The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Zero As A Limit


There’s a new craze in town. The TV show Pointless. It’s good...it’s very good... it’s pointless!

Okay, so it really doesn’t need to be forty-five minutes; I don’t care who the contestants are and I’ve grasped the rules so I don’t need Alexander Armstrong to explain them to me every time. But I watch it on catch-up, so I can fast foward through the tedious bits – I’ve no idea what the theme tune sounds like – and just concentrate on the bits of the game show with the game in.

The premise is simple. It’s like an online ‘rare entries’ contest. They asked one hundred people to list as many as possible of a thing (European countries, singles by Girls Aloud, books by the Brontes) and what the contestants have to do is to think of a correct answer so obscure that none of those hundred people gave it as an answer.

Which appeals greatly to my trivia-sponge brain, where it’s the obscure bits of knowledge around the facts that stick to the sides. It’s appealling to a different type of geekiness.

But they do need to twiddle with the format. Just speed it up, either make it half an hour or have more rounds. And I’d change it so that all contestants in a round give their answers before we find out how correct or low-scoring they were, because as it stands sometimes gets an answer wrong straight away and incurs a pentalty of one hundred points, which means the rest of the round is a bit of a waste of time as everyone else knows they’ve already won. And if there are a lot of potentially pointless answers which haven’t been guessed, we should be told what all of them are, not just half a dozen or so.

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