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itstrue said:
I enjoy the format of the game, but I wish they would ditch the silly team names and costumes. And some of these trivia "experts' are pretty lame. "I wasn't born then"? Please.
Unfortunately, there is a point where "the silly names and costumes" help determine who gets on the show and who gets sent home after the first day of each regional. (On the first day of qualifying, everybody takes a written test, and the teams that score a certain amount - it's not clear if it's combined score of the three players, lowest of the three, or something else - are then interviewed on the spot by the producers; the interviews have nothing to do with how much pop culture you know (that's why they had the test) and pretty much everything to do with determining how much "stage presence" a team has. Also, only the five regional winners, plus the defending champions and the team made up of three people who took the online test, automatically advance to the TV rounds; the other nine teams are chosen by the producers, and they do not have to choose the nine who know the most answers.)

Speaking of pop culture, did anyone else notice last season that there seems to be a narrow definition of the term? (For example, music questions seem to be limited to rock, pop, and rap/hip-hop; the one time they asked a country music question, the audience reacted as if the question was out of place.)

-- Don
 

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One thing bothers me - why bother having a contest about pop culture if they're going to let the contestants fudge on the answers?

Here's the primary example from the second show (although the team lost, so it doesn't have an effect on the tournament result): when asked how Sergeant Esterhaus on Hill Street Blues usually ended his daily talk, a contestant said, "And be careful out there" - and, after a relatively lengthy pause, the answer was accepted, even though any Hill Street fan would know the phrase is, "And HEY - Let's be careful out there!"
(They should give a little leeway - for example, in the Ferris Bueller question about "When Cameron was in Egypt's land," they were right to accept "Let my Camerons go" even though the actual quote says "Cameron" - but letting that Hill Street one go by almost defeats the purpose of the whole thing.)

-- Don
 

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MitchO said:
I noticed that there was a very long pause after the Hill Street answer, even longer than the usual "dramatic tension" one. It was probably a 'judge check' of some sort.
It was, as was the pause after the Ferris Bueller Cameron(s) question. Last season, there was somebody sitting next to the host wearing a headset; presumably an associate producer of some sort who contacted the producers if they needed a ruling.

There was one "pause" I can think of last season - the question asked who portrayed Screech on Saved by the Bell, and the contestant replied, "Diamond"; they needed confirmation that they only needed a last name (after which most of the crowd booed the decision, although the "last name only" rule is still in effect according to a comment the host made this season).

-- Don
 

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FilmCritic3000 said:
Thank you! I was yelling at my television!

Where'd they get these people? Did they just grab six people loitering outside the studio before the taping? Last season actually seemed to have pop culture geeks; so far this season's been awfully lacking in that regard, and it's made for a less enjoyable watch, IMHO.
Keep in mind that not everybody on each team is an expert in each category. How many people can name all of Rocky's opponents and the names of the characters on Lost whose actors are named in the opening credits (both of which have been tiebreakers this season)? If the first two rounds are split, then the fourth round is going to involve two players who were forced to be there (whoever lost the third round is down to one; whoever won only has two, one of which was in the third round and so can't be in the fourth).

However, I wouldn't be surprised if there was some sort of seeding involved, and El Chupacabra, being the defending champions, was fed what the producers thought was a cream puff (seemingly forgetting that EC would have lost in the semi-finals last year had an opponent known, or the one male on EC not known, what Hank sells on King of the Hill).

Speaking of the Rocky question, there were some possible answers they left out; at the beginning of Rocky III, they show Rocky defending his title against what turned out to be "hand-picked" challengers, and at the beginning of the first film, didn't they show Rocky losing to a club fighter (who was named when they paid them after the fight)?

-- Don
 

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mwhip said:
Hey I went to an audition and did the online tests for Almost Perfect Strangers 2.0 and the questions on those are incredibly difficult. The ones on the show they ask are a cake walk compared to those. My only idea is when you are standing up there with a spotlight it probably gets 10x harder to remember stuff.

Oh and the lady not wanting to say...Brass Balls!?! what a dumba$$.
I was surprised they asked a question where the answer included one of the "seven words you're not allowed to say on TV".

As for the qualifying test being tougher than what airs, this tends to be a trend on TV game shows; they don't want to make the questions so tough that the people at home won't know a reasonable number of the answers. (There was a story years ago about how Jeopardy! had to "dumb down the questions"; in fact, in the 1980s, Sale of the Century did the same thing.)

-- Don
 

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Pat almost blew it with that James Bond question.

When one of the players said, "Her Majesty's Secret Service." he should not have given the correct title (On Her Majesty's Secret Service) when explaining why the answer was wrong. What if that was the only other Bond film the other player knew? That could have ended up costing them the entire tournament.

-- Don
 

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Who changed the rules? Last year, the categories in the final had 10 questions; this year, they only have six.

(And has The Simpsons shrunk to the point where five of the six questions they asked can be answered by anybody remotely familiar with the show? I think "Treehouse of Horror" would be the only real stumper, as the on-screen titles for the first ten were "The Simpsons Halloween Special", until somebody decided that since Fox was not airing these on or before Halloween (because of the World Series), they shouldn't be called Halloween specials.)

-- Don
 

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MasterOfPuppets said:
I didn't know any of the 2006 songs, but I think they were absolutely correct to include the category...it IS, after all supposed to be the entirety of pop culture, even if 80% of it is disappointingly 80's related.
Actually, little of the TV trivia was '80s related - the four categories I remember based on specific shows were either from the '90s (The Simpsons; Seinfeld; Friends) or '70s (The Brady Bunch).

Speaking of pop culture, since when are books excluded? You would think that, at the very least, the The Lord of the Rings books would be considered pop culture. I'd throw in the Harry Potter series as well, but it may still be considered "kids' books" and not enough pop culture trivia types would know enough about them. (Then again, for all I know, one of the unused tiebreakers was, "Name the Defense Against The Dark Arts teachers in the first six Harry Potter books.")

-- Don
 
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