The Cube Review: Tiddlywinks With Epic Proportions

August 22, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

THE CUBE: Saturday 22nd August, ITV1, 8:30pm Alert Me

ITV is bringing back the Saturday night with the return of The X Factor, and an all-new super-shiny game show.

Welcome to The Cube, a big glass box in which contestants complete challenges to win up to £250,000.

In The Cube, our shrill-ver fox host Phillip Schofield tells us, simple tasks reach epic proportions. Are you intrigued?

The tasks really are simple. Mockably so. But teamed up with the big sum of money or the possibility of going away empty handed, you might just get sucked in.

Tonight’s contestant is Dean from Clacton-on-Sea. His first task is to drop a ball down a clear plastic tube and catch it at the other end. Simple right? Actually, no.

Not only does he have to catch the ball with the same hand he used to drop it, but the end section of the tube is painted red so he can’t even see when the ball’s about to come out!

Okay, it is simple.

He has to catch the ball before it touches the floor, otherwise he loses a life. He gets nine lives to begin with, and must complete seven increasingly difficult challenges to win the quarter-mil. Stupid money for playing with balls.

Dean from Clacton-on-Sea has to do some lateral thinking to complete his simple challenges. This must be the “epic proportions? bit. Phillip has it down, telling us: “There are two sorts of games with The Cube. The ones you play in The Cube, and the ones it plays with your head?. Wiser words never said, Schof.

It’s a blatant fudging of tension (see The Colour of Money), which could be made worse by the simplicity of the tasks but as Schof doesn’t seem to be taking it entirely seriously. At many points he looks like as though he’s stifling a giggle at the inanity of it all, so it comes off a bit tongue-in-cheek.

There are some slick slow-mo shots of all the action which don’t seem necessary but lord can they tickle. The footage of Dean from Clacton-on-Sea bending over after a ball bouncing out of reach takes on so much more significance when it’s slowed right down with some whooshy sound effects.

It’s harmless entertainment that will do nicely after X Factor. I give it one series though.

Leonie Mercedes

Jack says:

I can see how The Cube could be so easily mocked and ripped to pieces by critics, but it does manage to draw you in. It wouldn’t be quite as interesting without the the matrix style slow-mo camera shots. It held it’s own in the TV ratings though and still held its own without an X-Factor lead in this week.

Could we possibly be seeing a second series?