Thursday, October 12, 2006

TV "Review": 100 vs 1

Random Thoughts on BBC1's Saturday quiz show 1 vs 100

(In case Quizzing member Neil reads this: please accept my apologies in advance and don't take anything I write here at all seriously. Also, when you're on TV different rules apply and people are apparently allowed to say rude things about you just because it is funny. Happened to me many a time ... and I still weep to this day about some of the more caustic barbs)

1 This abomination puts the "turd" in Saturday.

2 The contestant's lack of skill and real GK actually precludes them from making any serious money. Where there is no big money played at high stakes, as the show implies, there is no suspense. Who cared if the fella walks away with ten thousand? He might as well have gone on Deal or No Deal.

3 This could have been a good quiz show if they actually put up champion quizzers against the audience. There would be no need for "Dodges", which take even more excitement out of the game. But then I would say that.

4 However, I liked the final, crucial question. Nobody thinks that a whale is most closely related to a hippo and the producers were being astute in their sneakiness. You can always rely on quiz civilians to rely on their "common sense", which is often a totally misguided set of knowledge precepts based on reading The Sun and watching Coronation Street. I was thinking that there was no guarantee that this should would not go on forever thanks to a few hardy member of the crowd, but then they can pull these impossible 3-1 questions out of the bag and turn it into a gambling game.

5 Isn't 35-40 minutes too long to focus on one individual humming and hawing all the time? Especially someone with such weird, elvish ears. Come to think of it Dermot O'Leary's ears are pretty strange as well.

6 Every subject that came up Neil said I'm not too good on that. Not too good on either. E.g. He is given the subject choices of religion or world affairs, he says "neither of them are great for me". This made me somewhat twitchy and liable to violence. Then when talking about choosing science or literature he said science is broader and literature is specific. This man is a true epistemologist. Give him a prize.

7 Cut to the anxious faces in the audience says the producer. No, please DON'T. These people actually clapped and whooped when he dodged a question about the African birth country of Brangelina's baby Shiloh Nouvel. I mean, he said I'm 60 per cent it's Botswana and 40 per cent it was Mozambique, but the mere fact he decided not to play it anoints him as a crafty and shrewd operator. While the fact he didn't think it was Namibia - AT ALL - actually marks him out as something of a know-nothing and is therefore deserving of rotten fruit being propelled at his face.

8 Look there's a related web game on the BBC website. Knock yourself out. Or just punch yourself in the head until you lose consciousness before you get a chance to play. Though, it must be said, it's certainly better than watching 1 vs 100.

9 I believe 100 to 1 are the chances of this becoming a bona fide ratings bonanza. Honk honk.

10 I should have watched the Monty Python documentary with Eddie Izzard instead.

11 Why are men forced to wear such boring shirts on TV? Do TV show's wardrobe people have a concessionary deal with Burton? It would make a lot of sense if they did.

12 What are the industrial-sized fans in the back for? Ventilation? Because they look so darned cool? So suicidal contestants can make a suitably theatrical impression of a tomato in a blender?

13 The show announcer says: "It's the toughest quiz show on television". Which is a pile of big, hairy bollocks. Mastermind and University Challenge are tougher by dint of their superior question strength. Sure, 1 vs 100 looks tougher but that's only because of the low-grade calibre of people that Endemol have chosen. Mastermind finalists would walk the questions in this programme. I mean, they wouldn't take ten bloody minutes over one question on Marge Simpson's maiden name. In the MM general knowledge round people get three seconds. So you talk about the stakes. If the question is easy enough, the stakes matter not a jot. So quit your yapping.

14 I've noticed how the phrase "life-changing amount of cash" has entered the quiz/game show lexicon thanks to Noel and DOND. It's stupid. The amounts normally on offer might change people's lives a little, but they don't encourage winners to buy holiday homes in Barbados. It's all rotten hyperbole and farty hot air. They say you can win £200,000, like you can win £250,000 on DOND, but the chances the contestants will is next to non-existent. Stop lying all of you (is it a Dutch Endemol thing?).

15 Neil says he is very competitive and is asked if his competitive streak strong enough to beat the HUNDRED (whose concentrated excellence possibly outdoes even the Persian Empire's Immortals). But what good is competitiveness if there is no sodding knowledge to back it up? I'm sure the Russian commanders thought the same was true when they forced weapon-less soldiers at gunpoint to charge the Nazis at Stalingrad: "It's okay, they may have heavy duty machine guns, but you have great Russian patriotic spirit and competitiveness to back you up". I bet, England's football team think they are very competitive, and see what good it has done them in recent weeks. You need ammo supplies if you are to win at anything.

16 This programme makes me mad. Oooh, I can feel Frey-esque fury rising up in me. I didn't realise how completely crap it was until I started writing these random thoughts.

17 I detest the tyranny of the multiple-answer question. I blame Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

18 Jenni Falconer's make-up is scary. She looked better when she was crying or falling off a horse.

19 I started to laugh at Neil's pain when he couldn't choose between 14, 16 or 18 for the present Pope Benedict. Open up a newspaper sometime, why don't you? Poor music man.

20 Amidst stirring, overblown, stupid end-music, Dermot asks: "See you next week?" Not likely.


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