Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Button It...!

In the TV Industry (and any Industry, in that case), when times are tough, the TV Executives prefer to go with what we refer to as a ‘safe pair of hands’. Example, I hear you ask? Well, where to start?!! Simon Cowell seems to resemble the Emperor out of Star Wars, what with his Empire of Talent Shows, and subsequent domination of ITV, whilst Graham Norton and Fiona Bruce must surely have brutally murdered everyone working for the BBC, and divided up the TV Schedule between them. Joking aside, it doesn’t surprise when Terrestrial Channels wheel out a new Show with no originality and Presenters who seem to always be a permanent fixture of your Telly Screens, even when you’re Telly is switched off. Now that’s scary when that happens.

Case in point: Ant & Dec’s Push the Button (ITV1), the latest step in the British Public’s two favourite Geordies attempt at world domination (next step: the assassination of all the world’s leaders during an Episode of Saturday Night Takeaway. Stay tuned). Each Week, two Families compete against one another in a series of Games which involve pushing a big button. That’s right, you heard, all they have to do is push a button. Winning a Game allows the Player to press the big button and lower the amount of Cash the opposite Team could possibly walk away with. Simple really. Perhaps too simple.

There’s no denying that the Show is both lively, and in places, a bit of a laugh. The Games contestants must participate succeed in raising a smile, and Ant & Dec are their usual huggable, entertaining selves. However, the whole thing stinks of so-so samey-ness. There’s hardly an original idea here, and the whole thing comes across as a hybrid of both Family Fortunes and The Generation Game, two Game Shows that were, and still are, absolute genius. The concept of Family’s competing for cash is a stable mate of both Shows, whilst the actual Rounds feel like a big glossy CGI remake of something we’ve seen done before and has been produced so much better in the past as well.

Push the Button reeks of desperation, and the inclusion of Ant & Dec as hosts doesn’t make it appear any more confident. Great as they are, we’ve seen them on our Telly Boxes for years, and that sense of cosy familiarity has twisted and mutated into something boring and perhaps a little too familiar. Why not get some fresh, new talent to host these brand new shows, instead of repeatedly hugging the safety blanket like some kind of infant?!

You want new, fresh ideas ITV? Well, how about this? A Game Show in the style of the Saw Movie Franchise, in which contestants (especially very annoying ones) are put in near inescapable death traps, and must struggle free in a set time limit, to win big cash prizes, like a Car, or free of charge therapy?! No one dies, obviously, that would be cruel, and after the fifteenth contestant gets splattered, a bit boring. But still, imagine the possibilities. Celebrity Editions, Christmas Specials...god damn it, commission this now!!!

So, Push the Button? Fun Saturday Night Entertainment? Yes! Boring, samey old drivel with a lack of originality? Indeed!!! Not one to avoid, but to be honest, it’s not something you’ll be tuning in for every week. Hell, watch just one episode and you’ll never have to watch it again.

However, tune in for the first edition of Kill Me Now, the hit game show presented by loveable host Matthew Dennis and the gorgeous Fearne Cotton, where 10 Contestants must race against the clock to save their own miserable lives, and escape a grisly death...for big cash prizes!!! Coming to ITV1 this Autumn...hint-hint?!

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