The gameshow gameshow: Blankety Blank v Celebrity SquaresBecca Day-Preston , 19th November 2013, 12:41
As ever, we spent a bit of time this week getting Ally and Betty to argue over two gameshows. This week, they got a bit star-struck, and decided to battle it out over celebrity gameshow formats, namely those in which the celebs help (or hinder) the contestants’ attempts at winning the jackpot. It also helps that they’re both classic formats, and that Celebrity Squares is currently being revived for ITV!
I’m pulling for Blankety Blank, because I’m a sucker for a tacky, kitsch show, and Blankety Blank really was one of the tackiest, kitschest gameshows of all! From the celebrity guests to the presenters (especially Lily Savage, who presented when I was a kid) to the infamous chequebook and pen booby prize, it embodied a kind of old fashioned sense of fun that, done well, can really make a gameshow great.
I’m not saying every gameshow needs an outspoken and outrageous host, or a raft of catchphrases, or a bucketful of silliness- The Cube would be a disaster if you added those elements, for example!
I think that the question format (fill in the blank, essentially) lends itself better to comedy than Celebrity Squares’ general knowledge questions. Some gameshows, I’m all about tension and trivia, but sometimes I’m all about the LOLs: Blankety Blank was one of those times, and I’d love it to be revived like Celebrity Squares!
Some people might think if you love Celebrity Squares, you loved Blankety Blank, but that’s totally not the case. It’s weird: everything you love about Blankety Blank was something I found annoying! For starters, I could never stand Lily Savage or Terry Wogan’s presenting, and I always felt like the Blankety Blank celebrity guests were just showboating for attention. In the Bob Monkhouse Celebrity Squares, this wasn’t the case- it was more about the gameplay. I hope that’s the case in the revived version.
What we’re already hearing about the new Celebrity Squares is quite promising, and I’m genuinely excited to see it back on my telly. Maybe I’m being unfair, but if Blankety Blank was announced for revival, I’d have a right moan about it!
What do I love about Celebrity Squares? It’s not Blankety BlanK! I love that it avoided every campy, kitschy pitfall that made Blankety Blank so annoying.
Another great debate, we’re sure you’ll agree! Who knows what next week’s argument will bring!