There is a part of me that sits smugly on the tiny mountain of knowledge that I have accumulated in my vast 25 years. After all, unless you can compete in brute strength – Gladiator style, then the gauntlet must be thrown down in education and brain power. Trivia flies over the table and packs a punch into the gobs of those lesser in your intellect. And since I’ve been barred from all my locals for taking that last sentence too literally, I’ve resorted to afternoon and evening television quizzes to crack my knuckles with. All whilst sending a hearty verbal smackdown to any contestant who thinks Proust is a type of cheese sandwich filling.
Here are some of my favourites that allow me to be heavily obnoxious in the comfort of my own home where I won’t get beaten up by being condescending.
I’m going to be honest with you; I barely scrape by a six when it comes to Countdown. And that is coming from someone who has a thesaurus and dictionary by her side all day, every day. Frankly, it’s because somewhere in my noggin, my brain struggles to put letters together in the jumble in less than thirty seconds and has nothing to do with my vast vocabulary. No, the reason I love Countdown is because I have a guilty pleasure for sums. Fast maths that you could use in Tulsa! I have always loved mathematics and at one point want to be a teacher of the subject. So you can imagine my glee when it comes to working out the product of four small and one large before Rachel does.
If there is any show that makes you feel like a dum-dum, then it’s this one. Especially with age as the your increasing double digits are a stark contrast to the ages that fill the booths of Jeremy Paxton’s stage (that are not on top of each other but actually next to each other). Despite 50 – 100 questions being told, depending on how quick the answering is, I’ve achieved the highest score of six and that’s ONLY if a film or popular culture question comes up like I’ve constantly picked pink on a Trivial Pursuit board. Nevertheless, I will watch every Monday in hopes that the genius side of my brain kicks in and I become this University Challenge Egg-head. Oh….that’s a different quiz show.
Well. That was a terrible connection. Unlike the beautiful ones they have here. When first introduced, it seemed like an obscure cousin of University Challenge but it relies more on logic, pop culture and your ability to link clue to clue. With various stages such as the initial one, guess the next panel and linking several words, it’s sometimes a rotten but often fun game to play when you sit down and let the hamster work a little bit for its food. This film gets instantly better when you put brained brilliant beauty Victoria Coren Mitchell in the hosting seat because she is witty and intelligent AND has a voice that could soothe you.
This is the one for us. Us nerds. Those who obsess over every single detail of a particular (or many) subjects. So much so that we could tell you such a randomly specific fact of our chosen obsession to annoy our family and friends. And the BBC, in all their glory, have catered to us once again by providing one of those clever quizzes that has a formula change that isn’t “we’re going to play a giant version of that coin dropping game in arcades.” With Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman as hosts (Osman actually one of the brains behind the whole set- up like a fountain of facts,) the idea is to get the lowest number of points by getting the most obscure answer in a particular category. Just wait until they bust out Star Wars – we’re all over that.
There are many many reasons to watch the chase. One - host Bradley Walsh is a living, breathing cockney geezer legend who is exuberant, hilarious and all round great host (giggling at everything rude is a considered advantage). Two – the “Chasers” who are pitted against a team of four in an intellect cat and mouse game are witty and intelligent. Three – some of the people they get on there are so bad that it’s become somewhat of a bet to see who would succeed. The Chase appeases every tier of the family as the questions range from the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow to what is your favourite colour. Enjoyable, informative and with a heap of personalities, The Chase is a wonderful quiz show to watch.
Did we include your favourite TV Quiz Show?
Let us know in the comments!