8 Game Shows That Welcomed the Turn of the Century
By Mike Diez
Seriously, can you believe that the year 2000 was sixteen years ago? Congratulations, millennium. You now have a hormonal teenager!
Do you remember the paranoia that crept up on the masses as the year 1999 came to a close? The millennium bug will destroy all computers, rapture will engulf the world at midnight, and Nokia phones will be all that survives. None of them came true.
What did mark the start of the Y2K era was an invasion of countless game shows that took our minds off the rumored, impending end of the world. In memory of the turn of the millennium, we look at 8 television shows that welcomed us to the year 2000.
8. Whose Line Is It Anyway?
This show hosted by Drew Carey showed Pinoys a sample of what a great comedic improvisational show could be. The US version is actually a spinoff of a UK comedy series of the same name. Not exactly a game show, but more of a showcase for the show’s brilliant rotation of standup comics. A panel of four performers act out characters and scenarios on the spot. We can pick out an ultimate highlight reel, but every episode made us laugh ‘til our stomachs hurt.
7. 5th Wheel
On hindsight, it’s a small wonder how this show ever got aired on television back then. It was raunchy, it was wild, and the contestants could get too carried away. Two men and two women are introduced to each other on a bus at the start of the show. They get to know each other. By the end of the show, a provocative 5th wheel is introduced. It all made for must-see TV. And the cartoon graphics were hilarious. What was the point? Well as the voice-over says, “It’s where strangers become lovers and lovers become bitter suicidal exes all in the same show.”
6. Blind Date
This speed dating game specialized in disastrous pairings. It followed a couple on their date and we were voyeurs in the impending trainwreck. We never knew what we were going to get. Would there be shouting? Would there be groping? Would there be actual physical altercations? As with the 5th Wheel, the animation and thought bubbles were hilarious.
5. Weakest Link
First developed and introduced in the BBC, The Weakest Link was essentially a game of who got the most correct answers. A team of nine people must work together to advance and get the most money. Those who got the most number of wrong answers were the weakest links, and thus, eliminated. Edu Manzano’s stoic hosting built tension that hooked us through the game’s end. Or maybe it was just the appeal of living vicariously through the contestants in their triumph. Speaking of which….
4. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
As with the Weakest Link, this game show originated from Britain. As the level of difficulty increased, so did the money in the pot. We were glued to the television set because it felt like we won whenever a contestant got a prize. It was also fun shouting the answer in front of the TV, as if the contestant could hear us.
3. Fear Factor
Imagine a bunch of drunk teens pitching a show where dares can win you cash prizes. At the start of the year 2000, that pitch went on-air. Before he became known as the preeminent UFC fight announcer, Joe Rogan was first introduced to the masses as the host of Fear Factor. Each episode saw the show’s creator trying to out-gross the previous ones, and we went along for the ride, barely able to keep our eyes open to witness some of TV’s most disgusting moments.
Castaways stranded in paradise? Sounds like the ultimate fantasy. Except when you have to eliminate the castaways one by one until only one is left standing. Survivor is essentially a game-show adaptation of the book Lord of the Flies. We both cheered and jeered at the alliances and made celebrities out of contestants we pitied upon.
1. Amazing Race
We’re not really sure what made us watch the Amazing Race more; the thrill of watching the contestant’s strategy to go around the world using their wits, or just the thrill of watching contestants go around the world. Whatever it is, it’s hard to beat 29 seasons, several global franchises, and multiple Emmy awards. As game shows go, the Amazing Race is at the top of the heap.
What other game shows that started in the year 2000 did we miss? Sound off below!