Channel 4 has just announced The Bridge, a show where twelve strangers try and build a 250m bridge in twenty days to win a £100k prize, which one person voted for by the group must decide to take it all for themselves or split it amongst everybody.
It is very much the sort of thing that sounds a bit rubbish on paper but might end up being quite entertaining. The question is: this sort of communal building challenge has been done in the past (Building the Dream, Trouble in Paradise) and didn’t really work out. With something fairly monotonous like a bridge, would it fare any better? Or will the Challenge Anneka aspect add the necessary frisson?
Anyway Wilderness are making this, which probably means this is the format I suspected was Survivor. Never mind.
Have you ever wanted to know the answer to the question “what if Holey Moley and Extreme Dodgeball had a child and it was a bit boring?” Well worry no longer, as Discovery in America has made that show and it’s called Dodgeball Thunderdome, and it goes out on Wednesday nights.
Hosted by David Dobrik (Youtube sensation apparently, I don’t know I’m 39 and British) and co-hosted by NFL player Andrew Hawkins and E! host Erin Lim, Dodgy Thunder sees eight people battle it out for a chance to enter the championship playoffs and the $25,000 grand prize.
The first round is probably the most successful – four people traverse a muddy Wipeout-esque obstacle course whilst getting pelted with dodgeballs – red (which will eliminate you if you take too many – the two who take the most are eliminated) and blue (for the LOLs). Contestants throw at each other, and production also chuck some in for good measure. Surely the people on either side are at quite a disadvantage seeing as they’re nearer production and only likely have one easy person to aim at whereas the people in the middle are protected by distance and a much easier choice of people to aim at. I don’t know.
Anyway repeat that, the four survivors face off in round two which is basically Kevin Hart’s TKO – one person tries to run an obstacle course, the other is on a gantry trying to hit them with balls, blue to slow down, red (which are in short supply) to eliminate (they also have a cannon and a giant ball on a catapult). Three red balls ends the run, the other person has to beat the distance.
The final sees the two survivors face off in the Dodgeball Thunderdome. Beginning with a schoolyard pick of the losing contestants, the captains build a team. Teammates can take one hit, captains three, and when the captain is eliminated it’s game over. To spice things up there are various targets and special weapons located around the arena, very few of which actually get used. It manages to be glacial in a complete opposite way to GSN’s Extreme Dodgeball from about twenty years ago, and despite all the potential twists never threatens to be particularly exciting.
It carries all the tropes of a comedy physical game – the straight man and the colour commentator, sarcastic woman interviewing the contestants, people falling off obstacles into mud/water, but it doesn’t do anything better than anything that’s gone before it and brings absolutely nothing new to the table.
In a year that’s been actually pretty good for physicality in gameshows in the US (Ultimate Tag was fun, Holey Moley was funny, even The Titan Games upped its game), it’s hard to see what the point of Dodgy Thunder is really.
We’ve featured the work of Charlie Wheeler before, years ago as part of Amateur Adventure Hour and for his titles mocks on Youtube.
Well he’s Kickstarting a book, and it looks like it might be very interesting and relevant to our tastes, The Last Pyramid is a puzzle adventure book that has been very clearly influenced by The Crystal Maze, Fort Boyard et al. £20 will secure you a copy, if it gets funded.