British Game Show Reviews: “Red Or Black” Review

Gameplay- 3
Show Flow- 4
Potential Viewer Ratings- 5
Play-Along Factor- 10
Hosts- 8
Set Design – 10
Overall Rating- 6.7

Premise- The game begins with over 1,000 contestants vying for the £1,000,000 grand prize. A total of nine qualifying rounds are played with each contestant making a choice between choosing the winning color in each round to be either red or black. The contestants who choose the wrong color will be eliminated, while the other contestants advance to the other rounds. The last contestant standing will have a chance to win £1,000,000 in the final round. In the tenth and final round, the contestant will be shown a giant roulette wheel with 18 red spaces and 18 black spaces and have to decide whether the ball will land on a red space or a black space. If the contestant chooses the right color, they will win £1,000,000; otherwise, they leave with nothing.

And now, for the review…

A few shows came to mind the moment I saw the premiere episode of Red or Black. This show reminds me of Deal or No Deal in a sense that there is more noise, suspense, energy, and excitement exhibited throughout the entire show, but not a whole lot of gameplay going on. This show also reminds me of the ridiculousness that was U.K.’s Heads or Tails, in terms of the 50:50 odds of winning, and the final Roulette Wheel round reminded me of an incredibly easier version of The Big Wheel round on The Big Spin.


Like Deal or No Deal, Red or Black is just a game of dumb luck as the show has already given away the £1,000,000 prize in the series first two episodes. Even though it is cool to watch everyday people who are not annoyingly overexcited or terribly emotional, I think there are too many million-pound winners already for a terribly simple game such as this one. In my opinion, it’s more exciting to see contestants win a million pounds by completing a more difficult task. I also think the bonus round should contain five final rounds of Red or Black on the Roulette Wheel, with each correct guess winning the contestant a prize or cash, and five out of five correct guesses wins the contestant the  £1,000,000 prize. I also don’t like how the show used its time. I think it is unnecessary for Red or Black to air two-thirds of the show at 8:00pm and to air the final third of the show at 9:20pm on the same night. The producers could have found a way to shorten the show to an hour-long show by eliminating some of the rounds and some of the unnecessary “time-fillers” which include the brief bios of each of the final eight contestants and the musical guest performance.  I have also noticed that the contestants give way too much thought into choosing either red or black and some are even too emotional for simple show such as Red or Black.

Even though there is a lot that I don’t like about the show, there are a few things that I like about Red or Black. Ant and Dec are great hosts, like always. I have always liked their hosting styles ever since I have seen them host the U.K. version of Gameshow Marathon and even the short-lived ABC game show Wanna Bet? I also found the Duel round and some of the stunt rounds interesting to watch, such as Motorcycle Limbo and Catching Arrows. Even though the game has simple rules and gameplay, Red or Black is still challenging because the contestant has to make every decision correctly, which is a challenge in itself. (Try to play ten rounds of “Heads or Tails” and guess each one right. Not so easy, is it?)

Overall, when you break the game down its very essence, it is essentially a game of “Heads or Tails”, “Left or Right”, “Door #1 or Door #2”, etc. I can see Red or Black being the next “Deal or No Deal sensation” if the U.S. were to create a version of their own. In fact, I have read some comments on BuzzerBlog’s article concerning Red or Black saying that either ABC or FOX should pick up the series. I would not be too surprised if that were to happen. If you’re feeling lucky, then Red or Black is the show for you.

**All screenshots have been taken from the actual episodes of Red or Black. No ownership is implied.**
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