“Whammy! The All New Press Your Luck” Turns 10
This may make some readers feel a little old. Yesterday, April 15th, probably the first great Game Show Network/GSN original, Whammy!, debuted. It feels like it was a big turning point for that network. Up until then, they basically only did cheap looking interactive shows or poorly conceived games. Some were good, but it was a wasteland. Whammy! was basically that network’s first show which looked professional, played very, brought some attention from viewers of the original Press Your Luck, and had a vaguely decent budget. It was impressive for a small cable network and looking at how the network sits now, ten years later, that production would still be pretty impressive today. That’s one reason why it stays rated so well and continues to be rerun.
Given the resources and capabilities of a network like GSN at that time, I thought it was hard for them to do the show better. They had a better looking set, outside of the big Sony syndicated shows the budget wasn’t that much different from other daily shows, it was hosted well, the new Whammy animations were fantastic, and the game worked. It was hard to ask for more under the circumstances they were in. Whammy! really should have lasted longer and got shoved under the table a little due to the transformation from Game Show Network to GSN, and that’s a shame. Looking back at it on YouTube, it’s easy to forget how good and fun it was, and that’s all the genre is really about. It’s obviously not the greatest show on earth. It’s hard for a show about randomly pressing a button to be that. However, it was fun, done well, was exciting, and was enjoyable to watch. What more could you want? Extremely well done show.
In a lot of ways Whammy on GSN reminds me of Challenge’s upcoming revival of Blockbusters and the attention its getting, and hopefully the results are the same for them. It also makes you wonder why, in this Deal or No Deal luck-based game show era, why Press Your Luck has not come back given it still has some form of popularity and it’s only increased due to iOS, Facebook, and home games. Maybe at some point. But until then, what did you think of it? Here’s a look back at, arguably, the show’s most exciting episode. There’s a car on the line.