Moneybags (Channel 4, 2021)
This is a daytime game show that only ended on TV very recently, but as it seems that this might end up being a one-series wonder, I might as well review this because it’s one of the games that have launched in the past year or two that I have enjoyed the most (another one is The Answer Trap, and I plan to review that one soon too).
Moneybags is an hour-long show hosted by Craig Charles, who has appeared in lots of other shows including Coronation Street and Red Dwarf. There are ten contestants who are there all week, and six will be chosen to play in every edition. This does create a problem that some recent game shows seem to have of contestants who have gone through to the next stage or are still having to wait their turn standing around in the background.
Two contestants are picked to play and come on down! There is a category on the screen, and then an answer on a bag goes along a conveyor belt (is this the only other game show apart from The Generation Game to feature one?). If they think that the answer is correct, they must grab the bag. If they don’t, the second contestant has a chance to play.
Correct answers contain cash amounts, from several worth £1,000, all the way to one being worth £100,000. This means that this must be the first Channel 4 daytime game show to offer a six-figure sum as a prize since the heady days of Deal Or No Deal. If neither contestant plays the bag though, it drops out of the game, and Craig (cue drumroll) reveals the answer.
As well as the money, other things can happen, including stealing your opponent’s highest-valued bag, or having to give yours away, or being bankrupt. If they do play a wrong answer, they are frozen out of the next question, in the Bob’s Full House style. There are about four or five questions in every category, and two categories for every game. The highest scorer goes into the next round, and then this is done twice more.
The second round is the same, only there are now three contestants, and all of the money in the game can change positions rather quickly. The highest-scorer then plays the final game. There doesn’t seem to be a studio audience, so all that the finalist gets are a few echoey shouts of encouragement from the others who are now on their side.
In this, there are four questions, played for increasing amounts of what they banked. The first is worth 10% of their money, all the way up to 100% for their fourth. This time, there are two bags and they have to pick the right one, if they don’t, they are bankrupted. They don’t have to play it if they are unsure though. This has been an anti-climax sometimes because few contestants get past the second question, there is a lot at stake.
I did find Moneybags interesting, Craig is a good choice of host because he is enthusiastic, but stays on the right side of being irritating. However Channel 4 prefer to have property shows like I Want This House, I Want That House, and I Want The Other House or whatever they’re called in this slot as they get more viewers, so this might not be seen again, and like with The Answer Trap they’d be throwing away a good format.