The reply, to paraphrase Roy Walker, is it’s good (excellent, truly) however it’s not fairly proper. A part of the issue is that – like the unique Dutch model of the present – US producers didn’t appear to belief that members of the general public can be entertaining sufficient, so amongst a number of ‘extraordinary’ gamers are a number of Actuality TV veterans, together with stars of The Bachelor, Actual Housewives and Huge Brother.
These are people who find themselves nicely versed in meaningless, sassy actuality TV sound bites, so the primary episodes are filled with confessional cliches like ‘I used to be born for this’, ‘belief nobody’ and ‘let the video games start’. The UK present, then again, gave us gems like adorably naive Aaron admitting ‘I’m really easy to learn, I’m a salesman’s dream’ and care residence receptionist and occasional actor Maddy popping out with strains like ‘Folks assume I say silly issues however I did get a B at AS Maths’.
To be honest to the US contestants, they have been additional out of their consolation zone, having additionally crossed the pond to movie the present at Andross Citadel. Amusingly, all of them seem to have had the same thought whereas packing for Scotland – we suggest enjoying a sport of ‘spot the tartan clothes’ whilst you watch, though don’t flip this right into a consuming sport except you need your abdomen pumped.
The challenges are virtually equivalent to the UK model, which makes the variations between the 2 reveals clear – whereas the UK solid was endearingly naff, the US solid veer between the annoyingly, earnestly gung-ho and blatantly enjoying to the digital camera, like when Kate (a famously catty solid member of superyacht actuality TV sequence Under Deck) intentionally throws away prize cash throughout the barrel-rolling trial.
All through the sport, the contestants are overseen by the present’s respective presenters, with combined outcomes. Within the UK, Claudia Winkleman takes to the position immediately, bringing a mischievous merriment which feels essential to the present’s success. Her spectacular wardrobe of assertion knits and lady-of-the-manor tweed could heighten the drama, however it’s positively boring compared to that of the US presenter, veteran Scottish actor Alan Cumming (The Good Spouse), who sports activities an more and more costumey, camp and admittedly fabulous vary of vibrant tartan fits.
Cumming’s beautiful attire makes up for an initially shaky efficiency – he appears out of his depth at first, fed an affordable, tacky script that’s beneath his skills, and for some motive appears to have been instructed to ham up his native Scottish accent a lot that he appears like Robin Williams in Mrs Doubtfire. He quickly warms up, although, leaning into his iconic theatrical playfulness with aplomb, giving Winkleman an actual run for her cash.