WHAT WERE WATCHING: It’s game night — on TV
Every time I tune in to “Hollywood Game Night,” I find myself yelling at the TV, just as someone twice my age might do.
As someone who enjoys incorporating board and party games into nearly every gathering she has with family and friends, it is needless to say that I love “Hollywood Game Night.”
Each week, Jane Lynch (a.k.a. Sue Sylvester on “Glee”) invites celebrities and game players into her faux home for an hour of mostly pop culture-infused trivia games.
The show, currently in the middle of its second season, pairs a regular person with three celebrities to face off against another team with the same make-up. The series is produced by the actor Sean Hayes (Jack on “Will and Grace”), who based it on his own game nights.
The featured games include typical party fare like charades, Catchphrase or Pictionary — with twists. One game, Clue-Boom, has the player give clues for their teammates to guess whatever is on the card the player is reading from.
The teams go head-to-head for this one, and a bowl full of confetti moves back-and-forth between the contestants. Much like Catchphrase, the confetti bowl is on a timer that randomly goes off while one of them is trying to get their team to guess what’s on the card.
The main difference: This game requires goggles. Instead of the simple, annoying buzzer in Catchphrase, the bowl of confetti explodes all over the unlucky contestant in Clue-Boom.
More out-of-the-box games include Block Busters, where the four players on the team are each given one block with different words on each side. The players have to work together to spell out the name of a movie based on clues given by Lynch, who was just nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Host of a Reality Program.
And there’s the added bonus of seeing how your favorite celebrities — ranging from “Project Runway” host Tim Gunn to “Seinfeld” star Jason Alexander and country singer Wynonna Judd to tennis player Andy Roddick — are under pressure and how well they know their pop culture trivia.
The pop culture knowledge comes in especially handy for the contestant who makes it to the bonus round for a chance to earn $25,000. One of the celebrity guests must give the contestant good enough clues to guess the names of 10 different celebrities or notable people in 90 seconds. With a knowledgeable celebrity and contestant pairing, the 10 names go quickly; otherwise, it can be a bit painful to watch “Celebrity Name Game.”
No matter what the outcome of “Hollywood Game Night,” it is always a pleasure to watch. And unlike other shows that demand constant viewership to have any clue of what’s going on, you can just watch episodes here and there.
“Hollywood Game Night” airs on Thursday nights at 7 on NBC. Previous episodes are also available on NBC.com, Hulu and video-on-demand.
For those who want to bring the games home, NBC also sells a board game version of “Hollywood Game Night.”
Krummey is the Accent editor. You can reach her at (701) 780-1265; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1265; or firstname.lastname@example.org.