The Whammy is Back! My Review of ABC’s New Press Your Luck
If you grew up in the 80s and stayed home sick from school there were usually two things you watched. The Price is Right with Bob Barker was the big one, but from 1983 to 1986 kids were also watching Press Your Luck and shouting "Big bucks! No Whammies!" Now ABC has added a bit of nostalgia to its summer programming with an all new version of the beloved show.
The game is really simple. You answer questions to earn spins on the big board that is full of cash, prizes and the Whammy. You keep whatever you land on, but if you stop on a Whammy you lose everything as an animated red Whammy comes out and wipes you clean of cash.
The original Press Your Luck only lasted three seasons, but many people have fond memories of the game and ABC is cashing in on that nostalgia with their new version of Press Your Luck hosted by Elizabeth Banks.
What's great about it? Everything! The big board, the whammy, the excitement. It's all there in a very recognizable but modernized form. The theme music is the same but revamped, the Whammy has old animations that have been re-created along with several new ones, and they added a new bonus round.
Whoever has the most money at the end of the main game gets to keep their winnings and go on to face the big board solo with a chance to win $1 million. It feels a lot like Deal or No Deal. You can play up to six rounds and start round 1 with 5 spins you must use. If you get four Whammies at any point of the game, you're out. If at any point you reach a total of $500,000, the game is over and you are automatically bumped up to $1 million.
You start round 1 with 5 spins. Survive, and you can continue on a board with higher dollar amounts and 4 spins and it continues to progress like that through all six rounds. Anytime you hit a Whammy you lose everything.
If you're a fan of the original show you'll love this. I was skeptical of both the bonus round and Elizabeth Banks when I first learned of the show, but after seeing the preview episode on Tuesday night, that skepticism is gone. Elizabeth is a fantastic host. She's witty, excited and genuinely wants contestants to win. The bonus round is a perfect addition to make Press Your Luck have even more risk/reward moments than the original show did. The main game is the Press Your Luck we know and love. If it wasn't for the flashy set you might think it was 1986 all over again.
I can't wait to see the next episode which airs June 12 at 8 p.m. on ABC.