If you adored the BBC’s surprise pre-Christmas smash hit The Traitors there’s a very good chance you’ll do the same with the American version, which is now on iPlayer.
Almost everything about it, including the Highland castle location and tasks, is identical, with a few notable exceptions.
While no one could accuse the Claudia Winkleman-fronted series of being straight-faced, the US iteration turns the drama and campness up to 11.
Alan Cumming seems to be having a howling time strutting through the baronial hallways of Ardross Castle.”
A large part of that is because the new host is Alan Cumming and he seems to be having a howling time strutting and stalking through the baronial hallways of Ardross Castle in an ever-changing array of capes, scarves, berets and plus-fours.
Most of his dialogue is whispered and conspiratorial and he says things like “murder” and “traitors” with about four extra syllables.
The words “is it too much?” must never have crossed his lips …
As with the Winkleman show, the daily physical tasks are a mostly pointless and highly fast-forwardable elements – even more so in this US version because we’ve seen them all before.
Thankfully, the things that made the UK series so unexpectedly fun – the paranoia, backstabbing and psychological mind games – are all present and correct and entertaining as ever.
The Circle of Truth climax, where contestants vote off who they suspect is a traitor, can get edge-of-the-seat intense.”
If anything, these contestants – a mixture of ‘normies’ and US reality TV stars I’ve never heard of – are more brutal and duplicitous than their Blighty counterparts, which makes for some deliciously devious television.
Once again, the Circle of Truth climax, where the contestants come together to vote off who they suspect is a traitor, can get edge-of-the-seat intense and you’ll question why you’re getting so emotionally invested in what is essentially just a reality TV show.
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