Let's face it: Summer network television just isn't that good. ABC's "Sunday Fun and Games" delivers a much-needed burst of excitement to a television lineup that, without the Olympics, would be a snoozefest. I'm especially loving the return of The $100,000 Pyramid and all its kooky celebrity contestants. The show is pretty darn near perfect, but there is one big problem: Its tiebreaker is terrible.
Back in the day, tiebreakers were all part of the game, and contestants who tied had to work even harder for the big prize. Under the original rules, the team that caused the tie was able to choose a letter, and each of the words in the tiebreaker round began with that letter. There were two letter choices, and the option not taken by the first team was given to the other team. For a while, the tiebreaker continued until somebody couldn't get all seven words. The rules switched at some point, and the team that finished the tiebreaker in the shortest period of time went on to the winner's circle. This wasn't as exciting, but it was still a great round.
For 2016, the traditional tiebreaker has been completely scrapped. Now, there really is no tiebreaker. If two teams finish with the same score, the team that achieved the score in the shortest amount of time wins. Basically, Michael Strahan announces the tie and then offers up a very anticlimactic congratulations to the winning team. When this happened tonight, I felt shortchanged. It's not the first time that I've been disappointed by a tiebreaker this season, but this time, I was really struck by how much more exciting the show could have been with that extra round.
I'm sure there are plenty of good reasons to take out the tiebreaker. Chief among them is the amount of time an extra round can take. However, I think that particular problem could easily be solved by editing out a bit of the banter at the beginning of the show and then doing the shorter version of the tiebreaker round, in which each team has to guess seven words starting with the same letter.
Tiebreaker or not, I'm loving the return of The $100,000 Pyramid. But with just one small change, the show could be far more entertaining. Here's hoping that a better tiebreaker is used next season!
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