The original British version of the quiz show that's become a worldwide hit. Host Chris Tarrant asks hopeful contestants a series of questions, each more difficult than the last. As the ... See full summary »
In theory a good idea but takes itself too seriously and is too keen to be wholesome and enriching when all I wanted was entertainment, the UK version is much better
Seven male geeks pair up with seven female beauties in a luxury mansion in Los Angeles. The objective? The geeks must teach their partners geeky things whilst the models must teach the geeks how to be a bit cooler and socially aware. Will the geeks act typically shy and socially inadequate around their heavily bosomed partners? How will the models react to differential equations? In each episode, the partners are put to the test to see how much they've taken on board, with the worst performing couple booted off, and the ultimate winners splitting $250,000.
Having first watched the UK version of this show I decided to give the US version a try. I enjoyed the UK version despite myself because everyone seemed to be into it, the presentation was relaxed and the humour was gentle and tongue-in-cheek. My first impression watching the original US version was how similar the UK one was to it the music, the graphics, even how the people stand on the stairs all looked the same. However the one main way that the US version is different is how seriously it takes itself it is a "proper" game show with a host while also presenting it straight down the line. So yes there is humour to watching the geeks be geeks and the beauties be a bit dippy but there is nothing on the same level as Peep Show's David Mitchell's gently sarcastic narration. Certainly Brian Mcfayden (no, thankfully not that one) is no comparison and he is a very bland host taking it all too seriously and having nothing about him that is interesting or original.
The geeks are a solid mix of normal people who are a bit smart, dorky people as well as at least one who is basically Woody Allen exposed to radiation to the point where he has become an Uber-geek. The beauties are a fairly bland collection of white women with just one ethnic minority thrown in. In fairness this was the same with the UK show but the British ones had different personalities and backgrounds making most of them actually quite interesting. Sadly in the US they are pretty much all the same and it does take something away from proceedings. The show allows them to be themselves and draws comedy from that but any potential for poking fun at them is lost under the overwhelming gushing about how we're all the same underneath, not judging others etc etc. True the UK one had similar bits but it was not as heavy handed and emotional as it was here.
The tasks are still entertaining enough but the people not being as interesting meant that I didn't really care who was evicted or not. Overall then this is a so-so game show that pales in comparison to the much better UK version. Maybe if I'd seen the US one first I would have liked it more but as it is I just couldn't help but find the UK version funnier, lighter, less serious, not taking itself too seriously and all in all more entertaining. The idea is still solid enough in theory to produce an OK show but if you want to see it in a different light then check out the UK version it does the same things well but dodges a lot of the "American" weaknesses.
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