Game before laugh

Panel games in this country are generally slanted more towards the game than the panel. Giving funny answers to questions isn’t exactly frowned upon, but it’s not the point of the show either – the point is the game.

Shaun Micallef’s involvement in Talkin’ ’bout Your Generation is along similar lines. He’s brought a lot to the show – making it funny and strange enough to delight his base of hardcore comedy fans, whilst not alienating the mainstream, all-ages audience. Ultimately TBYG is just a slightly wacky game show – Celebrity Sale of the Century meets It’s A Knockout – that’s been topped with a little Micallef sauce. You could probably get someone bland in to host it straight and it would still rate just as well.

The big push for the new series of TBYG has been all about the more spectacular End Games, with last night’s show concluding with a race through a maze. It was kinda fun – kids in particular probably loved it – but it was pretty laugh free. At least in It’s A Knockout you were guaranteed a pratfall or two. The punchline to this was that Josh Thomas and Ricki-Lee Coulter were too thick to get through the maze properly. And after two series of this show we probably could have guessed that.

It’s kinda like when Thank God You’re Here got a bigger budget and started putting contestants in helicopters. It’s not betraying the show’s original conceit (because presumably they’d have done this from the start if they’d had the cash) and it’s not making the show better or worse comedically, it’s just being honest about what it really is – light entertainment.

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