It’s been a long time since we’ve “Heard the beep” on Supermarket Sweep, my personal favorite game show of all time. The extremely fun series is back with a fresh new take with Saturday Night Live alumni Leslie Jones as the host, airing in 60-minute increments on Sundays at 8 starting October 18th. Grab your thinking caps and your running shoes, because it’s time to “Push It” (the show’s new theme song uses the Salt-N-Peppa classic).
Originally a 30-minute show, the reboot basically feels like two episodes put together with two groups competing in the first and second-half. The trivia rounds have received some modern updates, with games like “Swipe Right” where Leslie Jones reveals clues for a food mascot’s dating profile and the contestants need to buzz in to say who they think it is. The catch is that you have to know the mascot’s name. Saying “The Lucky Charms leprechaun” doesn’t work, you have to know that his name is actually Lucky when you give your answer.
The food items on the shelves may be current, but the set designers have strived for some nostalgia. It’s not a supermarket as any of them actually looked in the 1990’s, but it’s sort of a dream version of it. Lots of neon and hues of purple and pink to take viewers back in time. The contestants wear their own clothes for the trivia, but don the signature team-colored Supermarket Sweep shirts just for the sweep portion of the game.
During the titular sweep, Leslie Jones disappears to a break room and provides pop-up commentary while the teams run around. Giant inflatable bonuses are back, along with the host’s list of three items that can earn a bonus sum of money and a new item, the elusive golden can hidden in the store. In many ways, the biggest difference between the previous iteration of the series and the 2020 update is the inflation on grocery prices, with final totals averaging around $2,500 and the potential grand prize bumped up to $100,000.
Some things haven’t changed, like cheese wheels, hams, turkeys, and diapers being a popular first stop outside of looking for the bonuses. But this also isn’t the retro Supermarket Sweep currently streaming on Netflix and this primetime reboot gets about as edgy as such a show can get. There’s occasional uncensored swearing and a few sexual innuendos. There’s nothing that should shock a primetime ABC game show audience, but parents wanting to introduce kids to a series they fondly remember may want to screen an episode before sharing it with the whole family.
This new version of Supermarket Sweep is insanely fun and a nice break from the reality of these times, ironic for a show set in a grocery store, which on a typical week is my only outing. While the host and contestants don’t wear masks, it’s hard to miss the camera crew running through the set behind them with masks and face shields on. But overall, it’s a fun escape where contestants get to live through a shopping experience that feels like a grown-up version of the Toys “R” Us Shopping Spree that fueled my dreams as a child.
I give ABC’s reboot of Supermarket Sweep 5 out of 5 computer generated apples bouncing on the floor.
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.