Show Discussion: Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow

By | April 3, 2021

Saturdays, 8:30pm,

I completely forgot series two this was starting this week, so what I’m doing is bumping up the series one show discussion and seeing as it’s using mainly the same shows (and Name That Tune), you can continue discussion here.

Original post May 29th 2020

Well it’s finally here, Alan Carr’s epic supersized versions of classic formats – starting with Play Your Cards Right with The Price is Right, Bullseye, Take Your Pick and Strike it Lucky to come, offering epic supersized prizes in epic supersized endgames which by the sounds of it aren’t greatly bigger then they were during the 90s. Still though.

The first one is a celebrity Play Your Cards Right where four couples will battle it out to win £30,000 in cash (woah). Now is it me, or does it look like there are more than five cards in the row on that promo picture? Apparently the second season of the relaunched Card Sharks in the US is going with single game, five questions, seven cards (as opposed to ten cards last year which was rubbish as every game went to sudden death). This was recorded last year, so maybe it’s a tweak. Or maybe we’re reading too much into a clipped photo, who knows?

I can’t say Epic Take Your Pick and Epic Bullseye are that appealing, although intrigued to see how Strike It Lucky fares – a show which is famously not all that as a format but as something for Michael Barrymore to bounce off was very successful. Will an hour of it with Alan Carr have the same appeal? Will the audience response to the catchphrase still be unintelligible? I look forward to finding out.

Let us know what you think in the comments.

135 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow

  1. Joey Clarke

    Now that felt a bit different from last season.
    The Endgame is the same, the tiebreak is under sudden death conditions, new backgrounds for the finale, the main theme is in the background and the credits instead of the play your cards right music, the graphic for the money feels to tacky and cheap (Hopefully it’s fixed when they do the civilian play your cards right), can’t wait for Bullseye next week. (I thought it would be the price is right next week)

  2. Brig Bother Post author

    I don’t mind three questions for a standard game, but just the one for Sudden Death feels a bit harsh.

    I thought the sound mixing initially was pretty good here given it’s going to be largely canned, but it does miss the wrong answer sound effect.

    Also I thought the editing priority is a bit wrong – they evidently cut out loads of the question discussion, but made the actual card turning process as drawn out as possible. That bit’s meant to be fast and exciting!

  3. Brig Bother Post author

    Bit disappointed 2021 PiR didn’t have much new in it – four returnees from last year, but I liked the effort they put into Shell Game – Club Tropicarrna indeed.

    1. Chris M. Dickson

      Being as kind as I possibly can: glad to see John Sachs getting work for we have missed his voice for too long, I very much enjoyed the variety in the showcase and the show remains as fundamentally sound and interesting as ever.

      Everything else compared badly with previous UK versions of TPiR, even these Alan one-offs.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        I think the way they did the Showcase reveal is a bit confusing. I get it, but you really have to think about it.

        1. Chris M. Dickson

          Absolutely agreed. Other than the fun setting for Club Tropi-Carr-na for the Shell Game, I don’t think any of the changes they made were for the better. I wasn’t clear enough; I liked the sheer quantity of prizes in the showcase, but a more traditional presentation would have been preferable if they had a set tailored towards the show rather than a generic flexible Epic set. It might be that some of the changes were at least partly forced on them by the pandemic.

        2. Crimsonshade

          I noticed the reveal graphic has been altered somewhat from Epic Gameshow Series 1; and the new graphic definitely seems a lot clearer to me – I can actually follow along with it now – but I still feel as though it’s unnecessarily gimmicky and overcomplicating what should be a pretty straightforward reveal.

          1. Steve Williams

            I would agree with that, it did make more sense on screen than in the last series (where it looked like they were going to reveal each price individually and then didn’t*) but it’s still over-complicated for what it is. Presumably the idea is that there’s a bit of a pregant pause while you try and do the mental arithmetic after they reveal the actual price and work out if you’ve won or not, so by making the margin of error very clear they try and avoid that, but it’s still not quite right. They could have just had a reverse-Pointless totaliser going up to the bid plus three thousand, and made it clear that if you go past that line it’s too much. Maybe in the next three million reboots of this format on British TV they might one day work out how to do it effectively.

            It was quite interesting to see how this worked without an audience, as the show that most obviously makes use of one under usual circumstances, although obviously they’re doing it like that every day on US TV so they weren’t starting from scratch. It was alright, I like how they involved Contestants Row more, but while you can understand contestants getting into it and getting over-excited with an audience cheering them on, it can start to look a bit contrived and irritating without them.

            Be interested to see Name That Tune next week, I thought it was quite successful of Gameshow Marathon and these more obscure shows are probably better because you’re not always endlessly comparing them to the original.

            (* I wonder if it would be better if they did reveal each price individually, it would presumably offer more transparency and they could hike up the excitement a bit. It might make it a bit of an anti-climax, and it make mean people think they could win some of it if they don’t win it all, but then maybe they think that now anyway?)

  4. Steve Williams

    Oh yeah, and The Shell Game had the most wonderfully elaborate set for what is surely the most basic game imaginable.

  5. Brig Bother Post author

    I thought it was a shame that of the 80-odd games currently on rotation something as basic as Shell Game was chosen, but I appreciate they put some effort into it, actually more fun than the US set-up.

    The King of set effort is still the most recent French version I think, really quite inventive.

  6. Danny Lee Kerner

    Well in regards to Price is right, with The series getting an extended order once it went into production there are a chance a few more games may get shown off or built prior to filming so there is a chance there maybe variety coming soon. I would like to see a UK variation of Rat Race however that may require permission from Drew since it was his design.

    1. Score

      Just clocked this – so did this series of Epic get an extended order whilst they were making it? I know it was a very quick turnaround from recording to TX because of Moneyball falling through, so did they end up asking for more episodes last minute as well?

  7. Greg

    Well Name that Tune is absolutely awful. I am sat here cringing at how bad it is. To think they replaced Take Your Pick which was my favourite Epic Gameshow with this dross. The Hit List it is not.

    1. Simon F

      Same here – I’m thinking how much better a format The Hit List is (and how it is certainly a more difficult show with a smaller prize fund).

    2. Joey Clarke

      Don’t worry, Take your pick will still be on the lineup. (I think it will be the last one before the second celebrity special on Eurovision night)
      I thought it was different as they didn’t have the tune roulette round at the beginning like in the original.
      I think they were copying off the states by having the golden medley as the Epic Endgame.

  8. Steve Williams

    I know The Hit List “borrows” the Name That Tune format a bit, and it’s not their fault it was on the same night, but it was even more unfortunate to introduce another round that’s even more like The Hit List.

    I did think the formats that haven’t been on very recently are the better ones as they can’t repeatedly be compared with the originals, but this one is obviously so easy to compare with another show that’s currently running (and for most of the audience, they’ll only know The Hit List).

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      What I find absolutely crazy is that Name That Tune is probably the most versatile format on telly – as long as it’s got Bid a Note and Golden Medley you can pretty much dress everything else up how you like, and yet nobody has managed to make a compelling version of it in about thirty-five years.

      I don’t think it really helps that the show’s most iconic ‘bit’, Bid A Note, is not actually a very good game.

      The show was fine, but largely uninspiring. I think getting rid of the iconic melody roulette is a mistake – it’s visual and everyone remembers it and wheels are fun. Nobody is going to remember the Catchphrase Elimination Round or The Round The Hit List Does Better.

      Although saying this, The Round The Hit List Does Better could well be all of them – I love the thought that goes into coming up with the playlists and we just don’t get that here.

  9. Brig Bother Post author

    I think one of my main gripes with Epic Gameshow as an umbrella format is so much is filled with rules explanation and procedure, where when these shows were originally on Lionel Blair didn’t need to explain the ramifications of someone getting a question wrong in great detail.

  10. Joey Clarke

    To be honest, the epic endgame on Strike it lucky needs changing because, it’s so f***ing unwinable. The fact that you could get three hotspots on the start is unfair and unlike play your cards right, you don’t get any help as to where they are.

    1. Danny Kerner

      i agree that the odds at the start are so much likely a hotspot is hit. The endgame does decrease the odds as you go up the pyramid but that is now 2 games in a row that the game ended on the 3rd level even before we hit the extension part of the set. i would of thought the producers would of understood how much of a design flaw this is but i guess not. My way to perhaps make the endgame slightly more winnable is that Alan asks a 2,3,4 move question which can remove the amount of question and hotspot spaces. Each correct response removes one off these spaces from the first 2 levels. The question difficulty would need to be tougher however due to the value of prizes up for grabs.


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