Weakest Link Premiere on NBC: Grade It

Weakest Link NBC Poll

Weakest Link, minus the The, premiered on NBC this Tuesday night, overseen by Glee grad-turned-Hollywood Game Night host Jane Lynch. How does it compare to the UK original (and/or NBC’s original 2001 remake of same)?

That’s right, it was deja vu you were feeling if you sampled The Weakest Link on Tuesday night. NBC did a straight adaptation of the British series for a short spell in 2001/2002, hosted by OG snarker Anne Robinson. (Maybe, just maybe, that is why this “reboot” conspicuously dropped the The from the title, to avoid confusion in the annals of TV game shows. Even though Lynch and Mr. NBC Promo Guy tout the show as The Weakest Link.)

But I digress/obsess.

The format for Weakest Link is as it always is: A semi-circle of players take turns tackling a “chain” of questions, the value of each increasing with every correct answer. The group only carries forward to the final round any “banked” amount, though, forcing them to shout “bank!” before answering the next question… or choose to risk that round’s total with the next question.

After each timed round, the players cast their vote for the Weakest Link, with the Strongest Link breaking any ties. Lynch, as host, teases that vote with such sassy taunts as, “Who thinks Fauci is a type of pasta?,” “Who’s about to be enlisted in the Witless Protection Program?” and the forever-trusty “Who swims in the shallow end of the gene pool?”

Once the vote is in, Lynch trots out the show’s catchphrase — “You are the Weakest Link, goodbye.” For those who get granular with their comparisons, she does not put the emphasis on the word “are,” but instead rattles off the statement rather matter of factly, and dismissively, by not making eye contact with the ousted as she bids him/her farewell.

When it gets down to two players, they each face a chain of five questions, hoping to ideally run the table, or at least go to school on their opponent if they screw up.

What did you think of Weakest Link Minus The?