The game shows are a very popular genre of TV, millions of viewers tuning in every day. Some are developed for laughs, while others are played for prizes or large sums of money. Public familiarity, their ‘easy watching’ factor, strikingly high stakes and built up interest in the shows leads to high viewing numbers. What makes them different from other shows is the way that it allows the viewer to take part to a certain extent and in many game shows they can test their own knowledge, rather than just sit and watch.
The game show that I will be concentrating on is ‘The weakest Link’, the quick-fire general knowledge quiz. This show has taken the world by storm 5 days a week and is known best for its fast-witted and ‘rude’ host Anne Robinson. I am going to write about why this show appeals to the television viewers, and how the show creates tension and excitement. Firstly, rather than being an immediate attention grabber the program title sequence has a meaning. It is a proverb: ‘the weakest link’ which gives an insight to the show.
It is identifiable and new viewers would find this intriguing and feel like watching on to see what the show is all about. The show is famous for its host Anne Robinson. She appeals to the audience with her unique attitude and her snobby and humiliating comments toward the contestants. She speaks in a ultra-stern and monotonous way and her verbal put-downs have given her a reputation as the rudest person on television-‘You’re a coward, aren’t you? ‘; ‘We’re not fainting with admiration here’; ‘pathetic’; ‘appalling’; ‘shameful’; ‘stupid. ‘
However Anne is not always like this all the time, she was slightly more relaxed in the also popular “Watchdog” show. The show is more appealing when the viewer has previously seen the host or is used to them so they feel ‘at home’. In the Weakest Link the tone and general atmosphere of the show is very humiliating and fast moving. The viewer finds this entertaining as the contestants seem to be scared of Anne’s quick witted insults which creates a lot of tension in the viewer who likes to see their reaction. The Studio set gives the show a claustrophobic atmosphere.
The 6 contestants are placed round Anne in a semi-circle, each in front of a small voting booth. The audience are placed round them in a circle. The semi-circle shape of the contestants is very important as it allows Anne to turn quickly toward each one and fire questions which keeps the show fast paced and keeps the viewer ‘on the edge of their seat’. There is a good use of light as well, they are dark blue which makes the atmosphere more scary and unpredictable. The audience are sat around and do not do anything of real importance except for laughing at Anne’s comments.
The tasks set and prizes are a very successful part of this show. The six contestants battle each other, the clock & the host- Anne in a triva contest to see who is the “Strongest Link. ” The contestants play as a team in four rounds of rapid-fire questions. Every time they get a question right more money Is added to the pot. The way that the questions are asked is so quick and it keeps the pace of the show which keeps the viewer watching. Every time a question is answered wrongly, the pot goes down to zero. There is a max.
money target in most rounds which is i?? 1000. The aim is to reach this target by creating a chain of six correct answers, or by stringing together several smaller chains. Using the strategy of banking. This is also a great tension builder as when the chains get bigger the consequence of answering a question wrongly puts more pressure on the contestant which creates suspense in the audience. At the end of each round contestants vote to eliminate the fellow competitor they think is the Weakest link in the chain.
Of course tactical voting may come into play, and contestants are in no way obliged to vote of those they consider to be the weakest which is sometimes an exciting twist for the audience. While the contestants are writing down who they want voted out the tension is built up in the audience by a voice-over which tells us who statistically was the weakest link. The contestant with the most votes must endure the humiliating walk of shame. This is an entertaining part of the show as the contestants get their ‘revenge’ in the post-vote interview which is often back-biting and keeps interest in the show.
Another way of creating excitement in the audience is how the rounds get shorter as people get eliminated which puts pressure on the contestants to bank and work better as a team. When there are only 2 contestants left they battle it out in a head-to head best of three question round until one person wins. The other ‘leaves with nothing’. There is use of music in the title screen and at the end of the show. There are many short, loud and sharp sound effects at the start and end of each round, which facilitate tension and emphasise certain points in the show.
The main body of the round generally has soft pulse music which is hard to hear as the audience are more concentrated on the quick-fire questions. In conclusion, I think that BBC’s unique quiz show with Anne’s negative comments make for entertaining and alternative viewing. This show is a lot less about winning loads of money like WWTBAM and being the best but more about staying on, and not getting voted off. Tactical voting, and the general quick-fire structure of the show make compelling daytime TV.
Talk Shows Essay
624 Words3 Pages
In the world of television, talk shows have undoubtedly taken up almost every inch of space on daytime television, and while doing so has caused much controversy. In the nineteen eighties, soap opera’s and game shows ruled the daytime airwaves, but the nineties are definitely the decade of the talk shows. The craze of talk shows all seemed to start with the originals such as Geraldo Riveria, Donahue and Sally Jesse Rafael (now called Sally) In fact, many of their original topics are still being used in today’s talk shows, but with a different style and format. Some of the talk shows on the air today, such as the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Montel Wiliams Show are focused on improvement of society and the quality of life. They…show more content…
(HighTimes 2) By watching shows like these people can see and understand things that they probably wouldn’t witness in their everyday life. Then there are the shows that aren’t quite trash, but are not exactly educational either such as the Jenny Jones Show, or the Ricki Lake Show. These shows are good for a laugh and are lighthearted and not as drastically honorable as the the Opera Winfrey Show, or as blatant as the Jerry Springer show. The problem most people have with talk shows it that they exploit peoples lives for everyone to see. While flipping through all the channels you are bound to see innuendoes of sex, adultery hate and drugs, whether it is on the news or soap operas. The reason that talk shows take the most heat for his is because it is not an innuendo; it is an hour of analyzing these taboo issues. Also, any child or adolescent that sees these things may think it is normal to lead this kind of lifestyle. It is very confusing for a child to have been taught their moral values and than turn on the TV and see people openly taking on shows titled “Teenage Prostitutes” and “Pregnant strippers”. And imagine how a thirteen-year-old must feel when she watches a show about other thirteen years olds, but these teens have already had twelve sexual partners, and their parents condone it! Besides all the problems for the public viewers, the people that actually go on the show are often tricked, or not told what the show is about.