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 as game shows go, this one is a great choice for families. The show features adapted versions of popular board games like Scrabble, Yahtzee, and Guesstures, so there’s a good chance it will inspire families to pull out some games at home and enjoy some quality time together. The contestants demonstrate good sportsmanship, and no one leaves a loser, since the families get to keep all the money and prizes they earn throughout the show. The biggest concern is the strong product placement enjoyed by the show’s sponsor Hasbro, whose board games are the feature of the show.
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What's the story?
FAMILY GAME NIGHT brings popular Hasbro board games like Sorry, Connect 4, and Cranium to life, giving families the chance to win cash and prizes if they can master the show’s larger-than-life versions of the games. Each episode features two families who face off in challenges like Operation Relay (an oversized replica of Cavity Sam yields point values depending on the difficulty level of the “surgery”) and Guesstures Freefall (one family member guesses words acted out by the other three, who are suspended from suspension wires in the air). The winning team from each game adds a Monopoly Crazy Cash Card with an unknown amount of cash to their stash, and the totals are tallied at the end. Both families keep the money and prizes they earn, but the one with the most cash also wins a grand prize.
Is it any good?
This fun, fast-paced show, which is hosted by Todd Newton, really is the next best thing to turning the TV off and hosting a game night with your own family. Not only are the games entertaining, they also stay pretty true to the original board versions, so there’s no doubt the show will encourage families to dust off the classics like Yahtzee and Twister and play a few rounds. The show’s structure is also a welcome change from many of the game shows on TV today, since it offers multiple opportunities to win cash and prizes and allows contestants to take everything they win rather than forcing them to risk it on the chance to make more.
Of course it’s impossible to overlook the fact that Hasbro enjoys an hour’s worth of product placement by sponsoring the show, but the show itself is so enjoyable that this inevitability is easy to forgive. In the end, it’s the focus on family teamwork, sportsmanship, and good, clean fun that will be the lasting legacies of this fun show.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about spending time together. What activities do you enjoy doing as a family? How does spending time together help you learn more about each other? What family traditions do you have? What do you like most about them?
In what ways can competition be a good thing? How does competing against others increase your mental strength? What kinds of things do you learn about yourself from facing the challenge of competition? What can be learned from winning? From losing?
How does product placement affect your materialistic desires? Is product placement always obvious to you? What are some examples of marketing you’ve seen in TV shows or movies?