“Hollywood Game Night” is a difficult show to write about on a weekly basis, mostly because it is more or less the same thing every week. But, at the same time, it’s an awful lot of fun to watch. It’s one of those concepts that if more people gave it a chance, we genuinely feel like it’d be a big hit for NBC. Maybe Monday night’s holiday-themed episode is a good push in the right direction.
The celebrities for this episode were also fun, and came from a very different variety of gigs: You had on one team Gavin DeGraw, Brooklyn Decker, and Ray Romano, and on the other team there was Rachel Bilson, Andy Roddick, and Cheryl Hines. Add a fun mix of challenges and plenty of trash-talking, and you’ve got a great show.
Probably the real reason why this show is a winner is that, like another show in Comedy Central’s “@Midnight,” you have an environment that bleeds fun. It never makes things too serious, and most of the game yields for a certain amount of casual interplay. This is probably helped by the fact that you’re playing for only $25,000 as the contestant. That’s not a ton of money, but it’s still nice to have. If it were more, though, we’d probably feel everyone starting to feel the pressure and get overly stressed; this is more about the experience for these ordinary folks more than anything else, and it’s for that reason that we won’t campaign getting rid of them for more celebrities. It adds a layer of throwing some real people into the star world without making the stars uncomfortable. (Even Rachel was fine with having a guy on her team who may be her biggest fan of all time.)
We don’t know if there are many moments in here that you will roll on the floor laughing about, and you may not set your DVR for it; but when it comes to watching something when it’s on just to fill a gaping hole of fun in your day, there are few other places that provides what “Hollywood Game Night” does. Grade: A-.