“Game of Talents” is the latest in a long list of game shows that arrived on the cable network scene recently. Some shows, like “The Masked Singer,” have become fan favorites, garnering multiple spin-offs. But for every successful show, there are ten others that just miss the mark, and unfortunately, “Game of Talents” falls into the latter category, with none of the spontaneity, thrill or stakes that make a good game show worth watching.
The show’s premise is simple: Two teams take turns guessing a random guest’s secret talent based on a few clever context clues given by the host. The team that guesses correctly first then moves on to the next round and has a chance of winning the grand prize of $200,000. The structure of the show resembles that of most other game shows premiering in the last ten years. In particular, “Game of Talents” seems to borrow heavily from “The Masked Singer,” capturing the shock and surprise of a dramatic reveal with the financial stakes of the traditional game show. Like “The Masked Singer,” contestants get a front-row seat to a visually stunning performance, except instead of music, the audience may be exposed to any kind of act when the curtain rises. Unfortunately, this is one of the only aspects of the show that’s copied well from its more charismatic inspiration.
Despite the flashy, expensive veneer of the stage and studio of “Game of Talents,” the show is fundamentally boring. Contestants introduce themselves for ten seconds and then proceed to formulaically play the game. The audience hardly gets any time to learn more about where the contestants are from, what they’ve been through or what they might do with the prize money. Instead, it’s a constant back and forth between guessing and performance, with only slivers of banter the host manages to squeak out.
And the clues themselves are either cleverly done or painfully obvious, at worst. Harder questions with more witty solutions are some of the first clues, whereas the most blatant clue of the show was the final clue for the biggest cash prize. With glaring inconsistencies, it’s hard for the audience to care about the outcome of the show when winning is so painfully easy.
While the format of “Game of Talents” is lacking, the actual talents featured in the show are actually entertaining. From gospel singers to magicians to dancers, the sheer volume of talent keeps the audience on their toes whenever that curtain goes up. If the show was only about showcasing talent, it would be incredible, but it would also make it exactly like “America’s Got Talent.” However, remove the talent from “Game of Talents,” and we get a show with nothing to offer except tacky quiz questions and little to no stakes.
It’s painfully clear that “Game of Talents” is suffering from an identity crisis. It desperately wants to be a game show with a unique premise and genuine stakes but lacks the surprises, personality or individuality that makes game shows worth watching.
Daily Arts Writer Josh Thomas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.