As wrong as the concept for "reality" TV show, Playing It Straight may be, there's no pretending it wasn't entertaining in a terrible trashy sort of way. Anyone who loves a good bit of word-play, can appreciate the show's appeal, whether you're an Alan Carr fan or not.
Now Season Two has ended, there's a gap left in my weekly TV schedule and I need to find another escapist show that requires equally low concentration levels to follow. To mark the end of the series, below I include some of my favourite Alan Carr voice-over moments. To give you an idea of just how much tacky word play is stuffed into each episode, all of the following can be heard in episode six:
“She's already at the bar”, Alan innocently comments before snidely adding: “Might be the only stiff drink she gets”. As the boys try and navigate themselves through the Spanish wilderness towards their prize (Cara), Carr observes “Dean seems to have got distracted by some local ass”, of course, referring to a donkey. Concluding the scene, Carr reflects the boys have to find their “inner Ray Mears” before correcting himself with “inner gay rears”.
It's camping week and naturally the guys are working on a “massive erection” - putting up the tent. Moments later Carr joyously exclaims: “Now the boys have finally got it up….”
Meanwhile, Cara sadly reflects “I only like the arseholes” and Carr characteristically twists her words to refer to one of her potential suitors: “Let's hope, Levi's not the same.”
As the boys try to prove their manliness by abseiling down a giant cliff face, Carr's narration continues to be tastelessly in keeping with the show's tone: “Are [the boys] more keen to go down on another type of Cliff?”
Season Two may be over but both Season One and Two are available on 4OD. The empty Monday night slot the series finale left has already been filled. Back-tracking to Season One to see where it all began, I'm disappointed to discover Alan's missing. As I suspected, without Carr's voice-over, Playing It Straight, lacks. I guess there's always the melodrama of the original American show to fill the void.