- Dork Age:
- The first Dork Age came about when the quiz show scandals hit full-force in 1958; they reduced number of game shows down for much of the 1960s. Quiz shows were pretty scarce until about 1965 (when Jeopardy! became a mega-hit) or so, and big-money shows practically nonexistent until The $10,000 Pyramid debuted in 1973.
- It could be argued that the game show genre in the United States is deep in one now, since Deal or No Deal began airing there in late 2005. Most major game shows now note make liberal use of both Viewers Are Goldfish and Viewers Are Morons, excessive amounts of Filler and Padding, Commercial Break Cliffhangers, and other tropes that the online community really doesn't like. The networks have kept on with this despite the backlash. Disney, Sony and Fremantle eventually dealt with the matter by producing straight classic revivals in The New '10s, though it remains to be seen how this affects things.
- It doesn't help that many shows seem to go for looks, attitude, and sob stories rather than those who actually play the game well, probably because picking from the former decreases the chance of having to give away a lot of money. Even avoiding this common mistake hasn't stopped some producers - Season 1 of 500 Questions went directly for "people who are actually pretty damn smart" and still tried to get the "low payouts" result!
- It also doesn't help when you have shows like Who's Still Standing? and The Wall that look at contestants' background info and hobbies, then figures the best way to share that info is to dress players up like stereotypes.
- GSN original programming, thankfully, keeps a more classic style: Few cliffhangers, not a lot of padding (unless you consider banter by Ben Glieb padding), and more players who can get the gist of the game (though, it seemed, no one could get the gist of the short-lived EmoGenius).
- Sweet Dreams Fuel:
- Most, if not all, of these qualify. Seeing average, everyday people win lots of money and prizes can uplift the spirits of just about anyone.
- Any game show with a celebrity panel, such as The Hollywood Squares and Match Game, in particular has a laid-back atmosphere where the humor is rampant and everyone genuinely has a good time no matter how much money the contestants win.
YMMV / Game Show