Quiz shows

What happened to the television quiz shows from yesteryear?

Classics such as Sale of the Century, where contestants answered general knowledge questions on the buzzer, earning £5.00 a time, trying to build up their money to get through to the final – but being tempted along the way by the latest hostess trolley at such a bargain price they couldn’t resist it. Other remarkable bargains were sets of pans, cushions and other items that are now regularly seen on the television shopping channels, but back then you could only get them from Sale of the Century… well, that’s the only place where I saw them anyway. Or another example is Take Your Pick, where contestants had to answer yes or no questions without saying yes or no, or nodding or shaking their heads. If they were lucky enough to get through to the next round they would choose a box and then be offered money for the box instead of the chance of winning whatever was inside. Usually, they opted for the box, and regularly won a pair of underpants. In both these shows, the contestants always left with something. I’m probably wrong here, but I don’t think they ever actually left with nothing.

In today’s shows, it is a different story. And the contestants seem to have to have a story to get on the show now as well. I mean, I tune in to watch excellent  modern shows, such as Deal or No Deal, or The Chase, get involved with the tension that is built up within the show, and then find myself having to hold back my tears because of the heart-wrenching tale the contestant has just told or the main reason for them appearing on the show in the first place. And the outcome of these shows is that there is no guarantee that the contestant will leave with something. More often than not, they are left very disappointed and the closing lines to the show is usually something like “Will someone be able to do it next time?”. And the awful thing is… is that it is entertaining.

I feel for the people with their sad tales. I understand what they have been going through and how so many thousand pounds can help them with their current situation. And I am with them during their disappointment when they win a penny, or nothing at all. I also feel their elation when they win £26,000.00 when they could have left with 10p, or their anguish when they win £26,000.00 and could have left with £250,000.00.

Quiz shows, I believe, are classed as light entertainment. But today, I think they allow us to become involved with those taking part, rather than simply watching them. We feel pleased when they do well, and feel sad when they don’t, unlike years ago when they won a kettle and £45.00 and that was it.

Where will the next generation of quiz shows take us? We’ve had the easy ride, and we are now experiencing the roller coaster. What’s next? The ghost train option where we have to watch from behind the sofa? Or the water ride where we have to wear bright yellow plastic coats to tune in. Or how about the virtual reality one where we are the contestant? We will experience first hand the winning and losing as we are the one playing. At least we’ll have the practice with the current shows being broadcast.

4 responses to “Quiz shows”

  1. bex avatar

    i thought these shows were rocked by cheating scandals?


    1. aquatom1968 avatar

      Shhh… not all of them. And never Sale of the Century. Never!

      I remember the cheating sandal. Audience members very often became blue in the face as they tried not to cough during the general knowledge round…


      1. bex avatar
        1. aquatom1968 avatar

          The cheating sandal.

          Sorry about that. Wireless keyboards and extreme tiredness do not mix very well… Sounds like an interesting quiz show though…


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