Thank you for saving me, Ostriches...

I held high hopes for the reboot of It’s A Knockout. It was never going to be able to match the fond memories of the original 80’s version featuring Billy J Smith, Fiona Macdonald, and later, Ricky May. After the first ten minutes I was thinking this updated version was a massive mistake.

HG Nelson usually has such a good nose for television – it didn’t feel like it. His all-in, balls-and-all style missed the counterpoint of his usual screen partner in Rampaging Roy Slaven. Brad McEwan was too straight a straight man, though his role was to keep the show rolling. Then there was the continual double entendres, intentional or otherwise. It started with the “Knockerdome”, and and hit it’s pinnacle with Charli Robinson questioning one of the contestants about how she got “9 blowies in her basket”. Even in context it made me shudder.

Charli’s involvement seemed superfluous, given Brad & HG could have hosted the entire thing. I guess someone needed to be Johnny on the spot. Throwing to the first game we met some random Frenchman called “Olivier”. Why must my memories be so tramped on by a cheese-eating surrender-monkey?!

The cast and crew must have been very tired. Reportedly they filmed the entire series in one hit over 4 days straight, from 5pm to 5am (yes, all night). Fatigue will surely show in coming episodes (if only in the audience). Hopefully it will mean a massive incident that will ensure hilarity.

So, there I was, stewing on this abomination that was the new It’s A Knockout. Then I realised I was actually enjoying it. Not so much for the commentary (sorry Brad & HG), but more for the athletic feats and insanity on screen. My heart started to swell. It’s a Knockout was actually still fun.

Then came the final game of the night – and the Ostrich suits. GOLD. Everything we were looking for: stupid suits, crazy events, people inuring themselves while competing like their lives depended on it. Sucked me completely back in. Thank YOU, Tour de Knockout.

There was some other updates other than the hosts. Some nice new graphics, the theme song revamped in a way that it sounds completely like the original song. It’s bright, shiny, and likely to entrance any stoners that stumble across the program.

There’s no question It’s A Knockout has been made on the cheap. You can expect to see crowd shots recycled week-to-week (let alone within the episode like we saw tonight). The canned laughter is a bit much, but the series is in the can so no changing it now. Just keep up the stupid events with possible injuries and I’ll come back week after week. I just might listen to something else while I watch it.

It’s A Knockout – Sun 7:30pm, Ch10.