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M'ama Non M'ama

Producer: Marty Paseta Productions/Entertainment Planning Corp.
Host: Alex Trebek
Announcer: John Harlan
Taping Info: December 7, 1984, ABC-TV, Hollywood
Made it to Air: A later version, titled Love Me, Love Me Not aired for one year on USA cable and was hosted by Ross Shafer.
Availability: It's available on the trading circuit.

It's a bad sign when you have to spend a minute in your introduction translating the show's title. For those of you whose Italian is rusty, "ama" means love, "m'ama" means love me and "non m'ama" means love me not. John Harlan also explains that this show is popular in Italy. Yeah, and so was fascism, and we saw no need to import that. There's only been one U.S. game show with a foreign title (1958-59's Haggis Baggis), so there's already a large hill to climb. Alex Trebek, somehow thinking his time on Jeopardy! was going to be short, helmed this relationship show.

In this daisy-laden game, two players of the same gender alternated picking panelists of the opposite gender. Those panelists then plucked one of the petals on the daisy on their podium, and read a statement about love, romance or some other drivel, punctuated with sappy love paeans. The player would then agree or disagree, and would "capture" the panelist if the boolean results matched. A pot, starting at $50, was doubled every time a panelist was captured. In round one, each panelist is asked one question, meaning that at most each of the players could capture two panelists.

In round two, any panelists who were yet captured were still in play. The difference here is that two wrong boolean matches by any player saw the transfer of one of the captured panelists to the other player. Once a player had three captured panelists, they won the game and moved into the bonus round.

In the bonus round, the player first asked an open-ended Dating Game-style question to each of the three panelists s/he had captured. Once the panelist was picked, s/he joined the player on this big giant daisy, with the player starting on petal #1 (the top), and the panelist on petal #6 (clockwise from the top). Alex then asks true/false questions, and if the player answers correctly, s/he moves to the next clockwise petal. Conversely, the panelist moves to the next petal if the question is answered incorrectly. If the player gets on to the same petal as the panelist, they win $1,000 per petal. If the 50 seconds run out, or the panelist catches the player, the bonus round is lost. The two players, if they win, are then asked a final question (non true-false) at the end. If their collaborative answer is correct, they each also win a car. The two panelists who didn't play the game became the players on the next show.

There were actually two pilots for this show one with two men contestants and four female panelists, and the other with two female contestants and four male panelists, so I had to be subjected to reviewing both shows for this page. I'm not a big fan of relationship shows, and this one was lacking the camp of either The Dating Game or Singled Out. Plus, the screaming girls during the four-male pilot made it for a near Sullivan-like Beatles experience, minus Ed Sullivan, the Beatles and any historical significance. After seeing this pilot, ABC decided to spend another year with the faltering Family Feud.

The opening, full of daisies.

The panelists come on to the stage. Those daisies are rotating, and nearly clocked one of them.

Alex and the contestants. Doing this must have made him want to drive his truck off the road.

The male meat market.

The bonus daisy. Unfortunately, it did not come alive like Audrey II and devour the players.

This pilot has been viewed 8729 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Dec 12, 2009 14:46 ET
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