Forged In Fire: Knife or Death (History)


Forged In Fire: Knife or Death (History) – Premieres 17th April

A spin off of Forged In Fire hosted by former WWE wrestler Bill “Goldberg” Goldberg. In the show 8 contestants, ranging from blade smiths to martial arts experts, go through two rounds with their weapons as they try and get into the final where they could win $20k.

The episode is split into two rounds, a qualifier and a final where the winner progresses onto the grand final. In the qualifying round, after the contestants blade has passed a quality check from former Forged in Fire champion Travis Wuertz, then put their skills to the test by going through a course that is the knife wielding equivalent of the Broken Skull Challenge. Where the two fastest competitors to complete the course or get the furthest into it go through to the final.

In the final, the surviving two each have a timed round at a different, slightly less blade abusing course. Then when both competitors have complete their runs, they reveal who was the quickest and has made it into the grand final.

As competitions go there’s not too much going that really gets your interest, and when compared to the watchability of Forged in Fire this is all pretty forgettable. That said if there’s nowt on, this is a passable enough way to burn 45 minutes.



Shotmakers (Golf Channel)


Shotmakers (Golf Channel) – Premieres 9th April

A golf competition where 9 teams of mixed doubles go head to head in a bid to win the grand prize of $50k.

The competition takes place at Topgolf Las Vegas, an adapted driving range where five targets are placed over the course each with a different points value that increases the further from tee they are.

Each episode covers one round of the competition all of which have a qualifier and a main event. In the qualifier the teams are given the rules then the team that amasses the most points gets a points advantage in the main event. In the main event the teams are then given the new rules to compete in, where the team that finishes top gets a bonus prize along with heading into the next round.

The two teams that finish in the bottom two place then go into the elimination round where they have two rounds to get the highest total they can. The team that finishes last is then eliminated from the competition.

While the show is not as good as Altered Course, there’s enough going on to keep it interesting. And is a more then decent way to burn 45 minutes.


Fastest Car (Netflix)


Fastest Car (Netflix) – Premieres 6th April

A car show where three owners of sleeper cars, regular looking vehicles that have been modified into high performance racers, challenge a supercar in a one off drag race to see who owns the fastest vehicle. Where the winner apparently moves on to a grand final to find out who is the quickest.

Managing to stretch out a programme about 10 second drag race to over 40 minutes long this follows the four competitors over the 10 days up to the race. In the first run through the drivers they talk about their early lives and how they got to the point where they made their own car, or in the supercar owners case, he amassed the cash to have such a collection.

The show then rotates through the drivers another two times in the build up to the race where they are tinkering with the cars trying to get the best performance out of them. All the while the programme goes into less detail than you would find in a pre race set up in any of the Street Outlaws shows. And those are about 20 seconds before they actually do show a race.

It then has them all arriving at the track where they check out each others cars and finally has them racing. Then with the race done the victor is announced where they are told they are moving on in the competition.

For a show based around a race it lacks a lot of what you’d expect, where after the chat of how/why the cars were built there virtually nothing about getting the thing ready for the event. An event that isn’t explained, so you’ve no idea if they’re just doing this for bragging rights or cash prize. Or how the tournament itself is set up.

And while they focus on the people behind the car, even that is drawn out to the point of tedium. So it feels like you could fit at least three races in the episode using the same format, and it being a more interesting watch.


Best In Food (Food Channel)


Best In Food (Food Channel) – Premieres 28th January

A show that follows the finalists competing in a national cooking competition. The programme starts off by revealing what competition it will be following, then giving a brief summary of the history of it and the subdivision of the event the people are competing in.

After showing what the judges will be looking for in a winning entry, the programme then goes through each entrant one at time. Where it follows each person from entering the stage, making their dish and then presenting what they’ve cooked to the judges. During this time the entrant talks about how they’ve come up with what they’re cooking, how and why they came to enter the event, and what they’ll be spending the prize money on if they win.

Then when the programme has gone through all the competitors, it shows some brief shots of the judges deliberating before revealing who won. For what it is, the show is like a brief recap of a tournament where you don’t end up invested in anyone shown, making it a bit of a slow watch.


Sand Blasters (Travel Channel)


Sand Blasters (Travel Channel) – Premieres 11th March

A sand sculpting competition where four teams made up of two sand sculptors go against each other to see who can create the best work in 9 hours to win a large trophy.

The competition is split into three rounds. In the first, the teams are given a theme and a massive amount of sand to begin their composition. And after 3 hours the piece that the judges deem to be the worst gets blown up and the team eliminated.

In the second round the remaining teams are given another 3 hours to continue to work on their sculpture. Where along with working on the piece, are challenged to incorporated a smaller sculpture to be paced onto the main creation. Then like in the first round the weakest performers have their work destroyed.

The third and final round gives the two remaining teams three hours to finish their work, and in a twist the two eliminated teams are combined and brought back into the competition. Where they have a chance to create something new to snatch the win. Then when everything is finished the judges detonate the losing sculptures leaving the winning piece standing.

As art competitions go it has far more explosions than any other that has been released recently. And while it’s pretty much people creating elaborate sand castles it a relaxing bit of viewing and an easy way to burn 45 minutes.


Nailed It (Netflix)


Nailed It (Netflix) – Premieres 9th March – Renewed

A baking competition based on the internet meme where attempts to mimic a cake end up with comedically disastrous results. Hosted by Nicole Byer, who along with chef Jacques Torres and a guest baker, judge the attempts of three contestants over 2 rounds as they try to win $10k.

In the first round the contestants are set a small challenge where they have an hour to recreate a particular confectionary. At the end of the round the best performer is crowned with a golden hat while the person that finished last gets some bonus help in the next round.

The second and final round has three contestants trying to recreate a larger cake in a two hour time limit. Where all three have the chance to use a help button that brings in the guest baker, who give them advice on what to do in a three minute period. The worst performer in the last round is also given a buzzer where if used, Byer will annoy and try to distract the other two contestants for three minutes.

At the end of the round the cakes are judged and the maker of the best cake gets the $10k. As baking competitions go this one is a grind to get through, due to it relying on the cakes being made to look bad. This goes against the whole comedy surprise of the nailed it meme, so this is just showing us bad bakers presenting predictably bad looking cakes.


Truck Night In America (History)


Truck Night In America (History) – Premieres 8th March

An off-roading competition where five folks bring their trucks to the track and go head to head in the chance to win $10k. The show starts of with virtually no introduction as the five competitors line up for the first round of challenges. After a very brief description of the trucks, the round kicks off where the person who finishes last is eliminated. Though the eliminated person does have a chance of continuing if any of the cars have have a mechanical failure and can’t proceed to the next round.

Before round two kicks off, the remaining four competitors are introduced and they talk about their truck. After that the four hosts of the programme each pick a truck, where they will become the mentor for the remainder or the show. Then when the second round is complete and another person eliminated, the remaining three get the first of two pit breaks where they have an hour fix any problems on their vehicles.

The third round comes and goes whittling the field down the last two trucks standing, where after the second pit stop, get to take on the final round. In the final they vehicles go on the “Green Hell”, an obstacle course designed to push the trucks to the limit. The winner ends up being the person the can get their truck around the course in the quickest time, or if both vehicles fail in that, the winner is whoever got the furthest around the course.

The show is no nonsense in its approach with each round being introduced and then getting straight on with the competition. And the final round is like a motoring version of the Skull Buster in Broken Skull Challenge, where it’s set up to be the ultimate test and each obstacle is given it’s own name. That said, the whole mentoring aspect comes over as a bit pointless and when the rounds are in progress there’s too much cutting back to the the hosts, which takes away from getting into the competition.

That said, it’s still an entertaining bit of trashy programming.