Win Lose or Draw Late
Back in the early nineties, Win Lose or Draw was the show to watch for the gameshow fan when he was off school. For a start, it's a simple, yet beautiful game (get things across to your teammates as fast as possible using the medium of art). The other big reason for watching is that is was funny as hell, with each of the hosts having something to offer (and although old people like Danny Baker, I've always thought the show was Shane Richie's finest hour and I had always been 'into' Bob Mills since he hosted Games World. But anyway.) in the way of mocking the celebrity contestants and general tomfoolery. There was also the neat dynamic of having the same celebrities on all week - it was always boys against girls - and so running gags could develop over the week.
But that all finished in 1998. For some reason, ITV1 have recommissioned it for a weekly late night slot with Liza Tarbuck as host. So, what's changed in six years?
Well thankfully, it's made by the same company (Scottish Media Group) and it hasn't really changed much. It's still set in a flat (albeit it's all painted red now and there's just one big 'window' at the back). It's still boys against girls (except the Member Of The Public has been replaced by regular team captains Sue Perkins and Ed Hall) and the rules are exactly the same as before (except now they aren't playing for cash the point values have been divided by ten. Oh, and whereas I'm sure you couldn't dash out how many words were in the thing until one had been called out, it seems like now you can).
So why "late" then? Well, not only have our celebs been drinking a bit beforehand (and whilst there!) but some of the things they are being asked to draw are mildly suggestive and with it being past the watershed, all subtlety is completely out of the window.
The first time I saw it I had been to the pub beforehand and a bus failed to get to town on time. This meant I missed the first ten minutes and caught Sue Perkins drawing Tony Hancock (fairly easy) and Ed Hall attempt to draw the phrase "Face like a smacked arse." Oh dear, I thought, they might as well have called it Celebrities Drawing Cocks (and in fairness, who wouldn't watch that eh?). This was followed by a fairly normal speed round.
Luckily, the show gets a repeat after midnight on Friday. Again post-pub (or cinema, if you must know) but late enough so I can catch it all. It's the same theme music! Good. But they've done away with the characatures that used to introduce the celebrities. Boo. Watching more, it would seem the clues are a mixture of fairly normal things and slightly rude things which I suppose is inevitable but a slight shame.
But is it funny?
And the answer is... it's not bad. I giggled quite a bit. However it all seems a bit fast - there doesn't seem to be much time for larking about between rounds and for this reason, Liza Tarbuck isn't really given much chance to shine. Similarly, I don't think she's condescending enough towards bad drawings (Paul Ross is given the phrase "avaliable for birthdays, weddings and barmitzvahs" and promptly starts drawing a funeral because whenever he uses the phrase he says "funerals" instead of "barmitzvahs". Now had Mills still been in charge I can well imagine he would get a lot of comedy mileage from it. Here it's left to captain Ed Hall to shout that "it isn't on the bloody card!") or at least doesn't draw out (ha!) the potential comedy from the situation. Am I romanticising the original here? I'd like to see some to find out I think.
So in summary then, what have we got? We have a show that isn't as good as the original but still mildly entertaining. Which is a shame and simultaneously a relief.
EDIT - Actually we've wildly overrated this, sorry. We *did* enjoy it when it first started but got bored by the end of the run.