Monday, November 22

Review: All Star Family Fortunes

Family Fortunes is an idiot’s paradise, but is it harder to hate when done for charity? Saul Sherry investigates

Where Family Fortunes once had an assured place in the UK world of four to five channels, it holds an odd position now among the neon stimulant driven miasma of other, equally bland quiz shows.

In an effort to breathe life in to a stale format, the intros are edited quickly. Also really badly, and on a shoe-string budget. One family live in a London semidetached. This is the family of celebrity Heather who has really made her name on Harry Hill’s TV Burp (she’s also an Eastender, apparently.) She’s introduced with the opportunity to show off her Donald Duck impression, it’s quite good really, considering the spasmodic entertainment abortion which is coming up. The other family lives in a castle in Dublin. They are the owners of a celebrity Boyzone. Not that one who’s name you know. Their introduction is notable for the fact that his wife and sister are identical. Apparently it is also worth telling us that he owns an 11 inch telescope.

Vernon seems more pleased to see this one. “It’s Mikey from Boyzone!” he screams to camera. “FROM DUBLIN!”. Then the questions are asked, and nothing here has changed in the Fortunes fomula. “Name someone you would not expect to hear swearing,” says Kay. You. You personality fuck void. The castle dwellers quickly establish themselves as being superior to the ones from the normal house, and to compensate Heather unleashes Donald Duck again. Vernon laughs, the audience laugh, the Boyzone laughs.

At the point where Vernon is asking, “what would you do with your trousers when not wearing them?”, short of hearing something like “put them in a furnace to get rid of the evidence”, I challenge anyone to maintain complete interest in what’s going on on screen. Things perk up in the name gender reversal round, where a woman called Lesley competes against a man called Fran to think up another word for ‘big’. This is the point where the Eastender and her family start to show how shit at this game they really are. Turns out the top answer is ‘large’. Who would have guessed? For leaving the game without scoring any points, Heather gets £1,000 pounds for her charity of choice. It makes slagging the show off a little tiny bit more difficult. It doesn’t really, it just gives me something else to write down.

“BIG MONEY!!!” squeals Vernon, as a way to allude to the oncoming final round. First question: Name a way of getting across a river. I lean across to my girlfriend, “what channel is this on?” I ask. Without looking at the screen she replies, “channel shitbags” (Saturday, ITV1, 6.30pm). We are looking forward to having kids.

When it is all over, Boyzone starts to rip his brother for having said February in response to the question “name a month with 31 days”. He himself answered September. 
All in all they won around £6,000 for their charity. Which is good, it really is. It’s amazing. I just wish they would donate the money directly. And add in Vernon’s wage, the studio costs and all the advertising revenue.

No comments: