Thursday, 14 May 2009

QI for those of IQ

Advantages: Stephen Fry's wit and banter

Disadvantages: none really

I really did not get this at first! 
Now I like quiz shows, especially ones that are a little more challenging, like appropriately enough University Challenge. I take them seriously to the point of annoying anyone else in the room with me. 
"Listen to the question" 
"Think about it and you'll get the answer" 
Now when I am reading, I tend to have the telly on as well, some sort of strange multi-tasking thing going on. And on one of the days I was reading and had the telly on, one program had merged into another and at this particular instance QI happened to be on. Whilst reading, I could hear the questions being read out and was muttering the answers to myself. Eventually it dawned on me that, Mr Stephen Fry, the host, quizmaster, MC, or general Mr Big Brain was saying the 'right' answers were in fact wrong. So my attention turned away from my book, towards the programme, and as I was effectively now watching a programme halfway through, I didn't understand the format. Without sounding arrogant, I was convinced the right answers were right and could not understand why Fry was marking them as wrong. Infact, the programme just seemed to be a big free for all piss-take of regular guest Alan Davies. In short it looked like my beloved quiz show genre had turned into a night at the pub. 
Fast forward to another time and a colleague is raving about this QI program and how FUNNY and INTERESTING it is, in fact "QUITE INTERESTING." 
I told him about my experience. 
And he explained, the whole point of the show is not for the answer to be necessarily right, but to be interesting and witty, and yes many of the questions asked are those where we think we know the right answer, but the generally accepted right answer is something of a myth. The show is meant to be enjoyed for its banter and wit flying around, mainly at the expense of the permanent guest and stooge to Stephen Fry, the token non-intellectual, i.e. Alan Davies. The proper guests (across the range of series, perhaps not on this DVD) are drawn from the world of comedy and the highbrow end of lowbrow TV, so expect guests like Doon Mackichan, Jo Brand, Bill Bailey, Jimmy Carr, John Sessions, Dara O'Briain. One regret of this show though is that many of the guests, whilst having moments of humour and interest about them are really rather annoying, arrogant and unfunny people such as Sean Lock, Clive Anderson, Jeremy Clarkson, Rob Brydon, and Danny Baker, but don't worry all is saved by the continuing banter between Stephen Fry and Alan Davies.

Summary: Light relief for quiz fans

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