Very Much The Sort Of Thing We Like

OK, there’s a new show called The Great Escape beginning on US network TNT this evening.

This looks terrific, no?

In other news, very pleased that Amazing Race Australia did something I thought would have been a good idea years ago to get round one of the show’s more stupid elements – namely the kicking of teams when they’re down (who wants an exciting finish anyway?) – rather than penalize a team behind you at the time, teams secretly vote for who they wanted to do a U-turn on the leg before catching a plane to the next destination, the results of the U-turn not found out until after the detour so not limiting it to people behind you but any team in the race. A chance to peg back a strong team rather than have a foregone conclusion, doubly helped by having enough of a leg after to have a chance of fighting back. Good work Australia, and good work Israel who apparently did it first. Now bloody watch it if you’re in Australia – it’s been moved to Monday nights now and is not rating brilliantly.

13 Comments

  1. SquareEyes says:

    Awesome, cannot wait. Really curious how it would work it as an whole episode.

    On a side note, HBO has the premiere of Sorkin’s new series “The Newsroom”!

    • Weaver says:

      Let’s go through this with a razor blade and some vinegar. Here’s the one-line summary.

      Sing For Your Supper (Ginger / Channel 5) Seven members of the audience will sing. A restaurant meal for the best performer, a bag of fish and chips for the worst.

      Cliff Evans is quoted as saying, “The BBC should have bought this instead of The Voice. It is less than half the price and 10 times the fun.” So, still blimmin’ expensive then. And he goes on, “No one gets hurt, no one feels dirty or less of a person after watching it,” and if it ever airs, that’s a hostage to fortune. And he goes on, so no change there.

      There’s an inevitable contribution to 5-a-day: “It was important that I take it to a channel that needs what I’m offering, which genuinely agrees it is time to push the boundaries, change the air and draw a new line in the showbiz sand.” This is talking about Channel 5 (prop: R. Desmond) in the Sunday Express (prop: R. Desmond).

      The article bigs up his awards, but curiously doesn’t mention Cliff Evans’s last foray into the television game show: the spectacular flop that was Boys and Girls.

      • Luke the lurker says:

        It was suggested in his Mail on Sunday* column yesterday, I assume the Express just took the text as a quote. Not sure whether it’s genuinely a serious suggestion – it does sound a lot like a Chris Evans format, but it also sounds like a very quick and easy way to fill a newspaper column without having to think much…

        *I should note that I am the biggest Guardianista I know, but my parents still insist on both taking the paper and believing the crap printed inside of it.

  2. Poochy.EXE says:

    Personally I wish TAR would just drop the U-Turn altogether. I feel the problem with the U-Turn is that if either Detour task is difficult, the U-Turned team is basically doomed and the outcome of the leg is basically a foregone conclusion, while if the Detour consists of two easy tasks, the Detour itself becomes uninteresting. You just can’t win. Plus the U-Turn is the only element of the game which involves inter-team politics. As satisfying as it is to see the most obnoxious team(s) invariably get hit by it, it still sticks out like a sore thumb.

    That said, this is definitely an improvement, better than any other version of the U-Turn or the Yield. If the US version must keep the U-Turn, I hope they use this idea as well. The Double U-Turn was also an improvement over the original concept, but it loses the only satisfying part of it, namely laughing in schadenfreude when being jerks comes back to bite a team in the butt.

    • Brig Bother says:

      Largely agree, although as I said, the fact that there was still a decent amount of race after the detour mitigates it a bit, and also in this instance people will have known who was on the first flight.

      This being said, I’d quite like to see them bring the Yield back with this system just because teams that did them over will probably have to look the waiting team in the eye as they race past them. Drama!

  3. Matt C says:

    Here’s an odd little query that came up in discussion: What’s been the history of legally-sanctioned caps on cash prizes? I remember hearing that The $64,000 Question had to get special dispensation to break £6,000 in the early nineties, but I’m curious if WWTBAM was pretty much immediately after the cap being removed and whether there were steps up to that point.

    • Brig Bother says:

      A great question and actually not one I can answer readily off the top of my head. A quick scan of UKGS.C’s history of the genre (http://www.ukgameshows.com/ukgs/History_of_the_Game_Show) suggests 1993 as the date when prizes were uncapped, prior to that I suppose Raise the Roof had the biggest prize on television.

    • David B says:

      I don’t think it was immediate. I think there was at least a few years gap.

    • Des Elmes says:

      I’m pretty sure that the cap was removed on 1 January 1993.

      The New Celebrity Squares (as Bob called it) took to the air one week later – and the cars on it were valued in the low five figures.

      Around the same time, Wheel of Fortune’s cash prize increased from £5k to £10k.

  4. SquareEyes says:

    Quite enjoyed the Great Escape actually. It is not that great of a game though, but it looks absolutely spectacular. It reminded me also a bit of Take The Money And Run, last years summer reality game show.

    Will definitely watch it for the setting they will be using in further episodes and for the challenges, but don’t really care for the gameplay. It would be better if they could be discovered at any time in the game, instead of just between the several stages.

  5. Daniel H says:

    Not sure if this has been mentioned elsewhere but the 2010 clock episodes of WWTBAM appear to have already made their way to Challenge.

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