recorder (PVR), without even watching them!

It is not because the shows weren’t good. In fact, some of them were shows I enjoyed quite a bit. Unfortunately, it came down to one simple fact: there just aren’t enough hours in a day.

The sad part is that I am a seasoned veteran when it comes to binge watching: game show marathons, “Bewitched” marathons, “The Nanny” marathons, “Dallas” marathons, watching an entire 24 hour rotation of MuchMusic (once, back in University, …I dared myself), and the list goes on. Television has been a passion since I was very young, as well as a good companion to a “latch key” kid (who also happened to be an only child).

I was one of those kids who pushed up the national average for the number of hours that kids watched TV. I could have easily put in 3 hours per evening during the week and on the weekends, cartoons in the morning and family programming in the evening. It is probably no surprise that the first book I learned to read was the TV Guide.

However, my conundrum is this: I seem to have the willpower to not fall into the time trap of hours of video games on my iPad, cute cat pictures on Instagram or chain watching YouTube videos (unless they are vintage Price is Right episodes, in which case all bets are off). However I really have to exercise tough love with myself when it comes to watching television. A few endearing characters, clever writing, a storyline to make me laugh or think… I can easily get hooked.

September and October brought us a new raft of shows to watch and even though I thought I made careful choices to ensure I wasn’t painted into a corner, I still seemed to be drowning in programming. Continue reading

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Being Bored Was Not An Option

Children Playing SignIt is a beautiful summer day. The sun is shining and the birds are singing. Mother Nature has really outdone herself in the beauty of the day she has provided today. The windows are open and I am enjoying a great cross-breeze flowing through the house as my little cat snores away on the couch, in the same summery happy place as I am. It is one of those ultimate moments of calm and serenity.

Then the moment is interrupted when I hear one of the neighbourhood kids, through my front window whining, “I’m booooooored”. Maybe it’s just me, but that statement is like fingernails on a chalkboard.

I understand it is a different time, but one of the most vivid memories of childhood was that being bored was not an option, no matter how bored you were. Being bored was illegal in 1974, wasn’t it?

Keep in mind that back then, on Sundays, EVERYTHING was closed. We only had one TV and only 12 channels, but of course Dad had control of it, and it was tuned exclusively to the sports he wanted to watch. So if I wanted to see anything else, I was out of luck. Period. No negotiation.

We had bikes, playgrounds, neighbourhood friends and convenience stores. We had arcades too but playing video games on stone tablets required a lot of upper arm strength. We also played with rocks, mud and our imaginations.

If that wasn’t already a solid foundation for boredom I don’t know what is. But still, Continue reading

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Preparing for Competition (…Shows)

When watching a reality competition show do you ever find yourself yelling at the screen, “Have you ever watched the show?” I remember a season of the Amazing Race several years ago in which a couple was eliminated in the first few weeks, and their parting words were, “We just didn’t think there would be so much running involved”. Years later, I am still asking myself what part of “Amazing RACE” did they not quite understand?

Checking out the Ice Bar in Stockholm, site of an Amazing Race Season 6 challenge

Checking out the Ice Bar in Stockholm, site of an Amazing Race Season 6 challenge

While I cannot comment on how people get selected for reality shows, there always seems to be that one competitor or team who does not seem as well-prepared as the others, despite their great spirit and enthusiasm for the show. I guess producers must think that this makes for good TV, especially for the loyal viewers who have watched from the beginning.

The recurring saying on the show Big Brother is “expect the unexpected” and the production team does indeed come up with jaw-dropping twists to keep competitors on their toes. But when it comes to competition shows, if someone was serious about applying to be on the show, why wouldn’t they prepare, practice and rehearse as much as they can?

For example, in 2003, I had made a request for tickets to attend a taping of The Price Is Right and in the months that followed, I recorded every episode, watched each episode attentively, wrote down every product and every price, transcribed them to organized lists, and I studied the lists on my bus rides to and from the office. By the end of the first month, I started noticing trends and products reappearing, so I suspect that studying might have helped, if I had been picked for contestants’ row. Unfortunately, on the appointed date, I did not get there early enough to make it into the studio, so that idea went back on the bucket list. If I was to try again, I would have prepared exactly the same way but would plan to arrive in the wee hours of the morning. Live and learn.

But if I applied to be on a show like Survivor or Big Brother (not likely though), given that both shows have been around for many seasons, viewers know what to expect: Continue reading

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Cash, Prizes and Other Fun Hobbies

Through the years, I would have been considered a casual contest participant, throwing in a ballot here and there much like everyone does. And over those years, my efforts paid off modestly in the form of occasional free movie tickets, record albums and the odd free t-shirt (and some of the shirts I won back in that “novelty t-shirt” period were indeed odd).

However, in 1995, my luck changed. With a little free time on my hands, I started entering contests more frequently and with a little persistence and patience, my efforts paid off. I won one contest, then another, and another… The prizes started rolling in from radio contests, mail-in sweepstakes, in-store sweepstakes and raffles, to the point that I had to make room in my apartment for some of the free stuff. In addition, my social calendar was filling quickly as I was winning tickets to sporting events, concerts, movie premieres, special one-time-only events, and free restaurant meals.

Since I was single for much of this period, I needed to maintain an easy-to-access list of friends’ phone numbers (and their “understudies”) in order to quickly call them up when I was notified of Continue reading

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My Guilty Pleasure: Project Runway

While watching the 13th season finale of Project Runway, I could not help but reflect on how the television program just keeps getting better, season after season. The talented designers have been stellar from the beginning and I am blown away by the creativity and the designs that have been produced.

Why does it strikes a chord with me? I have always been fascinated by reality competition shows involving the creative process. It did not matter if it was fashion, hair styling, home decor, home renovation competitions, I watched them all. Several have come and gone, but Project Runway has held its own and is still on the air 13 seasons later.

I have always been fascinated to hear where artists get their inspiration, what makes them tick, what they prefer to create, how their process works, what habits or rituals they have and do they have parents or siblings who are also artistically inclined?

I am curious about the latter because my great aunt was a private dressmaker who made fancy dresses and bridal gowns for her clients. It was her passion and she produced exquisite works of art for well over 40 years.

Also, my mom tells a story of when I was 2 years old, she was creating her Christmas dress and when she stepped away momentarily as busy moms sometimes do, I got into the scissors and Continue reading

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