Saturday, 22 January 2011

Nobody's Perfect

No, nobody’s perfect, and no quiz is either, although 15 to 1 came close. Rather closer than 12 Yard’s ‘Perfection’, which I caught for the first time on the BBC last week. Let’s be fair, though – very few quizzes could approach that standard. So let’s judge it on its own merits, shall we ?

Right , its confession time. I haven’t been able to catch a whole show yet – see, I told you I was busy – so any of my comments must be viewed in this light. But I’m fairly confident that I’ve got the point of how it works. You might have more than one game in one show. At the start of a game there are four contestants, one of whom will be randomly selected by the computer. That one will play for the money, and the other three – now christened the Usual Suspects – will play to frustrate them contestant and deny them the cash. Sort of. There are several rounds. In each round the contestant is asked a number of true or false questions. If the contestant answers them all perfectly – hence the title of the game – then they win the round. If not, then the Usual Suspects will be told, for the sake of argument – the contender has three answers correct, and one wrong. So all they have to do is supply a correct set of answers. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. If they give more correct than the contender, then they win the round.

Whoever wins the round gets to choose two categories from a selection , which will be question categories for the final round, where the money can be won. It’s in the contender’s interest obviously to select categories they think they can answer. Its in the Usual Suspects’ interests to select categories to make the contender struggle. Why ? Well, once the rounds have all been played out then the questions in the six categories get read out. If the contender has a perfect set of answers, then the money is his or hers. If not, though, they can enlist help of the Usual Suspects. Lets say that the contender is uncertain about the answers given. They can turn to the Usual Suspects. If any one of the Suspects knows for certain that there are wrong answers, they can negotiate their own fee for coming out and sorting out the answers. So if the prize – which starts at £1000, but rolls over when not won – is £3,000 lets say, a canny player might reasonably ask for half of that if they are certain of the answers.

I suppose that this part of the show is a tiny bit reminiscent of Sky’s unenjoyable Sell Me The Answer – but much less nasty. Come to think of it this sort of gimmick was originally used in The Vault , and that wasn’t a bad show. This isn’t a bad show either. Its not the best thing since sliced bread, admittedly. There aren’t enough questions for my taste – you know me, the more questions asked in a show, the more I like it. Its central to the workings of the show, but I don’t particularly care for a non stop diet of true or false questions either. But that’s just me, and by all means feel free to disagree with me. This is made for a teatime audience, most of whom probably aren’t quizzers, and bearing this in mind it does just fine. I like Nick Knowles – he’s a good, safe pair of hands whose served his time on Who Dares Wins and the less than impressive Guesstimation. The show is fairly simple – despite the way I’ve probably made it sound, and I think this will be part of its appeal. The Beeb have 3 teatime quizzes firmly established in the shape of Weakest Link, Eggheads and Pointless. Could this make it four ? It could, although I do know its been held back in the can, as it were for a little while, so your guess is as good as mine.


davidbod said...

It's not exactly been held back in the can. Almost every single episode had to reshot when it was realised that some of the Usual Suspects could see an answer screen that they shouldn't have been able to see. So that was the delay.

Londinius said...

Ah, that would explain it. Many thanks for the information David