ABC is adding a brand-new, original game show to their Summer Fun & Games lineup with Don’t, premiering Thursday, June 11th, at 9:00 pm ET. The concept is fairly simple, the contestants earn money through games by not doing something, which is easier than it sounds. Host Adam Scott (Boy Meets World) keeps a calm face as the games get more challenging.
“From the twisted mind of Ryan Reynolds,” you won’t see the Deadpool actor’s extremely handsome face, but his voice is all over the series as its announcer. He routinely chimes in with hilarious commentaries, which were recorded very recently, making for some extremely poignant jokes about the decline in quality of commercials during the breaks. It may be a joke, but at one point he advertises that Dinosaurs is coming to Disney+ this fall and I think every viewer hopes this to be true.
The series premiere features the Riley Family from Brooklyn, thick accents and all. The creators instantly recognized the stereotypical similarities to the cast of Jersey Shore, listing one of the members as “Maybe DJ Pauly D” in their description. They’re fun to watch as they play through the following absurd games.
“Don’t Get Tired:” Four ramps are set up with Monster Truck-sized tires at the top of each. The bottom features the letters A-D and the four players take turns being at the bottom of one of the ramps. Where they stand is determined by the answer the other members give to a multiple choice trivia answer. If the answer is correct, the tire will drop from all but the lane of the correct answer. If they’re wrong, the only tire that rolls is the one that they’re standing on. The team earns money for each correct answer, but the penalty for a wrong answer is getting, well, “Tired.”
“Don’t Blink:” With this game, $20,000 is added to the team’s score. The clock starts for 60-seconds and they have to try not to blink during that time, losing $500 for every blink from each team member. The screen is divided into four quadrants with a counter and the total score as it gets lower and lower during the minute.
“Don’t Drink:” One member is chosen to stand on a treadmill with a heat lamp behind them and walk while eating five spicy foods, each one progressively hotter, culminating with the dreaded ghost pepper. After eating each item, Adam Scott makes various beverages look increasingly more appealing, from water to lemonade and, lastly, milk. They earn more money for each spicy food eaten without the aid of a beverage afterwards.
“Don’t Use Fowl Language:” That’s not a typo, it’s a bird joke. The team gathers around a giant bird’s nest with an egg-shaped button as images of celebrities appear on the screen. They take turns saying the celebrity’s name out loud, pushing the button if the celebrity’s name includes a species of bird. The other players can’t give them the name, but they can try to give them a hint.
“Don’t Get Clocked:” The team is divided into two, with two members getting in buckets below a moving clock with drawers that slide out above their heads. The other two players answer trivia questions with a numeric answer and the players in the buckets have to try and reach up to pull that number off the clock for cash. If both players get knocked over, the game is over.
Each of the games in the series premiere were a lot of fun to watch. In many ways, Don’t reminds me of a cross between a grown-up version of a 1990’s Nickelodeon game show mixed with a toned-down version of some of Japan’s famously weird game shows. There’s also a bonus that the contestants can choose to activate one time before a game, “Don’t Push Button.” Pressing it allows them to go double-or-nothing on the game, potentially bringing home even more money.
Don’t provides a lot of much-needed comic relief. At times, it makes fun of the contestants, but none of it feels mean spirited. It feels fresh and familiar at the same time and adds a different type of game show experience to ABC’s lineup of Summer Fun & Games programming.
I give Don’t 4 out of 5 members of the button family.
Don’t premieres Thursday, June 11th, at 9:00 pm ET on ABC.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.