Saturday, January 18, 2014

We're Transported Back to Our Childhood by Hollywood Game Night

Photo by Trae Patton/NBC

We loved games growing up. We’d spend hours on end playing Green Ghost and Witch Witch. We would even craft our own cardboard versions of the latest Price is Right challenges to include the latest on-screen trial that Bob Barker was putting eager contestants through. 

But it was TV shows like Match Game and Hollywood Squares that really captured our attention. Every afternoon when we got home from school, we’d play the $25,000 Pyramid. When it came time for the bonus round, we would turn down the volume on our TV. One of us would settle in her back to the set hoping to win the imaginary big prize, while the other would sit on her hands (since we didn’t have a chair with straps, after all) and eagerly shout out the clues. 

So when Hollywood Game Night premiered last year on NBC, we felt a wave of nostalgia for those gold old fashioned game show days of our youth. The show had all the elements of our favorites of the past — an entertaining batch of challenges, lots of stars and a little bit of alcohol to loosen them up — you, don’t think those “Match Games” star were playing without a buzz, do you?).

And to top it all, they hired Jane Lynch to host. We’d come early to the Lynch bandwagon — long before she was Coach Sue Sylvester on Glee or even Constance Carmell on Party Down. To us she will always be Christy Cummings from Best in Show.

Needless to say, we were excited to learn that the show is back for its second season on Monday, January 20. We’ll be playing along from the comfort of our own houses — the series’ highest scoring home players. So when we talked to Lynch on a recent conference call interview, we were dying to know how she thought she would fare as a contestant on Hollywood Game Night. The amiable actress acknowledged that she could easily swap roles with the HGN contenders, “I would do quite well — at least I think so. And a lot of people think they will do well and then they fall apart. But I think I would do quite well. I'm a pretty competitive person and you'd want me on your team. You do not want to play against me.”

While Lynch conceded that she isn’t as strong at the music challenges as some of the others, she acknowledged that she’s especially skilled at one challenge in particular. Lynch remarked, “I love Celebrity. I love that we play that as the final round of every game. I'm very good at that.”

Hollywood Game Night fans will also be treated to some additional offerings when the show returns. “We have some brand new games,” Lynch revealed. “We have one called Four Letter Word and we put blindfolds on the contestants and they're holding big foam letters, so right there you've got [a sight gag]. And they have to work with each other and spell a four letter word. So they have to figure out what letter they're holding and where it falls in the word and they have to spell that word. That's a lot of fun.”

Still, Lynch will stick to her role as host and leave the game play to the other guys. And that’s okay with her. As she noted, “It's a very natural role for me so I don't have to do that much thinking. I love hosting parties and I love creating environments for people to have fun and to be themselves. And then, you know it's just very natural for me to find a way to partake. So I don't walk away feeling at all ignored or cheated out of anything. I have a great time.”

Tune in to Hollywood Game Night every Monday night at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. Central on NBC.

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