Show Discussion: Apocalypse Wow

By | July 16, 2021

Fridays, 10pm,

Part celebrity physical gameshow, part Frankie Goes to Hollywood video, Apocalypse Wow sees a clan of celebs visit secret underground club The Torture Dome run by The Mistress (Hey Tracey‘s Donna Preston) to take on a bunch of extremely odd “superhuman bosses” to win money for charity. At the end of each episode the weakest celeb is dispatched and a new one joins next week. AJ Odudu hosts.

Clearly the boss that attracted the most attention when the show was announced was Hot Slippy Jesus, described as “the UK’s number one gravy-wrestler” which should give you some idea, if you haven’t figured it out already, of the sort of tone the show’s going for.

I’m well up for this if the challenges are good, it’s giving me quite strong Il Grande Giochi Dell’Oca vibes but with more leather, but it remains to be seen if it’s going to be too weird for for the Love Island audience it’ll hope to inherit.

Let us know what you think in the comments!

18 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Apocalypse Wow

  1. Joey Clarke

    I can sense that there will be injuries just like the Jump Which was cancelled due to how dangerous it had become.

    1. Des Elmes

      With respect, I like to think that The Jump was cancelled simply because it had run its course (UKGS reckons the same, too).

      Indeed, there was the best part of two years between the last episode and C4 confirming the show’s cancellation.

  2. Brig Bother Post author

    This was entertaining enough, but having been led to believe this would be utterly outrageous, The Word style, the games were basically It’s a Knockout with a referee in a gimp mask and a large woman frequently shouting “minge” and “don’t be shit” in a fairly obvious nod to Rupaul. In terms of “did you see THAT?” watercooler chat I don’t think there’s going to be very much. I don’t think it’s going to catch the Love Island crowd, might as well be messier – right now I’m not entirely certain who this is *for*.

    That being said, the games ranged from a bit dull (candle whipping) to OK (Can you five do a task in the same time it takes one expert to do five times the amount?) in the main and Hot Slippy Jesus’ lube wrestling didn’t disappoint and was certainly the highlight. Nicking the offers from The Chase worked fairly well. SwingshotThe Human Pinata as an endgame feels like it’s *almost* there, but not quite.

    I am intrigued to see where it goes and hopefully they’ve got enough challenges to keep it interesting. I will keep watching but I’m not sure I see it as a long term bet.

    1. Andrew, the Yank

      As someone unfamiliar with The Word, what was outrageous about it?

      1. Chris M Dickson

        An infamous section called “The Hopefuls” in which civilians performed nominally embarrassing or distasteful stunts in order to get on TV, as listed here. The rest was just a magazine show focusing on live music and interviews, with its local Manchester area overrepresented. There was more frank discussion of sex and drugs than had been customary. It was assumed that a large part of the audience would not be sober.

        1. Chris M. Dickson

          I may have undersold it a tad – the BFI discuss it and its outrage in more detail. That said, not all may be as it seems… (splitting to counter the spam trap)

          1. Chris M. Dickson

            Frantic Planet revisits another episode, but the real interest comes in the top comment to this, where one of the contestants on “Win or Weep” (three contestants gamble possessions, two lose theirs) turns out to be generating source material for “Before They Were Very Very Famous”. So who’s the real hopeful, hmm? Hard to know how many of the outrageous stunts were legit after all. Hopefully none!

            (The show had a banging theme tune, TBF.)

          2. Chris M Dickson

            I’ll say only one more thing about Win or Weep: it was hosted by one Alan Connor. While we’re talking about what people went on to do, whatever happened to him? Well, lots of things, as he’s quite a prolific comedy writer. He also took over directly from one D. J. Bodycombe Esq. of this parish as Question Editor on Only Connect for four series, so from the ridiculous to the sublime, or something.

            I don’t know if Victoria ever actually used this intro, but perhaps she should have done: “We’ve had a new Question Editor, a Mr. Connor, for the last couple of series. His previous work has seen him responsible for crushing people’s dreams, reducing plucky contestants to tears, disbelief and ridicule, in a fashion so outrageous it has drawn condemnation from the tabloids. He also hosted Win or Weep on The Word as well”.

          3. Steve Williams

            The other memorable thing about Alan Connor’s spell on The Word is that I remember reading they were about to do a live OB from America when someone appeared with a gun and started pointing it at the crew, so it had to be very swiftly abandoned.

            The Word must be one of the most self-mythologised programmes on TV, probably because for loads of members of the production team it was their first job on TV and they’ve all gone on to be hugely successful. A year or two ago Broadcast did a huge six-page feature about it, with interviews with lots of those involved, who all talked about how important it was. Although that was rather at odds with some of the items they dicussed, with Andrew Newman saying how his first job was to find dog dirt to be used in The Hopefuls, and how they all spent ages trying to decide which was the most perfect piece of dog dirt to use. A golden age.

  3. Brig Bother Post author

    Well this started at 320k and by the end it was 90k, avg 200k. Love Island had 1.5m. So there’s that.

    1. David

      Ouch- I didn’t think it was that bad; there’s parts of it that sorta work. Though they did steal…er, borrow a lot of props from various shows from storage (TCM, Gladiators, Hole In The Wall, etc..)

    2. Brig Bother Post author

      Turns out worse than it looks, it consolidated to 190k (it did 177k on the night).

      They keep commissioning Iain Stirling’s Celebability though, and that pulled in a whopping 255k from a 3.16m lead-in, so there’s that.

      Neither show turns up in the overall commercial TV 18-34 (or even 18-24) top 50s, although Celebability just makes the Top 50 Women’s 18-34.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        In case you were wondering, 179k all-in for ep 2.

        Celebability got 398k, if you want post Love Island entertainment shows to compare to, but as I’ve only been looking the last few weeks I don’t know if last week’s was a bit low or this week’s a bit high, or what the average is.

        1. Weaver

          Celebability usually rates somewhere between 250k and 350k.

          Friday at 10pm – whether it’s Family Guy repeats or a classic film – seems to average a bit over 200k.

          On raw numbers, I’d put Apocalypse Wow as “slightly disappointing”, but no worse.

  4. Tom F

    I think this will get less love than it deserves, it’s superficially weird enough to put people off, but inside actually quite a consistent and fun set of games. I like it because it (mostly) avoids the Ayoade-Maze trap of being all “lol look at what’s going on on this television programme” and actually makes an effort to be fun. Lots of stolen things, but stolen effectively: the The Chase offers are a better way of padding out the runtime than getting to know the contestants personalities, and Donna’s catchphrase is a laugh. If I were a Z-list celeb I’d want to go on it.

  5. Cliff

    Apocalypse Wow would be a lot better if you could actually see what was going on in the group games. There’s too much going on, and the lighting doesn’t help, but it could work with better camerawork and editing.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Yes, fair. Week two was probably a bit more like it I think, more of the human freakshow element I think I was expecting.

      Also I know it was just lube, but pretending to chuck sweat around did actually make me retch a little bit.


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