Stake Out (2)
BBC Scotland for CBBC, 13 February to 14 November 2008 (26 episodes in 2 series)
The principle behind Stake Out is familiar: hidden cameras. Over the course of one day, someone is going to be put in five unusual situations, and they'll react in the way they think best. They've been set up by three of their friends, who are predicting just how they'll react - will they take part in full, do some of the silliness but recoil from the last part, or ignore the challenge completely. If the friends - who watch the challenges unfold from the next room - guess correctly, they'll win points, and if they win points, they'll all be winning prizes.
A lot of thought has gone into these skits, with completely spoof martial arts, shoes that (according to the show's myth) walked on the moon, and even a completely made-up country - and that's all in the one episode. A cast of trained actors returns during the series, led by CBBC regular Barry Killerby. At its best, the show reminds us of some of Beadle's best set-ups - just getting the balance right is difficult enough, making us laugh in anticipation of the result is even better. And, unlike Beadle, it's clearly done in very good humour - the tricks don't have an ounce of malice, just bucketloads of bizarre.
Stake Out owes something to Oblivious, where there was a "24 Hours" feature, where a victim was been subjected to various bizarre situations, and their relatives predicted what they did. Here's how they should have done it: bring the relatives to the next room, get them to predict what will happen, and tone down the nastiness.