Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S08E04, or Last Year it was the Pogo Stick!

And now onto another combination to be pitted against Colin and Ryan. Caroline Quentin is back, fresh off of her success in E8, and will be joined by Steve Frost for the first and only time. This is a pretty cool combination, as usually Steve would only be paired with Josie Lawrence.

Clive describes Colin as ‘the funniest Canadian since Leonard Cohen’, which Colin is perplexed by.

Here He is Now: Steve and Colin are waiting for their dates, Caroline and Ryan

A variant on That’ll be Charlie Now, but with less prescriptions and more people being prescribed.

Steve: “You oughta see my girlfriend, she’s crazy. Every time you say ‘hello’ to her, she starts singing a chinese opera.”
Caroline:
Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 1.06.28 AM.png

Steve: “But if you do shake her hand, or kiss her gently on the cheek…she slaps you really hard in the face.”
Caroline looks to the audience, and excitedly nods, mouthing “I DO!”

Colin breaks one of his own prescriptions for Ryan, mentioning marriage to someone who’s going through a painful divorce.
Ryan, immediately nailing the spitefulness: “I’d be happy to pick up the tab for dinner, but, uh, well THE BITCH TOOK ME FOR EVERYTHING I HAD.”

Caroline, as she’s fantastic at this game, nails both of hers easily, slapping Colin without a breath.

Ryan, as Colin suggested, starts making wild faces upon the mention of his steak, which gets the attention of the entire room, and cracks up the audience.

The scene ends perfectly, with Ryan shaking Caroline’s hand, AND saying hello. She slaps Ryan, THEN goes into the opera, AND THEN Ryan, over Caroline’s opera, starts muttering into a yell about “look a lot like SOMEONE I USED TO KNOW. SOMEONE. I USED. TO KNOW.”
And as Ryan starts furiously cutting his steak, Clive wraps the game up.

A fantastic, high-energy round for a surprisingly well-crafted game. Yes, Steve did sink into the background once Ryan and Caroline entered, but the latter two made this one great.

Sound Effects: Colin is a scuba diving instructor. Ryan does sound effects

Clive: “And your everyday activity is you’re a scuba driving instructor.”
Colin, calling him out on it: “…scuba DRIVING??”
Ryan, in the background: “Scuba Driving?”
Clive: “…with a speech impediment, it turns out”

Colin does help Ryan’s supreme SFX abilities by doing some nice physicality, especially into squeezing into this scuba diving suit.

This is a fairly simple SFX game- Colin farts in the water, keeps screwing up the breathing device, etc. However, there’s a great moment eventually. Once he’s in the water, he gets into his car, and drives, bringing it back to the Scuba Driving theme from earlier.

Eventually, for an ending, Ryan brings in the Jaws theme, which frightens Colin. Ryan even adds the line of dialogue of ‘ohhh SHIT” for Colin, who writhes around while getting slowly de-limbed by sharks.

A pretty good SFX, one that definitely picked up as it went along.

Film Dub: Ryan, Steve and Caroline are at a wedding party

Ryan, very drunk: “I DON’T CARE WHOSE DAUGHTER SHE IS, i had to get drunk on tequila to marry her tonight…”

This is, though, the second Ryan-Caroline scene in a row where Ryan starts fat-shaming Caroline’s character, which is a bit cringe-worthy.

Steve, however, saves this scene. A random new character appears onscreen, which Steve just jumps in and voices “…hello there, I’m the vicar.”
Then, as the scene ends with Ryan’s character falling out of the window
Steve: “……he’s fallen out of the window!”
BUZZ

Not a great Film Dub at all, but if it weren’t for Steve it’d be even worse.

Secret: Ryan and Colin are chefs. The secret is hidden in the oven

Ryan, for an opening line: “And I told them I’d never come to france again”
[This gets way less laughs than Ryan was thinking]
Colin: “…I’m sorry, I really wasn’t listening, why was that?”

Ryan and Colin delve into this really quick back-and-forth between each other that’s incredibly fun to watch, in goofy accents. And this is pre-secret, too.

Colin, revealing the secret: “…why is this ventriloquist dummy in here.”
Ryan, nearly breaking: “Well, I wanted to surprise you. Look, I thought of new ways for us to cook. ‘I’LL COOK WITH YOU!’ This is Skippy, souffle boy. He puts the souffle in the oven. Put it in his mouth. Put it in his mouth!”

Colin: “…what is WRONG with you? EVERY YEAR you try something stupid like this. Last year it was the pogo stick!”

There’s a hysterical bit where Colin takes the dummy off of Ryan’s hand, then Ryan throws it back on, reacting to that, and then they keep struggling over whether the dummy stays on or off.

Then, Colin tells Ryan he has to let him go…which Ryan says, to the dummy, ‘he’s letting you go’, and then has a whole argument with the dummy, culminating in Ryan yelling “HE’S GOT A GUN!”
It’s the most bizarre thing. Even Clive’s laughing at this.
Ryan: “‘GET IN THE OVEN! GET IN THE OVEN!’ NO, PEPE! I’m trying to stop him, I can’t. ‘GET IN THE OVEN!”

Clive: “Well, I think we were losing contact with reality there. I’m gonna give 5 points to Ryan, 5 points to Colin, and 10 points to that little character you brought on there. I’d never seen him before.”

An insane but still hysterical game of Secret, with so many bizarre but wonderful choices throughout the game. Unlike last time, I feel like Ryan carried this one, but Colin had some great reaction moments.

Number of Words: On an airplane
Ryan: the pilot- 1
Colin: the co-pilot- 5
Caroline: the airhostess- 2
Steve: a hijacker- 3

Ryan has an annoyed smirk once he realizes he’ll be using only 1 word.

Steve, appearing on the scene: “FLY…TO CUBA!”
Ryan: “AAAAAAAH.” [turns right back to Steve]

Caroline: “DO SOMETHING!”
Ryan: “WHAT?”
Colin: “Keep calm everyone, I’m a-”
Colin realizes he’s out of words, so he just ponders exactly what he is. Genius.

Steve: “THIS GUN’S LOADED!”
Colin, taking after William Shatner: “…hey…now…just…KEEP CALM!”

Ryan, into an intercom: “TOWER.”
He looks around, nervously. Nobody’s saying anything.
Ryan, again: “TOWER.”
Steve: “Turn hard left.”
Ryan, as the intercom’s not working apparently: “TOWER.”

Colin: “All right…I’ll create a…”
[he then winds his hand, as if he’s thinking of the word.]
Ryan: “DIVERSION?”
Colin: [thumbs up sign]

There’s a clumsy ending, where Steve is convinced by Caroline and Colin to “jump out the…thing”, and he does.

A pretty sharp, smartly-improvised game of this. You can tell immediately that Steve’s not very good at this game, and he tries to keep from cracking up throughout, but he’s better here than he will be across the game’s run.

Hats: Dating Agency Videos

Clive: “Come on, Ryan, you’ve been in many yourself, with or without a hat…”
Ryan, right before his first suggestion, turns and gives Clive a look

Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 4.33.17 PM.pngColin: “…and that’s just the shape of my hat…”

Colin, with a rain-cap: “…so, for a good time, call…NOAH…that’s ‘NOAH…”

Weak-ish round, but not without some funny Colin moments.

Props: Ryan and Caroline vs. Steve and Colin

For the first time in a while, Props breaks up the Ryan-Colin combo, which is smart

Clive, handing a furry prop: “Obviously this is Stephen….thank goodness you’re a Canadian, Colin…”

Steve: “Your dog’s got no legs! Haha!”
Colin: “He’s got a nice handle, though…”

Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 4.37.25 PM.pngSteve: “Professor? The giant caterpillar’s escaped, and we don’t know where it is.”
Colin: “It’s right there!”
Steve:

Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 4.38.04 PM.png

Caroline, with the prop on her head: “I’M A MAGIC TOADSTOOL! Sit on me and you shall turn into a frog!”
Ryan: “…alrighty, I’ll give THAT a try…”

Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 4.39.31 PM.pngSteve: “…I know, darling, but over THERE’s a man with no hair at all…”
Colin:
Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 4.40.01 PM.png

Then, next time around, Colin gets his revenge
Colin, to Steve: “…Oh, jeez, one of your eyebrows fell off.”
Steve smiles, and reattaches it. He then playfully bops Colin with the prop.

A JOLT OF ENERGY with that Props game, one of the best Props rounds in a while, with fantastic ideas coming from both sides, though Steve and Colin do get the edge.

Changing Emotions: Steve, Ryan and Colin on the night before the wedding
picture: horny
bottle: angry

Another new game, but a welcome one, as there’d be some great rounds of this over the next few series.

Clive: “And if you’ve got the photo in your hand, you’re horny…whatever that means.”
Ryan: [grabs photo]

Colin, with the bottle: “I SHOULD BE THE ONE MARRYING HER! SHE LOVES ME!”
Ryan, with the photo: “She loves you, but she LLLLLLOVES ME…”
Steve, taking the photo: “…’course….when I went out with her…”
Colin: “YOU WENT OUT WITH HER TOO?”
Steve: “…sure, everybody did.”
Ryan, handed the bottle mid-line: “I didn’t realize that. Everyone went out with her and I’m THE ONE MARRYING HER???”

Then, mid-line, Ryan accidentally drops the bottle. Steve, in picking up, flips Colin the picture. It’s a very loose arrangement, this game.

Ryan, without anything, has a contemplative line…all the while Colin is suggestively holding the picture.
Ryan, after a beat: “…HEY, GIMME THAT!”

In the end, Colin gets both objects, and has to be angry AND horny, which is great.

A pretty great debut for this one, as all three were fantastic in bouncing off each other and keeping the plot stable.

Scene to Music: Steve and Caroline at the butcher’s

Oh, at long last, a round with just Caroline and Steve, just so we can see their dynamic, which must be fantastic.

Right off the bat, Steve adopts a fun northern accent for his butcher character.

Caroline: “I’d love to have a look at a great big sausage like that…”
Steve, knowingly: “Want me to slap it on the counter for you?”

Eventually a slow, dramatic, soap-opera-y theme plays in
Caroline: “That’s the most beautiful sausage I’ve ever seen…”
Steve, breaking near the end: “This sausage was passed down by my father….AND HIS FATHER’S FATHER BEFORE HIM. Dunno what happened to the one in the middle.”

Caroline: “When I eat it, I’ll…I’ll think of YOU…”
Steve: [cracks]

Steve: “Would you like some dripping to go with that?”
Caroline, given the golden line from the improv gods: “…Don’t worry, I’m doing me own!”
BUZZZZZ
Colin’s facepalming. Clive’s going ‘THAT’S ENOUGH’ Steve walks off, not quite believing what he just heard. He walks DIRECTLY INTO THE AUDIENCE, TOWARDS THE EXIT, before looking back, astonished, at Caroline, and heading towards the seats.

Clive: “WELL, I’M SORRY…”
Caroline: “That’ll never go out, will it?”
Clive: “I think we explored new depth, there…”

A fantastic, bawdy-as hell but still excellently-played Scene to Music round, and proof of how unstoppable Caroline Quentin was this series. Hell, Steve was right there with her until the end.

Animals: Ryan, Colin and Caroline are squirrels in a saloon

Even early on, Colin manages to crack up Caroline just by stuffing a bunch of nuts in his mouth, and making a face.

Even better, Ryan comes in as a flying squirrel, which is a nice touch.

Ryan: “Hey! She’s mine! Those are MY nuts in her mouth!”

There’s not a ton that’s ha-ha funny about this, as it’s more cute than anything, but the way the audience gets on Ryan’s side, and the way that Ryan eventually just falls for Colin instead, is just very fun details.

Foreign Film Dub: The german film Good Heavens, An Orange, acted out by Colin and Caroline, translated by Ryan and Steve

After Caroline puts the orange in Colin’s pocket.
Steve: “My goodness, you’re pleased to see me!”
Ryan: “This short and leather pants are killing me!”

Steve: “I’d recognize you anywhere!”
Colin: [re-zips fly]
Ryan, nonetheless: “ZIP!”

Colin’s German gibberish is pretty great here, especially when angry.

Steve: “Have you…?”
Colin: [LONG STRING OF ANGRY GERMAN GIBBERISH]
Ryan: “…have I what?”

Ryan: “Inside is a ring. Will you marry me?”
Colin: [kneels]
Caroline: “Oh…ja ja…”
Steve, being Steve: “NO!”

Ryan: “You’re so mean and bitter! You’re one sour kraut!”
Caroline: [looks to Clive, and laughs]

Ryan: “I’m going to jump. Don’t stop me! Don’t stop me!”
Caroline: [an anguished plea]
Steve: “…jump, ya bastard!”

Overall: There were two bad games, and one meh one, but the rest of this show? Unbelievably funny. Not only did the show rest, albeit slightly, on the Colin-Ryan laurels (in a rip-roaring secret), but it also explored new pairings, like Steve-Caroline and Steve-Colin, to success, in an instantly memorable Scene to Music and hysterical props round respectively.  There were no bad performances tonight, as each player had MULTIPLE games where they reigned in terms of laughs. Despite this evenness, Colin Mochrie once again stands out for his out-there moments, as well as silliness in games, like Foreign Film Dub and SFX, where he wasn’t exactly the forefront. Still, this episode’s heights are truly unforgettable, and while this one isn’t as discussed as other S8 shows (like the forthcoming E6, which I’m excited for), it’s definitely one of the more underrated moments of this era.

Show Winners: Ryan and Colin
Best Performer: Colin Mochrie, for continuing his dominance, standing out even when he wasn’t truly in the forefront
Worst Performer: Steve Frost. Despite great moments in Scene to Music and Props, he broke more than usual tonight, and mostly paved the way for jokes for the other three. If it weren’t for Secret, Ryan would be in this spot for some overexposure issues.
Best Game: Secret. Quite possibly the oddest, yet funniest, game of this in a while, and had me laughing for how far Ryan was willing to go with it.
Worst Game: Hats. Nothing really special here.

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