Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Whose Line Is It Anyway: Season 10, Episodes 1 & 2

After having what happened to be a successful return to television last summer, Whose Line Is It Anyway easily picked up a tenth season, which is the second season since its revival as this particular show and not one under a different name since 2007. I constantly stressed last season that this show needed to do a few things in order to get back on track to seeing the success it did to be as great as the Drew Carey version...

1. It's great to see successful regulars such as Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie, and Ryan Stiles back again. For this season, bring back the successful guest performers such as Greg Proops, Brad Sherwood, Chip Esten, among others.

2. Do away with the celebrity guests on just about every episode. The Drew Carey version MAY have had 5-10 offstage celebrity guests on its entire run, including Florence Henderson, Richard Simmons, David Hasselhoff, Jerry Springer, Sid Caesar, and Lassie, all of which were of good quality. The Aisha Tyler episodes have celebrities that are lesser known constantly walking backstage onto the stage and participate in the same games not necessarily centered around them, when audience members can easily fill these gaps and cause a greater laugh. PLUS use the guest performer, that's why they're there. I find it outrageous when the guest performer has less performance time than the offstage celebrity.

3. Include different games and include some of the classics. Spread it out. Do not have the same games in different rotation. 

At the moment we speak,  I feel that 1 and 3 have been exercised efficiently. Greg Proops is the only person I have seen thus far from the names I mentioned that returned to the show, but it was a nice breath of fresh air to see that not only he returned, but I would argue that he was the funniest performer on the premiere. The second episode had Keegan-Michael Key as the guest performer. While he first appeared last season, he was the funniest guest they had on the program. Bringing him back was an excellent decision. From what I have viewed through scheduling updates, Nyima Funk and Jeff Davis will be returning, as will Greg Proops, on one occasion to fill in for Ryan Stiles, who fell ill to the point he was unable to attend a taping.

For the third, we saw Scenes From A Hat, Song Styles, and Living Scenery in both of the episodes. One can argue that endless ideas can come out of the first two and I would argue that games in the nature of Scenes From A Hat, that include rapid fire one-liners, should be on each show (Props and Dating Profile are others). However, it has almost become intentional that games with which the superfluous celebrity guest is able to take part have been planted in to the show on almost each show. We saw Infomercial and Party Quirks on the first episode, used for the first time during the Aisha Tyler era, which I was quite pleased with. I hold high hope that this strays away from the constant use of Sideway Scenes and What's In The Bag from last season. Once Hoedown returns, then just about everything will be set!

As for the second, which I saved for last, it seems like my criticism was ignored. Of course, I don't hold the sole opinion on this issue, but after reading several other pieces of criticism about these unnecessary lesser known celebrity guests, they DO NOT need them in order to run a good show. On the two episodes that aired last Friday, Kat Graham performed in Song Styles and Living Scenery, while Tara Lipinski performed in Song Styles, Dubbing, and Living Scenery. While the only thing Graham said was the adjective that described her in order to drive the broadway song Wayne sang for her (which was "Flamboyant"), Lipinski didn't say a single word. Their appearances are unnecessary to the point that it taints the show and may ultimately hurt its impression on viewers.

Ultimately, the direction of bringing strong guest performers such as classics (like Greg Proops) and their better performers from season nine (like Keegan-Michael Key) made for a decent premiere. Their numbers went down slightly, but March Madness could be a legitimate reason as to why. While the first two episodes were relatively amusing, they need to really make sure they make good decisions when it comes to keeping up as best as possible. If they don't make the necessary changes in order to attract viewers and keep those that have been loyal all along, their numbers can plummet. The first of these decisions being to do away with not so special celebrity guests. These guests are talented at what they do, but they do not need to appear on Whose Line Is It Anyway in a role that can easily be filled by somebody in the audience or by the fourth performer. If they continue to reformat the show to tend to these guests, it's going to hurt the viewership and thus cut the run of the show unnecessarily short. This show deserves more justice. As for Aisha Tyler, she's doing a fine job as the host, but any opportunity to have a game that she is able to get involved is avoided.

As for the term of the day from Season 10, Episode 2: SHLING DONG!

Verdict: 7/10 (because this season has the opportunity to be better and this is reflected by what the first two episodes had to offer, but if they indulge in redundancy on the purpose of tending to the celebrity guests, this number can see a tragic plummet) 

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