Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S03E13, or I don’t understand it, I don’t know how THEY do…

Battle of the Duos: Meskimen and Smith vs. Toksvig and McShane. I’m thinking the latter one might win.

Clive describes Jim as ‘arguably the best impressionist since Claude Monet’, which is a nice one.

Authors: Maidens in the Mist
Chris: sporting memoir
Sandi: Agatha Christie
Jim: Tom Clancy
Mike: Edgar Rice Burroughs

Sandi, responding to Chris’ general one: “Another famous sports person, Agatha Christie.”

Mike explains what Burroughs has written, stuff like Tarzan
Clive: “Yes, and Jimmy C-…No-”
Mike, proud that Clive went there: “YES, JIMMY CARTER OF MARS!”

The speed of this game has definitely improved now that John Sessions isn’t a regular. Sandi and Chris give it a nice start.
Jim: “Miles away, the Soviets were observing everything…”

Very funny game overall, with all four working together, and the second round just being a quickfire humor bath.

Explanations: Facuets
Jim: Chico Marx
Chris: Groucho Marx

Getting established comedy duos to do this game work, because Jim and Chris already work well off each other when playing themselves, but playing two of the Marx brothers makes it even faster.

Chris: “Well, actually I already have a drip, it’s a problem.”
Jim: “That’s-a some joke…”
Chris, looking out to the unresponsive audience: “Well, I’m glad YOU thought so…”

Jim: “Yes, I’m the fella that makes the water-go-downa.”
Chris: “…and you’re a plumber?”
Jim: “No, I’m a watta-go-downer.”
Chris, seeing the joke and going for it: “You know, I used to have a wife who was a wattagodowna.”
After the audience goes wild for this one, Chris, to the camera, goes “…I don’t understand it, I don’t know how THEY do…”

Jim: “You shouldn’t hang around a man who’s working, it makes ya tired.”
Chris, looking around: “I didn’t realize I was hanging.”

Really fun scene, with good impressions and good, heh, interplay.

Film Dub: Mike comes home from the Supermarket to Sandi

Very haphazard scene, with a lot of muddied accented back and forth, and reacting to the scene, but the ending’s great- Mike’s waiting for someone to come onto the now-revealed screen, and it’s a guy with white hair.

Song Styles: Microwave
Jim: Frank Sinatra
Chris: Opera

…did Mike not want to do Song Styles???

Jim flirts with his Frank Sinatra impression- some parts are spot-on, some parts sound like Jim. The song is pretty nice, very sweet, and the rhythm is very Sinatra. I just wish the impression was a wee-bit more centered.

Chris’ song is nice, very well done and with some good rhyme scheme, which is surprising considering he’s not usually left to his own devices. He even fakes out the audience, rearing up for a huge final note and instead giving a very quiet one.

Party Quirks: Sandi hosts
Chris: politician
Jim: old-timer
Mike: zookeeper

Jim: ‘And the house! Oh, I remember when this was just a barn…”

Jim: “and here, where that bean-bag chair is…”
Sandi: “That’s my husband actually…”

Jim describes his desire for an egg cream, like from the olden days.
Sandi: “An egg cream…that’s fantastic, I didn’t know eggs could cream themselves.”

Sandi’s doing a much better job of letting people interact, mainly with her but also with each other.

As Jim is guessed, when Clive can’t exactly remember the quirk, Jim exits to the podium, going “AND OLD CLIVE, I REMEMBER YOUR MOTHER…”

Fairly nice game, with a lot of great work all around, and Jim having a great time.

Film and Theatre Styles v1: Chris and Jim (boss letting employee go)

Man, they are doing these late in the show!

Chris: “You’re gonna have to go, Mitch. This is your swan song.”
Jim: “my swan song? We don’t even make swans at this factory…”

The Martial Arts style leads to some near-Stooges battering around with Jim and Chris.

Having two very white guys do a Blaxploitation style was not a good idea at all- Jim sends this into a very, VERY cringey place.

Clive: “How about we do a bit of Bergman?”
Jim: “He hit me….and now I still feel such strong feelings towards him.”

The style actually works, and culminates in both men making emotional Swedish Bergman noises.

The scene actually has a nice, and final, ending, with the Western style wrapping things up diplomatically. It wasn’t the greatest scene, but it wasn’t as horrible as it was during the Blaxploitation bit.

Film and Theatre Styles v2: Mike and Sandi (visiting someone in prison)

Mike: “I haven’t been able to see you here because…I’ve been seeing someone else, BUT I LOVE YOU!”
Mike: “…and THAT’S WHY I LOVE YOU!”

Sandi, realizing a different meaning halfway through: “Yes, with that simple blow I killed your mother, for I have power in my fingertips you clearly don’t know about…”

Sandi, at the dramatic culmination of the Horror style, announces that “IT’S ONLY TWO DAYS TIL MY PERIOD…”
Mike’s expression grows to one of, well, horror. So yeah, that worked.

In the 10 seconds in which Sandi and Mike hold their positions, Sandi, out of the corner of her mouth, goes “……I can’t believe I said that…” And then both of them, in their positions, crack up.

It ends semi-clumsily, but it’s a good enough scene, with that one hysterical moment.

Gospel: Bus Driver

Sandi notes verbally that it’s a very difficult game for her (“because I’m british”)
“But Lord, I love you through the teeth…which is much more uncomfortable than being loved form underneath.”
This, once again, cracks up Mike.

Jim’s gospel verse is actually pretty great, and even gets Richard to go into a different chord in the third bar, which gives it a very cool feeling overall, once which the audience eats up.

Mike ends this one on a great note, as usual.

Overall: Very, very, very okay. The problem was pitting two very different duos against each other, and that it was very difficult to intermix them, so getting a dynamic together wasn’t very successful. Jim and Chris had great games by themselves. Sandi and Mike had great games by themselves. The audience really seemed to like this episode. But it was very off, to me, and a lot of games were oddly structured or handled, perhaps by the dual emphasis on both duos.

Show Winner: Jim
Best Performer: This was very close, but I’m going with Sandi because she had the funnier night and everyone else was…okay.
Worst Performer: Chris. He was much better than last time, with many more jokes, but he still brings up the rear because Jim and Mike did more throughout the show than he did.
Best Game: Explanations. Nothing was really top-to-bottom fantastic except this and Party Quirks, and I laughed at Explanations more.
Worst Game: Film Dub. Not a very coherent one, save for the ending joke.


One thought on “Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S03E13, or I don’t understand it, I don’t know how THEY do…

  1. Maybe Mike was asked to sit out of Song Styles as Dan Patterson was trying to emphasise the double act of Jim and Chris.

    As for Sandi, I’ve heard her trying to sing when she’s a guest on I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue on Radio 4. She’s much better at quickfire quips on that show, or indeed the shows that she hosts (QI, Fifteen to One, Great British Bake Off)

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