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If you enjoy being repeatedly hit around the head with a frying pan, you will no doubt be delighted to hear that the BBC has purchased another series of Total Wipeout. If you haven't seen it yet, here's what happens: Lots of people fall into the water in Argentina.
Some of the people fall into the water right away. Some of them survive for a couple of seconds, then fall into the water. After each round a female presenter interviews all the people who have fallen into the water, and asks them how it felt to fall into the water.
"I see you fell into the water," she says, "How was it for you?" The contestants who fall into the water come from all walks of life. Most of them are reasonably fit, but quite a lot of them are fat and unhealthy, creating what TV producers like to call "jeopardy." The show is funny because the contestants fall into the water not once, but over and over again. Over and over again. And, of course, it's even more hilarious when the fat ones fall into the water, because the splash is bigger and their recovery time is slower.
Players are protected from serious head or spinal trauma by protective clothing, but here's the really clever bit we all know, deep down, that it's only a matter of time before someone sustains a life-threatening injury. Throughout all of this excitement, a tiny man with huge eyes pretends to be in Argentina and reminds us how amusing it all is, via the medium of smug, throwaway one-liners.
There is something deeply annoying about Total Wipeout. If, like "It's a Knockout" it all took place in a British seaside town, and the presenter got thrown in the water himself from time to time, it would all feel less detached. Less clinical. But the bloke from Top Gear is so half-heartedly bolted onto the show that the whole thing comes off feeling cheap and nasty, particularly as the BBC have the nerve to put it on the telly in Primetime.
If it is absolutely necessary to show people repeatedly falling into the water on a Saturday night (and it looks like it is) then at least get someone witty to present it. Week after week ITV's "You've Been Framed" a programme which should be awful - is rendered sublimely funny by the writing and presenting skills of Harry Hill.
I do not enjoy being repeatedly hit around the head with a frying pan, and subsequently I am not a fan of Total Wipeout. If I want to watch fat people struggling to swim I can visit Florida.
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