Friday, 15 November 2013

The Thrill of The Chase

Well if there's one thing that I can take out of being in third year at University thus far, it is that you watch a lot of game shows. Well at least I do, I watch a lot of game shows. Generally I find myself at about half four in the afternoon pondering what I've done this morning and wondering what I'll be doing tonight, both generally lead to me realising I've actually done fuck all but flick the kettle on more times than the president of the Women's Institute would if it turned out they all actually liked to smoke a bit of weed and had some serious cotton mouth.

Probably my favourite of the tea-time game shows is Pointless. Come quarter past five on a weekday, I find myself reclining into my god knows how old sofa, cup of char in hand and as I let the soothing sounds of the Pointless intro theme run through me, as if it was a warm knife and I a cold slab of butter, I can relax in the knowledge that I've got a good three-quarters of an hour of quality quizzing to bask in.

Besides the well oiled banter that Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman bounce off each other as if they were a pair of quibbling minors, it can be easy to forget that these two co-hosts are as well-educated as I am shortsighted, and it's unfortunate for me to say that I'm pretty fucking myopic. For those who are new to Pointless, of which I am severely empathetic towards, the show aims to pluck the relevant obscure knowledge that floats about in the mass of your brain in the name of fun. The idea is to score as few points as possible to progress to the next round. With pointless answers getting you the desirable 0 points, an incorrect answer would score you the maximum 100 points; which more often than not ensures not just your imminent elimination but also your grubby hands will never grace the quiz-show holy grail that is the Pointless trophy.


Now most people would think that as I am a somewhat avid Pointless fan, I would not have the time of day to watch ITV's alternative; The Chase. But my dear friends you would be wrong. Evening scheduling dictates that I should choose between the two shows as they overlap in the constant battle for ratings. However, with the advent of an ITV1 timeshift channel, unsurprisingly titled ITV1+1, I am able to enjoy the best of both worlds and if I'm lucky, another beautiful cup of tea.

Although the two shows have completely different styles, with The Chase focusing on general knowledge and trivia in which an incorrect answer only serves to leave you stranded on the over-sized Kindle that is the score board. The real difference is the disparity between the presenters. With Xander and Osman you feel as if you're being wrapped up in a patch work blanket sewn together with knowledge and quick-wit, whereas Bradley Walsh's repartee is more like that of the coked up old fella down the local pub who's a bit too over-interested and a bit too friendly seeing as you've never met the bastard before. That and the fact it seems he knows no alternative to the word 'mate'. If I were to take a guess, I'd say that Bradley calls the contestants 'mate' for a good 25-30% of the show.

With all that said though, The Chase is definitely the second best gameshow on the TV at the moment* and you will find me tuning in at 6pm to put my general knowledge to the test, but as it stands Bradley and his team of mates are merely the David to the quiz-show Goliath that is Pointless. Although, if Bradley takes out his slingshot, we could have a different story.

Chmelt something funny Brad? (source)

*although not right this moment, as Paul O'Grady has reclaimed his 5pm slot somehow, apparently people are still interested in mid-range, D to G list celebrities.

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