In all honesty, I really don’t understand why the panelists on the syndicated version are called “tired” by anybody since most of them also appeared during the CBS years. And what was so “negative” about Gene’s ego then?
The last 3 years aren’t my favorite part of the run but after some time of seeing more from this era, I think they’re given a bit more of a bad rap than what’s actually deserved. For one thing, it seems to depend on what week it was. Some panels, when there was new blood, clicked better than others, which is true of almost any era of the show; also there were some fun moments like when some of the panelists like McLean Stevenson and Betty White took over hosting for Gene.
I think there are some differences that were abundant. For example, the banter that was often seen after the questions being asked with Gene and the celebs while they were writing their answers was cut for time. Some really hilarious moments happened then. But I don’t find that the negative aspects made it unwatchable or avoidable.