A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game show features a fair amount of greed among contestants as they ponder whether to wager the thousands of dollars they've earned for a chance to win more. As the stakes grow, the host (Wayne Brady in the original version of the show; Mark McGrath in the syndicated version) builds suspense by forcing players to wait before finding out whether they've won. But overall the show's tone is light, and there's nothing here to stop parents from sharing the fun (and some friendly competition) with tweens and teens.
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What's the story?
In DON'T FORGET THE LYRICS!, contestants must recall lines from popular songs word for word in order to have a shot at the coveted cash prize. In each turn, they choose from nine different musical genres (and two songs within each genre) to better their chances of victory. When the band starts to play, contestants sings along, karaoke-style, with the lyrics on the screen -- that is, until the words disappear and they're forced to fill in the next handful of words to win the round. At any point after giving a correct answer, players can also decide to run with the money they've won so far -- though between adrenaline and mild doses of greed, that's not too common.
Is it any good?
The premise is simple: Fill in a handful of missing words from a few well-known songs, and walk away richer. But when you're standing front and center on a giant, televised karaoke stage, the challenge is considerably more difficult. The toe-tapping game show hosted by improv master Wayne Brady (Mark McGrath hosts the syndicated version of the show) takes a page from Who Wants to Be a Millionaire by granting contestants three so-called "back-ups," which can help rescue them when they stumble over the words. They can opt to have a family member or friend back them up by checking over their lyrics; choose to have two words in the phrase checked by the judges; or be given three possible line choices to select from. But once the back-ups are used, it's just them and a microphone at center stage.
Fast-paced and full of fun, Don't Forget the Lyrics! is a great incentive for families with tweens and teens to warm up their vocal chords and test their lyrical expertise against each other. With musical genres that range from pop to country to classic rock, there's something here for everyone -- and the whole thing is sure to give your memory skills a workout. Just don't expect American Idol-quality vocal talents among the contestants. There's good reason these folks are on a karaoke-style show rather than in an actual singing competition.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how game shows reflect society's view of money. Is it important to have a lot of money? Why or why not? How important is money to you? How do the decisions you make in life (marriage, family, career) affect your chances of having a lot of money? Do contestants on shows like this compete for fun, for the winnings, or both? If you won on a game show, what would you do with the money?