Saturday, 12 April 2014

Challenge TV - Timeline

I have never lost any sleep over the question – whatever happened to Brian Conley? I know the answer now, though. He’s been making quiz shows for the Challenge Channel. Specifically a show called Timeline. I caught it for the first time this afternoon.

It is, essentially, a simple show. Basically three pairs of contestants compete against each other to put lists of 5 items in order. As the title of the show suggests, these are often events, but not always. For example, on the show I watched, one poor pair of contestants had to place Dolly Parton’s boobs, Bruce Springstein’s voice, Tina Turner’s legs, Kylie Minogue’s bum and Keith Richard’s hands in order from least to most of how much they are insured for. Each round whittles away one of the teams. Each round is slightly different, for example, in round 2, both remaining teams had a set of events, and a year, and had to decide which ones happened in that year, and which didn’t. The team with more correct placements on the time line won. Then for the final line the remaining pair was given a timeline of 5 consecutive years. A set of film clips followed, and they had to place each event in the right place on the line. Each one they got right earned them £500. They had a time budget in which to carry this out, and so it paid to crack on with it. Now, in the best traditions of Bullseye , the winning pair was offered the chance to gamble their money in order to double it, by taking on another line. This line was a timeline with longer gaps, which made it slightly easier. That was it.

Overall. . . it was alright. At an hour it’s at least 15 minutes too long, and in fact I think that the show could probably come in at half an hour. I thought the timelines themselves were rather uneven – some of them were much, much, much easier than others. When you get right down to it, the whole thing was a little bit repetitive as well. Which is not to say that some of the lines were without interest or playing along value. But I’m afraid that I’m just not one for pure guessing games, and lines like the celebrity insurance ones were just that.

There is a decent show struggling to get out of Timeline, but it needs tweaks. In no particular order: -
* It needs speeding up and being shortened to no more than 45 minutes.
* The lines given to each team within any given round need to be evened up. I’m sorry, but there is no comparison between that awful celebrity insurance line, and a line asking you to put several talent show winners in order of age at the time that they won. I mean, come on – there’s no way that you were ever going to put Perry from Diversity anywhere but first, and Paul Potts anywhere but last, which meant that you only had three to sort our, and they were all pretty obvious as well.

I’m glad I’ve seen it now, and I know what it’s about, but I certainly won’t be going out of my way to watch it again any time soon.

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