Friday, 2 November 2007

The Good Kind of Countdown

Today, Channel 4 celebrates their 25th Anniversary. This is a fact that I don't much care for. Sure, they've had a lot of hit documentaries and shows, but all of that becomes pointless when you compare it to the amount of old Simpsons repeats, spectacularly irrelevant chat shows and Big Brother. The channel has had a lot more misses than hits.

However, a fact that does interest me is that it is also the 25th anniversary of Countdown. This game show, for people outside the UK, consists of two people choosing an assortment of letters and trying to make words out of them. It sounds horrendously dull, but it is in fact the perfect game show. And because it is perfect, it has lasted so long.

It's a simple set, the rules are easy and it's a game that people at home can also play. It can be patronising at time, but that's so the old people watching with their cats feel like somebody is visiting them. It's never controversial, never pointlessly mean to their contestants and best of all, the grand prize at the end is a set of dictionaries. Dictionaries! You know what this means? You''ll never get greedy gits who are only on the show for big cash prizes like you get on Deal or No Deal.

I mentioned how it is such a simple premise. Nowadays, when a new game show is commsioned, it has to be original and fresh. My flatmate, JoeyJ, watched the entirety of Brian Connely's new vehicle Dirty Rotten Cheater yesterday, and still wasn't able to explain what the rules of the game were.

Countdown seriously cannot compare with other game shows. It's in a class of it's own. Not only that, even the dumbest of individuals like myself can take 45 minutes out of their day where they can pretend to be smart. And when you compare the fact that the first question The Weakest Link today was "What is the first letter of the alphabet", you realise that you really are talking about two different shows.

1 comment:

Paul said...


Although it's not the same without Richard Whitely...