Show Discussion: Battle In The Box

By | July 15, 2024

Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9pm,
U&Dave
, series on UKTV Play

Dav… sorry, U&Dave’s hunt to find the next Taskmaster continues. This one’s not an original, it’s based on a Korean format. Here Jimmy Carr challenges two teams of two celebs to live in an empty box for 24 hours, each pair the other side of a wall. The catch is that the wall can move giving one team more space and the other less space. Teams compete in challenges to earn more space and additional luxuries.

Each match-up is two episodes going out on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

Might be quite fun. Let us know what you thought in the comments.

Some upcoming things on Netflix

By | July 12, 2024

Don’t have a go at me, it’s not my fault there’s nothing interesting happening on linear right now. Also it’s the Summer.

This may or may not end up being all that interesting to us, it’s about social media influencing, but it’s from South Korea so obviously it looks modern and incredible on screen, and feels like a new idea. The Influencer starts August 6th.

I don’t think we discussed Spanish film The Platform on here when it came out in 2019, which asked some faintly interesting philosophical questions based around its set-up of a vertical prison where food starts at the top and works its way down leading to horrible situations. Not for the faint hearted, but worth a watch. Didn’t need a sequel, but we’re getting one anyway and it’s out on Netflix on October 4th.

Note: Trailer contains scenes of horror.

The Getaway

By | July 10, 2024

I don’t have Nebula, but The Getaway from the Jet Lag guys drops on it today.

What if The Mole, but all the contestants were secretly Moles?

It’s a funny idea, but I would say there’s normally an entertainment limit in watching people consistently doing things badly, even The Mole has a bit of give. I’m intrigued to see how it all plays out, anyway.

Me, June 20th

Is the quote I’m using to pad this out with. Discussion on the Discord suggests they’ll vote each other out with the pretense of trying to vote out “the Snitch”, the two people left at the end splitting the money if they are both “loyal”, which of course they aren’t, so they both get the money instead.

Edit: Also! This Saturday it’s Schlag den Star, join us on the Discord as we watch celebs battle it out for Matthais’ €100,000 briefcase from 1915 UK.

WIDM’s good again you guys

By | July 8, 2024

Wie is De Mol?, the Netherlands’ long running domestic version of De Mol is hugely successful, running almost annually since 1999 and regularly achieving figures over 3m even now (to put that into context, scaled up for population, that makes it a hit equivalent to a good year of I’m a Celeb over here) but like many 25-year-old shows there’s an element of feeling a bit long-in-the-tooth, a bit resting-on-their-laurels, a bit running-out-of-ideas. We’ve joked for a number of years that it feels like the starter for the Flemish main course, which somehow never disappoints, in the Spring.

So we’re surprised and slightly thrilled that the current special series with a civilian cast for streaming service NPO Start feels like someone’s given it a bit of a kick up the arse, we understand this is the first series for a new showrunner so perhaps not surprising. Sexy new titles! Really neatly remixed mission elements! Car chat! Hila Noorzai! Oman! The show retains its reputation for a really good location shot. We’ve often joked that an average WIDM challenge is “Chinese Whispers going up a hill”, whilst they don’t yet have the Flemish comedy special sauce, they feel more involved and interesting (theme park logistic memory laser tag avoidance! Fun boat race with puzzles! Trying to identify things whilst being driven up and down sand dunes at speed!). Having the contestants drive themselves opens up one of the best things about Flemish Mole, funny and offhand conversational clips between challenges. And Hila’s great! An ex-contestant (as most WIDM hosts are), she’s much more present in the challenges and has a no-nonsense attitude throughout.

And they’re managing this putting out two episodes a week on Fridays, but relatively short eps at 40-45 minutes so a pair of them isn’t much longer than a normal broadcast episode. If you want to watch it you can, NPO isn’t geoblocked (in the UK at least). You can turn on the Dutch subs using the cog icon, and if your browser can autotranslate it will translate them on the fly. Four episodes have gone out at time of writing, four remain, two every Friday. We’re currently discussing it in the Discord.

Silence is Golden

By | July 3, 2024

This came up on the Discord yesterday and has come up more officially on ApplauseStore today, Silence is Golden with Dermot O Leary, where an audience can win £250,000 if they basically don’t audibly react to anything happening in front of them. That’s a big prize pot for Da… U&Dave, sorry. Also Dermot becoming a U&Dave name. Films at the Riverside Studios in London in about three weeks. This *seems* to be different to The Talent Test Dermot is filming (tickets SRO) which is July 11th at Hackney Empire.

“It’s entertainers vs audience – they’re not on the same side. If the entertainers get the prize pot to zero, they get to give money to charity,” not all £250,000 an episode, surely?

Interestingly we remember this doing the rounds a while ago (someone here might have gone to a recording of it actually, can’t remember) – if it’s the same show than IIRC it’s a Richard Bacon format, which were all the rage about two years ago.

Netflix Mole S2

By | June 29, 2024

I’ve watched the opening salvo of five eps, it’s so frustrating. Ari Shapiro and his eyebrows are fun, the challenge design is definitely a step up from S1, the structure is a bit better so that there’s two missions between tests (even if one of them tends to be quite small scale). The prizemoney is a bit all over the place, you’d expect the big missions to be worth more than the small scale ones just because That’s How Telly Works but it doesn’t always work out like that.

But it’s absolutely ruined by the pot drains, THREE in five episodes, the players are losing more money than The Mole is in trying to get personal advantages and it’s just crap television. What am I watching it for?

We thought the first series was basically an artless version of The Mole, the format done in typical US route one capacity. This series actually has ideas that are commendable, and then ruins it all with really cheap ways – not even clever, funny ways, to make the pot cheap.