“Beat The Chasers” Review

Set Design- 10
Gameplay- 9
Show Flow- 10
Potential Viewer Ratings- 10
Play-Along Factor- 10
Host- 10
Overall Rating- 9.8

Premise: Each game is divided into two rounds: the Cashbuilder and the Quickfire rounds. In the Cashbuilder, the contestant answers a series of £1,000 questions until an incorrect answer is given. If any contestant answers the first question incorrectly, they are immediately eliminated from the game. After the Cashbuilder, the contestant is given four offers for the Quickfire round which all include the number of Chasers they must compete against, the cash prize at stake and a proposed base time set for the Chasers.

In the Quickfire round, the contestant is given a base time of 60 seconds and must force the Chasers’ clock to tick down to zero by correctly answering questions to stop their clock and start the Chasers’ clock. If the Chasers run out of time first, the contestant wins the money offered. However, if the contestant runs out of time first, they win nothing.

Review: Super Jeopardy!, Revenge Of The Egghead and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Hot Seat – What do these three quiz series have in common? All three of these programs are spinoffs of their respective origin shows Jeopardy!, BBC Two’s Eggheads and Nine’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. The Chase is the latest game show to receive another well-deserved primetime spinoff, in addition to The Celebrity Chase and The Family Chase, with Beat The Chasers and it is absolutely brilliant.

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Very similar to the Jeopardy! GOAT tournament with Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer, Beat The Chasers is a wonderful treat for any game show fan who has ever hypothetically imagined how it would look if all five of some of the finest quizzers in the world participated simultaneously on The Chase. It is absolutely awesome to finally have the chance to see Mark Labbett, Shaun Wallace, Anne Hegerty, Paul Sinha and Jenny Ryan join forces to become an all-star trivia team to square off against any civilian contestant who is bold enough to take on the challenge for massive sums of money in intense general knowledge speed rounds. Watching contestants emerge from the studio audience onto the stage is like watching common contenders confronting gladiators in the Roman Coliseum.

Although its format is altered, Beat The Chasers successfully captures the same spirit as its parent show The Chase by featuring the same caliber of delightfully interesting and knowledgeable contestants coming from all walks of life, the same tempting and tantalizing type of offers proposed by the Chasers to lure contestants to their potential downfall and the same level of competitiveness between the civilians and the Chasers. One of the more surprising elements within the show is hot shockingly cutthroat it is with its “one strike; you’re out” rule upon answering the first question incorrectly. Fortunately, it’s a rare occurrence; but, it’s still rough to watch contestants walk off the stage trying their best not to hang their heads down too low in dismay, disbelief and disappointment whenever it happens.

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As far as the gameplay is concerned, it took me an episode to get accustomed to the new structure used for this primetime program. The main issue I originally had was pertaining to the new Cashbuilder round and how it was set up to last for an undetermined amount of time and considerably slow the pace of the show. However, I grew more comfortable with the changed format the moment I noticed how the difficulty of the questions are purposely increased to prevent the round from lasting for more than five questions. Although, it would have been cooler to see the Chasers more involved with this Cashbuilder by making the contestant and Chasers simultaneously answer a set of five questions with each one worth £1,000 each per correct answer plus a £500 bonus for every Chaser answered incorrectly – but I digress.

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This Cashbuilder works well with the format mainly because it adds levity and humorous banter and dialogue to this high-stakes and stressful primetime game show between Bradley Walsh, the contestant and the Chasers. Walsh’s interactions with each unique contestant are just as entertaining and amusing to watch as Groucho Marx’s or Michael Barrymore’s memorable interviews on their respective game shows You Bet Your Life and Strike It Lucky. One of the biggest treats of Beat The Chasers is seeing how each of The Chasers’ personalities collide and interact with one another in a group dynamic and how well they excellently work in tandem in each nail-biting Quickfire round while not stepping on each other’s toes to prevent the opposition from upstaging them a majority of a time.

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Overall, Beat The Chasers is a fantastic primetime game show event and kudos to ITV for finding yet another way to capitalize on the immense success of The Chase. From the watching the tension build as the dueling clocks countdown in Quickfire rounds worth tens of thousands of pounds to Bradley Walsh casually and comically chatting with the contestants to the rare utilization of adding suspense to each subsequent show by carrying over contestants into the next episode, there are so many reasons to watch Beat The Chasers.

This is a game show truly worth watching and I’m sad that its first series was only five episodes long. Throughout this first series of shows, we have seen some very amusing moments between the show’s cast and contestants, close and competitive games, disappointing last-second losses and exhilarating wins including this stunning £100,000 win in the video below against the full house of Chasers to close the series. We will see a second series of this ITV spinoff show in the near future and it won’t be long until we see celebrities compete for charity in this new format.

Catch up on the entire first series of Beat The Chasers on ITV.com!

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