REVIEW: It was a game show that just didn’t catch on in its native America.
Contestants competed by trying to guess a series of sayings or names from animated puzzles. In an age dominated by trivia games such as Peril!, sale of the century and fandango, Slogan struggled to retain a loyal following and disappeared after just 65 episodes in 1986.
However, the format was a much bigger hit across the Atlantic, with ITV showing a version hosted by Northern Irish comedian Roy Walker and then Englishman Nick Weir, which ran from the start of 1986 to 2004. Resurrected, as all British game shows seem to be these days, in 2013 it has been running ever since with magician-turned-presenter Stephen Mulhern leading the proceedings.
Hoping maybe 8 out of 10 cats do a countdown-esque boost for its new Eden channel, Discovery is introducing the series to Kiwi viewers via a version featuring famous faces (well to UK viewers anyway).
The winning celebrity gets the chance to take on Super Catchphrase at the end of the show.
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Celebrity catchphrase (which debuts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 26) might offer better banter than the classic show and give contestants a chance to surprise the audience, or allow them to indulge in a bit of schadenfreude, but that doesn’t not really raise it’s a pretty depressing one-note format.
Sure, there are double, triple, and quick rounds, but it’s basically an hour of watching computer-animated gifs (each featuring the show’s mascot “Mr Chips”) and competitors who fidget and fail to solve them. Granted, it’s fun for the first few minutes, but by the time the 30th rolls around, you’ll find yourself desperate to return to the slightly less animated Danny Dyer on a rival channel.
Eden’s season kicks off with a special World Cup – from 2018. Former England footballer and New Order backing rapper John Barnes takes on Premier League player-turned-pundit Chris Kamara and long-time New Order host Helen Chamberlain. Soccer AM.
It quickly becomes clear that this is going to be a one-sided game, as the look of shock on everyone’s faces when Mulhern announces that football phrases will feature heavily translates to Chamberlain being pretty much the only one capable of solving. one of them.
Each time she gets a correct answer, another square of the bonus puzzle is revealed (this happens in each of the first three rounds). However, even after the top nine are exposed, none of the three can figure out the answer, leaving a frustrated Mulhern to announce that they must resort to a bonus question to dish out the extra money.
The clues range from the ridiculously easy to the insanely difficult, but while families in particular may relish the challenge of seeing who can get the answer first, some of the solutions are even dumber than the savage swipes of celebrities in the dark. “Mom, I hurt my thumb,” Kamara groaned, while studying a photo of a Mr. Chips wearing a bandage saying “#$%@” after hitting the appendix with a hammer.
Of course, it’s actually “The Mummy’s Curse.” If you liked it, then Celebrity catchphrase maybe just for you.
However, everyone else will likely be as frustrated as Barnes. As he growls, having failed to guess another clue, Mulhern reminds him, “those are just words John”.
“Yes, that’s what the phrases are,” retorts the former Watford and Liverpool winger.
It’s a slightly more bearable choice than some of the UK game shows out there (The Wheel with Michael McIntyre and Gordon Ramsay bank balanceI’m looking at you), but it doesn’t have the addictive quality of those early 90s shows like Sale, family quarrel and – dare I say it – perfect matchwhich helped Three build an audience when it was just a fledgling channel.
Celebrity catchphrase debuts on Eden on Saturday, March 26 at 7 p.m.