When I first heard that “Whose Line is it Anyway?” was headed back to television, I smiled. I smiled because I, like many other Americans, loved the show during its run on ABC (and sister station ABC Family) and was sad to see it end.
I counted the days down to the premiere, and made sure I took my dinner break at work so that I could watch it. It did not disappoint.
As the weeks have gone by, however, my interest in this revamped show has started to fizzle. It might be that the novelty factor is wearing off, but I just don’t get as excited to watch it as I did earlier this summer. And I think I know why…at least, something I can narrow it down to:
- Aisha Tyler. The host (who filled in for Drew Carey) is more “think on her feet” than Mr. Carey was, but just seems to fall short of the same hosting ability I thought Drew carried with him. She seems to rely too heavily on “the points don’t matter” jokes instead of bantering with the improvisors – something the previous host did well.
- The crowd interaction and special guests. One thing I loved about the old show is how much the performers utilized the audience to enhance their game. Whether it was a movie genre suggestion or a volunteer standing in as a “prop,” these unknowns always made for a good time (and occasional “laugh out loud for five minutes straight moments.” The new show, while it has utilized the audience a little, relies too much on its special guest stars, which don’t seem to provide any additional “oomph” to those performances (except Kevin McHale). Bringing special guests on the program used to be far and few between, which made their impact that much better. Bringing one on every week kind of kills that vibe. Additionally, it doesn’t seem like the audience is used to propel the game (i.e. a suggestion for a certain scene or a way the performer should act). It seems like those details are decided before the game begins.
- The special guest stars. I know this is repeating again, but I felt it needed that additional mention. Again, aside from the exceptions (Kevin McHale, etc.), it doesn’t seem like the stars they’re booking for this show really bring anything. I understand this show is on the CW and wants to cross promote its programming, but book someone who can at least bring something to the table. Otherwise, they just stand around…and the audience could easily fill in that role.
The show has already been renewed for a second season, and I know I’ll still be watching. I hope some improvements are made between the first and second season, otherwise I might stop watching entirely.