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Ultimate Tag Review 2020 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online
Stars: Nicole Kornet, Carrie Bernans, Omar Zaki
Opening Shot: In a dark studio, NFL superstar JJ Watt, says, “Welcome to the fastest, craziest, most intense game you’ve ever seen. This… is Ultimate Tag!” And then the studio lights up to show a crazy obstacle course.
The Gist: If Ultimate Tag sounds like a crazy version of everyone’s favorite childhood game, well, it is. Hosted by JJ Watt and his NFL star brothers TJ and Derek, the show pits three male and three female contestants against a set of “pro taggers” who chase them around an obstacle-filled field. If one of the pro taggers takes off a flag that’s Velcroed to the contestant’s jersey, that’s considered a “tag”.
The contestants are all accomplished athletes, but the pro taggers, who go by pro-wrestling-style names like “Banshee,” “Bulldog,” “Geek,” “The Iron Giantess,” “The Atomic Ant,” “The Flow” and more, are extremely skilled parkour artists, gigantic bodybuilders, agile freerunners, and other athletic puruits that allow them to easily vault and climb over the obstacles.
In the first round, the three competitors run in the same field, trying to avoid the pro tagger. The last contestant standing gets the most points. In the second round, the contestants have to avoid the tagger and hit a button on the other side of the course; if they’re tagged, they have to go to the beginning and start over. The person with the least points goes home. The third round is varied. The men have to avoid a tagger while climbing around a monkey-bars-style dome 30 feet up; after three tags, they’re out. The women do a “revenge tag” round, which wasn’t really covered well in the first episode.
The final round is a time competition, where each contestant has to avoid a tagger on a tough obstacle course, then avoid a second tagger on a pyramid they have to climb. When they push the lever at the top, their time stops. Each tag carries a 5-second penalty, and the contestant in the lead gets a 1-second advantage for every point they’re leading by. The winner of the final round gets $10,000.
Our Take: If Ultimate Tag sounds silly, well, it is. Produced by reality veterans Conrad Green and Natalka Znak, it takes a pretty simple concept — the game of tag — and makes it into a sport. The “fans” hold up sings celebrating the various taggers as if they each have their own fan bases. And JJ Watt starts each round with the ridiculous catchphrase, “Let’s play some tag!”
But, you know what? It’s athletic competition, something we don’t have a lot of right now, and it has its moments. We really appreciated the athleticism of both the contestants and the taggers. Watching “The Flow” aka Tavon McVey, bounce over those obstacles like they’re nothing, for instance, was amazing. And seeing how the contestants are plum exhausted by the end of each round shows how determined and competitive they are, even if they know this is just a hyped-up version of the game they played as a kid.
JJ Watt makes for a perfectly-fine host, but when you add his brothers into the mix, they kind of blend together. Still, having them host together gives the show an added element of having hosts that can bust each other’s balls and not make it look artificial.
What does look artificial are the personas of the taggers. There’s one freerunner called “Geek” (aka Omar Zaki) who has huge aviator glasses and a mop of curly blonde hair, who talks about “angles” and “math” in a way that makes him sound like he would be comfortable in the cast of Revenge of the Nerds. In other words, he’s a better freerunner than an actor. The taggers try to talk trash with the contestants after each round, but it’s so mild that it seems like friendly ribbing more than anything else. We get the idea that giving the taggers personas helps the viewer root against them as the series goes on, but the personas aren’t well executed. We’d rather just know these great athletes by their real names.
Could this show get repetitive? Sure. But it really depends on how whatever set of contestants in a particular week handle the courses. Some may be spectacular, and others may fail spectacularly, as one did on the Dome Tag course. That variable will hopefully keep things interesting.
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