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You Won’t Believe This Review – Ellie Taylor’s New Game Show Is Like Would I Lie To You… But Tedious | Television

Oould I Lie to You on BBC One – a great show! EVERYBODY LOVE IT: The concept of outrageous sons who may or may not be true allows celebrities to post giveaways for comedic timing and off-the-cuff talk we didn’t know they had. It’s a hit, which means you have to imitate it. Would this, Channel 4 wonders, perhaps work not as a board game but as a game show, without the famous people and with members of the public lying to win a cash prize instead? And we have the answer, because Channel 4 went ahead and did this program and called it You Won’t Believe This: no.

Punters arrive in groups of four, each of whom is required to tell a personal story on a particular theme, the first being: “I opted for civilization”. Someone explains how they once joined a cult, then rival participants recount the time they took a year-long vow of silence in a Spanish monastery, the time they lived for a week as a goat in the Alps and when they left. home to reside in an underground bunker due to their fear of nuclear Armageddon. Only one of these people is telling the truth. If a fifth contestant, who hears all the stories, can then identify which one is not a lie, they win £5,000. Choose a liar and the liar wins the five thousand dollars.

The guesser has help. You Won’t Believe This joins Hunted (Channel 4) and The Heist (Sky) in a new sub-genre of game shows where contestants must outsmart the retired stalwarts of Britain’s elite law enforcement: highly professional trained who used to ensnare the country’s sneakiest criminals, and who are now forging careers as fake showbiz sleuths. Excitingly introduced as “the interrogators” and made more mystical by the show’s industrial-chic scenography – walls of glass, bare bricks and unoccupied cavernous spaces, like a Berlin nightclub on a quiet Monday – these are the old brass sternly dressed to whom the storytellers must relay their experiences, real or fictional, answering questions as they go and trying, if they lie, not to be discovered.

A formidable test? Not really, since experts have to stay on a leash. If they were actually doing what they plausibly could, and exposing a liar by mercilessly zooming in on discrepancies in their accounts, it would spoil the moment when the guesser – and those playing the game at home – have to decide who doesn’t. do not lie. . What is confusingly described in the show’s press notes as “the toasting of their lives” in a “pressure cooker environment” is more of a rapid reheating in a low-temperature oven, causing only small hesitations and tells geeks of armchair body language to nibble on. In a few cases, a nonsensical claim or a glaring missing detail that the liar isn’t quick enough to cover up with clever improvisation makes it obvious that he’s not the only one, but most of the time it’s really hard to tell. the knowledge.

You what? Interrogators George Rhoden and Danni Brooke.
You what? Interrogators George Rhoden and Danni Brooke. Photo: channel 4

The problem is that it’s also pretty hard to care about. Nobody spins the kind of elaborate yarn that, in retrospect, would be a jaw-dropping display of chutzpah once it’s revealed to be a total wedge — meaning the kind of thing that that I would I Lie to You? such a lark. Liars are put off by the prize money: the way to win is to keep your head down, say nothing stupid, and sound more plausible than the other liars. People who tell the truth, meanwhile, also cannot be allowed to have anecdotes with too many fascinating details, lest they be too convincing and give away the game. If you tried to put the one of those stories in the Guardian Experience column, it should be resized to a quarter page.

Since there isn’t much going on in the interrogation room, much relies on the presenter, Ellie Taylor, and she’s perfect for it: on the other side of a soundproof window, listening alongside the candidate who has to discerning which of the four interviewees is telling the truth, Taylor is their mischievous teammate, sniffing dubious claims with them and always ready to add a little sauce. She immediately strikes up a good partnership with the first riddle, Karen, 60, from Kent, who is invaluable with her skeptical arm, shouting “Shut up!” and incredulous laughter.

Format tweaks that could make You Won’t Believe This less flat include adding a studio audience, removing disappointing questioners altogether, and letting Taylor and the Guesser do it themselves. At the moment, they can ask questions through the hidden headphones worn by the cops, but they almost never do because – like everything else in this weird mash-up of various other better formats – it’s just a little awkward.


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