Quarantine Catch-Up: “Holey Moley″ Rapid Review

Like Terminator 2: Judgement Day and The Dark Knight, Holey Moley II is a sequel worth watching.

Holey Moley: No Bogeys Here; It’s A Hole-In-One

Executive produced by three-time NBA champion and avid golfer Stephen Curry, Holey Moley is a fantastic combination of competitive mini-golfing and hilarious elements from the former ABC game show Wipeout including the comically painful obstacles purposefully designed to send most of the contenders into massive water hazards and the paired presence of play-by-play and color commentators keeping the audience abreast of what’s happening in the game.

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Sporting gold blazers with the retro ABC Sports logo emblazoned on the jackets, former ESPN Monday Night Football commentator Joe Tessitore and comedian and actor Rob Riggle serve as a pretty good announcing duo for this series with the dulcet tones of Tessitore excellently calling the action while acting as the straight man to Riggle’s always amusing antics. Viewers are also treated to frequent actual and animated appearances by Curry’s mid-game segments and showing off his great golfing prowess against an antagonistic golfing robot voiced by Riggle and other special celebrity A-List guest stars you may have seen throughout the first season.

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The one casting improvement that needs to be made is giving sideline reporter Jeannie Mai more airtime to interview more contestants instead of limiting her to simply explaining how to navigate a couple of the course holes and making her role on the show nearly forgettable. Given her continued experience as a lively television personality on shows including the Emmy Award-winning syndicated talk show The Real, there is absolutely no reason why Mai shouldn’t be receiving more camera time.

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Moving onto the gameplay, I absolutely love how the rounds are unconventionally structured in a three-round bracket format which gives viewers a proper glimpse of all 12 contestants’ vivacious and unique personalities and playing styles and full view of how each of the 10 challenging and creatively designed holes are played. Each of the matchups are perfectly timed, designed and segmented to hold the audience’s attention throughout each hourlong episode. The modified eight-player format introduced in the second season also works just as well for this series.

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I cannot overstate how astounding this course looks and how much I enjoy watching these legitimately skilled mini-golfers maneuver their way through their three-hole gauntlet en route to the coveted Holey Moley plaid jacket, the Golden Putter trophy and a $25,000 grand prize. Über kudos to the casting staff for properly and thoroughly vetting these contestants. Even though it’s a silly game, no one likes to watch bad gameplay. My personal favorite hole is “The Distractor” because of its deceptively difficult medium range hole-in-one putting caveat and I enjoy the special surprises the show has in store for the contestants to throw them off their game, such as a drill sergeant berating them or Kenny G serenading them with his sultry and soothing sounds. I wouldn’t be surprised if Curry decided to open a Holey Moley course to the public in the future. It would be an incredible opportunity for me – or any mini-golf enthusiast – to take a shot (all pun intended) at the magnanimously magnificent course and all of its intrigue, twists and turns.

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The second season shows even more of what you’ve seen from the previous season including a full 18-hole course, modified classic holes like “Mt. Holey Moley” transforming into the Plinko-inspired “Polcano” and the windmill-whirling “Dutch Courage” turning into “Double Dutch Courage”, and new holes to ramp up the intensity of the extreme mini-golf course like the electrifying “Frankenputt” that shocks contestants with every missed putt and “Dragon’s Breath” that forces armored contestants to literally face fiery infernos. One of the cooler additions to the series’ sequel is the animated awards ceremony featuring a cartoon version of the night’s champion (accompanied with his or hers voice) receiving the Golden Putter and the plaif green winner’s jacket. Holey Moley and Holey Moley II: The Sequel are definitely worth the watch, especially with the latter season’s winner getting a crack at the $250,000 jackpot in the finale episode.

Rapid Review Score: 8.1/10

Prediction: Holey Moley will soon become a trilogy as soon as ABC gives the series another green light to produce a well-deserved trilogy.

Watch new episodes of Holey Moley: The Sequel Thursday nights at 9:00pm ET on ABC and catch up on the series on ABC.com!

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