The Whole 19 Yanks

By | April 4, 2021

Here’s a fun thing that’s just been uploaded on Wink Martindale’s Youtube Channel – the US pilot for The Whole 19 Yards with Chris Hardwick.

We watched the Spanish version Les Ultimos 20 Metros which we *think* was the first version to air years and years ago (here’s an episode with the same challenges in it) which is very similar, although has a sort of bank building quiz round in between rounds. The episode I saw originally had different challenges but felt a bit dull. This US one feels slicker, and runs about ten minutes quicker, but still lacks the colour and creativity of the UK one – which let’s not forget actually did OK, but was expensive for the numbers it was bringing in.

3 thoughts on “The Whole 19 Yanks

  1. Mark A

    An underrated gem IMO. The only thing that I thought worked against it was the endgame. One UK episode had the contestant get the first question wrong, and it was so obvious that the contestant got it wrong because the producers had to fill the time before then by interviewing the contestant’s family/friends.

    Otherwise, solid, if unspectacular Saturday night entertainment that probably deserved at least another series.

  2. Crimsonshade

    Watching this has reminded me just how excellent this show really was. I actually prefer the style of this pilot (and have been humming its theme tune since watching this!), but I do agree that there seemed to be a lack of overall ambition compared to our UK attempt:

    – The first round was understandably kept simple to so as not to run overlong (we’re 13 minutes into a 37-minute runtime by the time it ends, though that does include title sequence and contestant introductions); but I got bored of watching people climbing up a slippy slide four times.
    – The second round, Parachute in a Hurricane, was simply a visual delight and probably the best round – genuine challenge there, with leads slipping constantly due to the pushback force.
    – The third round was creative but needed variance, since it was the same obstacle four times.
    – Finally, the head-to-head was fiendish; and I support CBS’ decision to make that also the endgame with the winner automatically earning the jackpot prize.

  3. Brekkie

    Certainly a show that deserved another run, joining Duel on the one series wonder list.


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