Dave’s latest original show is a panel game that on the surface has more questions than answers.
Presented by Josh Widdicombe, with James Acaster acting as judge, the show sees two teams of guests providing answers to ridiculous hypothetical scenarios, with Acaster giving out points depending on the quality of their response.
In this opening edition, Rob Beckett and Jessica Knappett took on Liza Tarbuck and Tom Allen, in a line-up that feels more like an edition of “Whose been on Taskmaster?” For those of you who are now pointing out that Allen has not been on Taskmaster, let’s just say I’m getting the feeling that he is going to appear on the next series given that he’s on this show.
The show is split into three rounds: the first sees the contests being either given their own hypothetical scenario or competing with an opposing team member on the same question to see who makes up the best answers. This led Tarbuck and Knappett trying to come up with the best cult, and Beckett having to plan how to get a lift from the member of the royal family. Round two asks the players how much money they would have to be paid in order to do an unpleasant activity, with the lowest bidder having to explain their method. This resulted in Allen having to explain why £600,000 would be all he would need to take one of his former teachers on two weeks holiday with him every year for the rest of his life. The final round sees the panel having to try and guess the responses to hypothetical questions given to a celebrity – this week being medium Derek Acorah.
It took a while for this show to start making an impression. At the beginning you are worried about seeing the same typical line-up of comics that you have seen on so many other panel shows. Of course, one of the reasons is that they are good at what they do, and once they get into the swing of things, the laughs build up.
This is mainly due to the ridiculousness of the situations the people are proposed, leading to even more bizarre solutions. For example, Allen is given the hypothetical setting of going on a date but not being able to spend any money, and having to secure a second date from it. Allen’s solution involves among other things treating his date to a blind-folded dinner around the back of some supermarket bins.
The opening episode does finally find its feet, and while panel shows are not exactly remarkable given how many they are, it is still a welcome addition.
Hypothetical is on Wednesdays on Dave at 22.00.