Frogger, the 1981 arcade game about one amphibian’s quest to shed light on the insidious evils of the automotive industry, is getting an obstacle-course game show adaptation. NBCUniversal will start airing episodes on its Peacock streaming platform next month, and just released an initial trailer this morning. Yes, it looks as jaw-droppingly bonkers as you’d expect.
Co-host Kyle Brandt hit the nail on the head: “Are you fffrogging kidding me?”
Frogger, hosted by Brandt and Daman Wayans, Jr., is a fitness competition show, clearly following in the footsteps of similar shows like American Ninja Warrior and The Floor Is Lava. Contestants have to carefully navigate an obstacle course, leaping between platforms, dodging moving objects, and weathering high-pressure streams of water meant to knock humans off their feet.
Like the eponymous frog from Frogger, missing a jump means landing directly in water. Its vehicles look much less dangerous, though. In the arcade game, speeding cars could end your journey with the slightest touch. In real life, they’re far more deadly. But the new game show’s automobiles are cute little things, slow and jokey facsimiles merely designed to push unwitting contestants into the drink.
The first episode will be available via Peacock—where you can watch shows like The Office, The Office, and The Office—on September 9. New episodes come out on Thursdays.
On one hand, this is a patently silly idea, a light-hearted show designed to make you smile for 22 to 30 minutes. It might even be genuinely entertaining to watch (and would surely be an absolute blast to compete in).
But Frogger (2021) is indicative of more insipid forces at play. It’s no secret that film and TV producers continue to mine existing creative properties for every last penny, but seriously, Frogger? As a competition show? What’s next, a Space Invaders trilogy directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller? Or a glossy HBO drama based on Pac-Man? Soon enough, everything we’ve ever known and loved and cherished is bound to have its good name plastered on a cash cow, all in service of some Berluti-clad boardroom kneeling at the altar of $$$.
The winner of Frogger gets $100,000. They’re also stuck with the impossible-to-shirk title of “America’s finest frogger.” Hmm, wait, on second thought, this whole thing might be a bit.