A Sweeping Success?

Supermarket Sweep | ABC | S1 E1: Give Me the Roses, Richard

The Sweep is back! Supermarket Sweep (finally) premiered on ABC tonight, and it brought with it nostalgia, a bit of comedy and of course, folks running around a supermarket.

The structure of the game remains mostly unchanged, but there have been a bunch of modern updates. Teams (which now have names, like “Team Biscuits,” get 2:00 for their big sweep by default instead of 1:30, but each correct answer still adds 10 seconds to their sweep time. The contestants’ podiums are now LED screens shaped like shopping carts, and they look pretty cool!

Replacing David Ruprecht as host is SNL alumna Leslie Jones. While the teams of two still answer supermarket brand related questions, the format of the questions has been updated to include categories like: picture puzzles to identify a brand, selecting the fake product from a list of three, and identifying a brand’s mascot by their online profile (and now one member from each team runs the mini sweep in the beginning of the show). There’s inexplicably still a round robin portion, where the contestants switch off answering questions – always my least favorite aspect of the 90’s/2000’s version.

One member from each team still runs the big sweep, with Jones commentating on the action. In addition to cameramen, there are now cameras fixed to the carts to get a carts-eye view of the madness. There’s a security guard (?) and other “employees” in the store, like a flower salesman (the Richard mentioned in the episode title), and barista who inexplicably slowed down the contestants. There are also cashiers to, presumably, check out the groceries.

The dollar amounts of this sweep are drastically higher; on the 90’s/2000’s version of the show, the totals of the big sweeps would usually be no higher than $2,000; in this version there were $3,000+ totals #logical.

The final sweep format has also been tweaked – it is now the Super Sweep. As per usual, the winning team is given a clue and they have to run through the store reading clues and finding products, but now they initially win $25,000 and have the option to cash out or keep shopping. If they keep shopping they can go for $50,000, and if they’re successful they can cash out or and keep shopping and go for $100,000!

I enjoyed the episode and the updates they made to the show’s formula, though changing to an hour-long show with 2 sets of contestants seems a little odd; why not just keep it at 30 minutes and air 2 episodes? It’s clear Leslie Jones is having a blast (and her energy isn’t as manic as it seemed from the previews… yet), but how could anyone not get excited about the good clean fun of Supermarket Sweep?! M

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