Media Week – Hole in the Wall

Hole in the Wall

Genre: Game show
Director: Ron de Moraes
Hosts:  Brooke Burns & Mark Thompson
Channel: FOX

If you’ve ever been to YouTube and searched for something called “Human Tetris”, then you’ve probably laughed hysterically at the hilarity that ensues. “Human Tetris”, actually known in Japan as “Brain Wall”, is a game where a styrofoam cut-out is presented to a player, or group of players. This cut-out is attached to a moving platform which flies at the player(s). The players’ job is to fit themselves through the cut-out in whichever way that it asks them to. If they fail, they get knocked back into a pool of water as their consequence. In Japan, or at least in the YouTUbe clips that are out there, it’s a pretty simple and straight forward game, which usually ends up in getting many laughs from those around you in the room. Recently though, the game has been moving around from country to country, as most popular game shows do, and has finally ended up in America under the name of “Hole in the Wall”.

A team taking on a wall in the original Japanese version, Brain Wall.
A team taking on a wall in the original Japanese version, Brain Wall.

Unfortunately, they’ve changed the way the rules have been to American-ize it a bit. While this could potentially be a good thing, I’ve gotten more enjoyment in going back to YouTube and watching the original Japanese version still rather than watching this new show. Basically there are five rounds in which the three-person teams compete in against in each other. The first is the Solo Wall, which is quite self-explanatory a round where each player has to conquer the wall on their own. The second round is the Double Wall, and the third is the Triple Wall; in which they have to participate with two team members and three team members respectively to fit through the holes. The fourth round is the Speed Round, in which the wall flies at the contestants at twice the speed that it did before. In this round, all three players continue to play together.

Whichever team scores more points; which is determined by if they successfully make it through the hole, and how many players do; moves on to the “End Game”, which is called the Blind Wall. Here’s where it seems like America is pushing just a little too far to come up with something unique. In this round, one of the players from the winning team is forced to put on a blindfold, and do a round by themselves. That player’s two fellow teammates have to try and yell out instructions while the wall is coming at the blindfolded mate to try and maneuver him or her through that hole. Honestly, this round is pretty much a joke, because it really doesn’t seem very possible with the holes that I’ve seen so far, nor does it seem very interesting to me, because just like the rounds before, it’s over in a mear moment anyways, so it feels like just a gimmick.

A few other issues that can be truly annoying include the hosts. The female host, Brooke Burns, seems to be way to chipper and happy for the situation, and her voice is so high that whenever she’s screaming around, it can really hurt the ears. It just feels like it’s being forced, and it seems to not fit within this show to make it anymore interesting. The other main host, Mark Thompson, who sits above the stage in a raised platform, before every single wall begins, says, “It’s time, to face, the hole”. It gets very redundent, and quite annoying after hearing it in every round, and it feels like there has to be something else that he can say to at least keep it something new in some sort of way.

One player moving into position to fit through the hole.
One player moving into position to fit through the hole.

While I found that the show does take from the original roots of the show of course, it just feels like it’s way too Americanized for it’s own good. It really takes away from the general enjoyment when you’re forced to listen to the hosts redundancies, and also watch a replay of every single hole, no matter how uninteresting it may have been the first time around. My overall recommendation is to go to YouTube and search for “Human Tetris” or “Brain Wall”. You may not be able to understand a word that they say, but you’ll find it much more interesting and much more hilarious to watch, hands down.

Weasel’s Score: 66%

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