From now on, whenever we talk about hosting, the conversation should begin with LEGO Masters host Will Arnett. There’s no one else who can do what he’s been doing with the FOX series.
It was probably a no-brainer to get the Arrested Development star when FOX began developing an American version of the British reality show, in which teams of experienced LEGO builders take on a series of challenges to see whose bricks reign supreme. Arnett, after all, is the voice of LEGO Batman, who was the breakout character in The LEGO Movie so much that he got his own film, The LEGO Batman Movie, three years later. Getting an A-list actor who already has a connection to the brand you’re promoting is kind of the obvious choice.
But hosting isn’t easy. Too many shows look for a recognizable face to host, and then just expect that their star power will do the work, and that just isn’t enough. In only his second primetime hosting gig, Arnett is proving that he has everything it takes to not only be the face of LEGO Masters, but also to lead the show. He’s not just turning up, reading some semi-funny canned lines off cue cards, and then disappearing until it’s time to read the results. He’s making hosting into what it should be, which is its own form of entertainment.
It’s time to introduce a challenge? In last week’s “Mega City Build” episode, that meant Arnett cracking a joke about how the hard hats wouldn’t fit his huge head. Obligatory reminder that time is running out and this is all very serious? We’ve seen him set off sirens. His commercial break segues are as smooth as butter, and he’s even made the annoying part of reality TV where the host asks the contestants inane questions actually fun to watch.
Perhaps that’s because you can tell on LEGO Masters, no one is having more fun than Will Arnett. He doesn’t need those scripted lines; he’s hilarious by himself. He asks questions that actually have some kind of meaning, instead of interrupting solely to create TV content. He also comes out with his own thoughts or concerns about the builds, which is amazing and appreciated; he’s bringing himself to the show and engaging in it, rather than playing the passive hosting role.
As the host, he ideally sets the tone, and Arnett has given LEGO Masters a tongue-in-cheek sensibility. He’s even cracking jokes at FOX’s expense. In the promo for this week’s “Need For Speed/Super-Bridges” installment, you can hear him say, “You can’t get this kind of excitement on The Masked Singer.”
And that’s true because of Will Arnett. He’s brought that sense of humor and fun to LEGO Masters, which is what sets it apart from other reality TV and competition shows. He also shows a genuine interest in the builds and compassion for the people building them; when a building collapsed in the latest episode, Arnett took a moment to console one of the builders. He didn’t have to do that, but he did, because he’s not phoning this in. He also understands that the host has to be there for the competitors as well as the audience.
Will Arnett has made it a joy to watch LEGO Masters every week. The builds are great, the builders are better, but he’s created a really special environment where it doesn’t feel like a TV show. It feels like a bunch of cool people all coming together to hang out and build LEGO, and it just happens to be on national television. Whether it’s having fun with the cliches of reality TV or finding ways to connect with the teams, he creates a positive energy that elevates the entire show.
Dare we say he’s put the pieces together? Or that he’s mastered what it takes to be an amazing host? However you want to phrase it, Arnett is the biggest reason why LEGO Masters deserves a spot on everyone’s watch list.
LEGO Masters airs Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
Article content is (c)2020 Brittany Frederick and may not be excerpted or reproduced without express written permission by the author. Follow me on Twitter at @BFTVTwtr.