Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses. What?

What if this writer told you that as part of the 20th-anniversary celebrations for the Philosopher’s Stone film that was a bizarro world Harry Potter quiz show. Hosted by Helen Mirren of all people. Seeming the only British actress of the time who was not in the films. Proceedings have a decidedly American focus with questions mostly based on the films but also taking in other incarnations of the franchise. Welcome to Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses. Home to the most inexplicable first episode of any television season this viewer has seen in recent memory. As a die-hard fan of the franchise, this watcher should be firmly “in the tank” for a project like this. Unfortunately, every element comes with a level of scripted insincerity. If anything the final product shows how easy it is to fart out a quiz show based on one of the worlds most popular media franchises. The live audience is split into four sections, one for each Hogwarts house. Three players are then selected at random. The rest of the audience in each house will play along. They might have some impact in terms of the points they can also own to complement the main players. As expected with these kinds of shows each of the six main players in the first episode has backstories ( the soppier the better) explaining their emotional connection to the franchise. The questions themselves are mostly observations based on whatever movie clip is showing. Questions are also based on entirely random Harry Potter plot points. Anyone with a passing knowledge of the franchise will have a good grounding. Those that pride themselves on knowing their Deluminator is from their Diagon Alleys will find it very straightforward. . Then there’s Mirren herself. She may be a global treasure but what on earth is she doing here? Beyond her seeming lack of connection to the franchise, she’s a terrible quiz show host. Attempted banter with the audience and contestants field scripted and stilted. Her delivery of the questions extorts no emotion beyond going through the motions of this being a Harry Potter-themed quiz. Then never celebrity guests that clearly would have been in the studio if this had not been a COVID era production. Instead, they are awkwardly integrated on Zoom. Some of the appearances make sense. Matthew Lewis is the kind of team player that’s always likely to show up for projects like this. Luke Youngblood reprises the role of Lee Jordan as the scorekeeper ( despite that role being substantially bigger in the books than the films.) Then there’s the most baffling celebrity moment. Why is Pete Davidson here? He looks like the reincarnated spirit of one of the Hogwarts house ghosts. All questions that are never answered aside from viewers potential headcanon. On an execution level, this production is littered with bizarre choices. These may not make it good but it is certainly an interesting curio for fans.
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses is the kind of screamingly obvious idea that probably should have existed years ago. Given the results within the first episode, it’s perhaps easy to see why it didn’t until someone at Warner Horizon Television was forced to make it.

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