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September 15th, 2008

Hole in the Wall

When I saw the ads for FOX’s remake of Hole in The Wall, I groaned. I mean, seriously, another remake of a wacky Japanese game show? When will America’s Game Show Creators come up with an idea that doesn’t a.) rip-off Japan or b.) rely on catchphrases and overdone stage design?

That said, I sat down and watched a couple of episodes when it debuted last week. While, yes, it’s stupid and has almost zero chances of making it beyond mid-season (let alone longer), I will instead focus on the positive things about Hole in the Wall.

First, a quick description of the show. Two teams wearing uncomfortably awkward silver suits go through four rounds of, well, fitting themselves through holes in a wall to gain points. In round one, one player attempts to fit through the wall. In round two, two people do it. In round three, three people do it and everyone must make it through to get a point. In the fourth round, the entire team of three tries again, but this time each player that makes it through earns points. The winning team gets $25,000…

Yes… $25,000. It takes lot of difficult question answering on Jeopardy to get to that point. Here, you just have to fit through a hole in the wall a few times.

… and competes in the bonus round for $100,000 (!!!). In the bonus round, one blindfolded player attempts to fit the hole while his teammates describe the shape and position he must contort himself into.

The best thing about this show is that you know what you’re getting. It’s right there in the title! There aren’t quiz questions, there’s not an hour of build-up, it’s just people going through walls. Period. And the pace of the show is snappy, with even the (very) annoying interview segments moving quickly.

And while the idea gets tired pretty quickly, the 12-year-old boy in all of us will still laugh at a blindfolded person getting knocked over by a moving wall. Every time.

The catchphase, “It’s time… to face… THE HOLE” (coincidentally, the exact phrase people use when they’re about to start a conversation with me) is repeated nearly 873 times in each episode, but I actually kind of dig the countdown sequence.

Go watch some and see what you think.

Posted in Just Plain Odd, Television, Movies, and Music

Dave Walls September 18, 2008, 5:38 pm

It was no where near as bad as I thought it was going to be. Considering the fact that the Japanese version is only a small segment of a much larger show (the “Hole in the Wall” part only last about 10 minutes in Japan!), I had my doubts about carrying a full 30 minutes.

The positives: I enjoy the hosts. The walls are creative, and I still giggle at the line “It’s TIME..to face the HOLE”. Create your own punchline there.

The negatives: It’s another show ruined by poor contestant casting. Gee, did we really need to have Rerun’s 300+lb daughter on TV? We could rename the show “Aren’t fat people funny?”, and you’ve sum up at least two of the episodes I’ve seen.

Also, could I just have ONE episode of a modern game show without contestants who don’t yell/scream/go nuts/show off? Doing that on “The Price is Right” is ok…WHEN YOU WIN SOMETHING.

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