Me filling in for Matthew means you get to hear all about game shows, my favorite TV thing.
Maybe it’s the slightly suspiciously TV-ready shlub contestants, maybe it’s the reliably overblown set design, maybe it’s the guarantee of some actual-factual #winning, but game shows just do something to me (an emotionally spongy hard-core Pisces).
Tuesday night on Fox, you can catch the latest offerings in the Great Primetime Game Show Revival, the man vs. machine vs. melody showdown on “Beat Shazam” and the rebooted booty call of “Love Connection.”
The Jamie Foxx-hosted “Beat Shazam” plays out sort of like a hybrid of “Name that Tune” and “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.” Teams of two square off against each other in a race to identify popular songs based on teeny snippets (spun by Foxx’s daughter, DJ Corinne Foxx), banking cash as they go. The winning team goes on to a final battle against Shazam — the AI-powered song-identification app used by 160 million people to determine their exposure levels to Demi Lovato. The result is an hour of goofy pop-culture popcorn with just a dusting of techno-menace.
(Oh, and speaking of Demi, the second season of “Beat Shazam” will welcome celebrity guests including Lovato, Lance Bass, Ginuwine, Bell Biv DeVoe, and this week, Kareem Abdul-Jabar.)
Continuing the theme of humans simply not being good enough is “Love Connection,” the vintage dating show once again on the prowl, spiffed up with contemporary flourishes (e.g. post-date selfie videos, an explicit “No ghosting allowed” edict).
This time out, the shady subtlety that made the first run of the show so dang juicy is noticeably amped up, thanks in no small part to the prying and prodding of highly caffeinated host (and Housewife wrangler), Andy Cohen, whose trademark nosiness finds something like a niche on Chuck Woolery’s couch.
As with the original, two singles are set up on three blind dates, and sent back to set to divulge every last gritty/grody detail of their encounter. Unlike the original, nobody has feathered hair, and the moustache count has tragically plummeted. Also, as a twist for this second season, if the audience correctly predicts which pair of Tinder exiles successfully forms a love connection — whatever that’s a euphemism for these days — the dater walks with $10,000 and the obligation to at least go Dutch on the second date.Michael Andor Brodeur can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MBrodeur.