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Blog: I’ve started, so I’ll finish... ranting!
I’m not one for shouting at the TV, but for some reason quiz shows leave me seething. Mastermind is the worst offender. I growl when fluffy interests are permitted as specialist subjects.
The other night, one women chose ‘Abba’, a subject that, given an hour’s access to the internet, the average person could swot up on sufficiently.
As it was, I could answer half the questions and guessed a couple more. Is it right to pit this sort of ‘subject’ against someone tackling the French Revolution or the American Civil War?
Someone else chose cricket player Brian Lara, which is also a bit of cop- out – I mean, one person and one sport over a relatively short period of time?
I suppose it’s hard to know where to draw the line but popular culture and too-easy lives of individuals should be avoided. Or create a new TV quiz show where experts on One Direction can battle with EastEnders buffs.
Even the general knowledge questions are a lot easier than they used to be. In Magnus Magnusson’s day, I’d be lucky to get a couple correct but now I answer at least half correctly.
It all smacks of dumbing down. There are way too many science documentaries nowadays, many which address people in an infantile way. A mention of ‘earth’ will be followed by ‘that’s the round planet we live on.’ I’m clueless when it come to science but they address us as infants: ‘That’s lava, spilling from that volcano, it is very hot.’ After two minutes my brain cries out for more stimulation, so I turn over to Come Dine With Me.
Maybe the nation is getting dumber. It’s painful watching Family Fortunes, where teams of adults struggle to name six things you find in a bathroom.
Thank goodness, then, for University Challenge – at least those questions are still taxing to normal folk like me.
And there’s always one contestant with the brain of a computer who the rest of the team turn to when faced with a ridiculously complicated mathematical equation.
I do have one gripe with this programme, however: the teams should be made up of undergraduates only. There are far too may older contestants with five PhDs who can answer everything. That leaves me seething, too.
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