Review: Flinch, Netflix

Just when you think you've seen every game show format along comes Flinch, Netflix's first foray into original game show programming.

Three hosts – Seann Walsh, Desiree Burch and Lloyd Griffith – oversee members of the public who have to take on various challenges without, that's right, flinching. So, for example, they get airhorns in the face, they get shot at and they have to smell pungent odours without responding. As they do each task points are tallied up and scores of randomly selected players given to the stars - the losing celebrity then has to undergo a forfeit themselves.

There's no prize as far as I can see. Instead the contestants take part just for a daft laugh. As for the al fresco filming it moves along briskly but also feels slightly arbitrary. We don't see all the contestants do all the challenges, we just get to see the best bits, which I suppose makes sense and stops it being repetitive, but doesn't feel quite in the spirit of a proper competition.

At it's made for Netflix Flinch is presumably aimed at an international audience, which probably explains why people are introduced as being from "London, UK". Although someone from Essex is just described as being from Essex. Maybe the county is more internationally known than the capital of the England. Oh, did I mention it's filmed on a farm in Northern Ireland? The hosts are good and seem to be having fun. Until, at least, one of them is chosen for a forfeit that involves flames and fire extinguishers.

It's a pretty  harmless, original set-up, with a few echoes of other shows. The unashamed silliness and the D-I-Y contraptions have a hint of Dave's Taskmaster. And when toy trains with rotten meat on them choo choo under the noses of the competitors there is a little whiff of I'm A Celebrity's Bushtucker Trials. But nobody has to eat any kangaroo anus, this is all pretty lightweight torture. Although just to be on the safe side a caption does say "don't try this home". The programme makers are however, clearly hoping that you will binge on it at home.

Streaming on Netflix now.

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