Thursday, July 27, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks #159: Non-English TV Shows

This being Thursday, it's time for another edition of "Thursday Movie Picks", the blogathon run by Wandering Through the Shelves. Being the last Thursday of the month, it's time for another TV edition, and this time it's non-English TV shows. Being a fan of game shows, I've picked three foreign games:

Super Grips

Older Americans, and possibly more likely Brits, should recognize this German version of the American game show Blockbusters, one of the more underrated game shows devised. The variation on Hex is simple but unique; having clues based on what letter of the alphabet the answer starts with isn't particularly common, and the two-versus-one was a stroke of genius. The original American host, Bill Cullen, mentioned at the end of the US run how much money had been won by solo players and how much by family players, and the two amounts were within about 2% of one another.

Jeux Sans Frontières

I think the French originated this game under the title Intervilles; the better known name Jeux Sans Frontières was a Europe-wide competition featuring the champions of various countries. Teams of regular people from various cities competed in offbeat physical games that were designed to be just as much funny as actual feats of athletic skill. The game was known in the UK as It's a Knockout and had a brief run in the US in the 1970s as Almost Anything Goes. The international competition, known in English as Games Without Borders, inspired a Peter Gabriel song.

Brain Ring

This Russian show asks two teams riddles in the original sense of the word: not a joke with a punchline, but questions that require serious thinking, just not simple recall of facts. If anybody remembers the brief run in the US of the Million Dollar Mind Game (which had great writing but sadly got shunted to Sunday afternoons against NFL football), that's the sort of question being asked. But Brain Ring has two teams going against each other, as opposed to the derivative idiocy of a money ladder and lifelines.

And for a bonus, here's one that has nothing to do with game shows, but reminded me of a scene in Baby, Take a Bow, since I just blogged about that the other day:


Dell said...

Never heard of any of these. And that's why I couldn't participate this week. I have nothing for this topic.

Birgit said...

I know nothing! I have no clue but that first game show reminded me of the one shown here so I actually watched most of it. That girl I. The overalls looked so shy to me. Now that 2 new....they are just nuts with taking on the bull

Sonia Cerca said...

I haven't heard of any of these before.