‘Game Changer’ television review
By Jacey Gibb, Distribution Manager
The jokesters over at CollegeHumor launched their own comedy streaming platform Dropout TV. I’m here to tell you if their exclusive content is worth the subscription fee.
Since CollegeHumor’s infancy in the early 2000s, Sam Reich has been an overarching presence. He’s the Nick Fury of the CH Cinematic Universe, popping up in sketches or even replying to comments on their YouTube channel. And while he’s often relegated to playing the “boss” character, Reich’s day of reckoning has finally arrived à la the new Dropout gameshow Game Changer.
Hosted by Reich, Game Changer is a wonderfully twisted take on televised gameshows. Each episode features an entirely different game, complete with different rules, stakes, and prizes. The only common thread throughout are Reich, and a revolving door of CollegeHumor cast members to stand at the contestant podiums.
To raise the stakes even higher, all of game’s rules and stakes are kept hidden from the players. “The only way to learn is by playing, the only way to win is by learning, and the only way to begin is by beginning,” Reich announces at the start of each episode, which sums up the confusing nature of Game Changer.
Part of the fun is guessing the rules alongside contestants, though even when the game’s nature is established, it’s still a blast. For example, in episode two, the contestants quickly catch on that their task is to make the sound of whichever animal appears onscreen; however, the game becomes increasingly unhinged throughout, where they must impersonate sounds like “stirring creamy mac ‘n’ cheese” or “a recording of a political speech so old, it’s unintelligible.” Even when a status quo is established, remember the name of the show—Reich loves mixing things up as soon as contestants get comfortable.
Given its constantly-changing format, the quality of Game Changer can vary from episode to episode, though they’re more often hit-than-miss. The aforementioned “Make some noise” episode is a sound battle royale between three very talented comedians, and the pilot episode “Lie Detector” is wildly entertaining, with a particular twist about 1/3 way through that truly does change the game.
Sometimes the show falls into a rhythm after the game’s rules have been established, such as the case with the “Whodunnit” murder mystery episode, but the cast and premise are usually entertaining enough to carry through to the credits.
Of course, the glue holding everything together is first-time gameshow host Reich. Consistently funny and charming, Reich delivers the hell out his newfound role, and he perfectly toes the line between all-knowing host and giddy participant. Thankfully, it was recently announced that a second season of Game Changer is in production, so he can continue to perfect the stoic, shifty eyed role he was born to play.
Game Changer is a goddamn delight. It’s absurd, it’s hilarious, and it gives us more Sam Reich, which I will take any day of the week. If you enjoy gameshows, comedy, or watching three men in their 30s make weird sound effects for half an hour, then Game Changer is the show for you.
You can watch clips of Game Changer on CollegeHumor’s YouTube page, but season one’s five episodes are only on Dropout.