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December 12th, 2001

Beat the Geeks

It must be new game show season, for while USA has (smush), Comedy Central now has Beat the Geeks.

The basic idea is that three contestants go up against geeks in the pop culture realms of TV, movies, and music. There’s also a bonus geek – tonight, for instance, it’s Simpsons Geek (which’d be a great challenge.) There are trivia questions and an “ultimate showdown” at the end in which the last standing contestant takes on a geek of his or her choice, one on one.

There’s one problem with the show: it is uninteresting. I was severely disappointed by the cookie-cutter round-by-round format. The set is a combination of Weakest Link and, well, more Weakest Link. While the geeks attempt to be funny by taking jabs at the contestants, they’re extremely scripted and lack any verve. In addition, host J. Keith van Straaten just isn’t that good. He, too, feels terribly scripted.

There’s one more beef about the show: the questions are too easy. When I hopped over to the show’s website, this was an actual trivia question – not far off from the quality of questions on the show:

What art-rock band included members Dennis De Young and Tommy Shaw, and released hits including “Come Sail Away” and “Mr. Roboto?”

Please. Don’t insult my intelligence.

So, in summary, Beat the Geeks has an idea. A pretty good idea. But the show needs less… less… line! less scripting, a better sense of humor, and a set that doesn’t scream, “Anne Robinson, take me away!”

Friday, I’ll explain why I have a beef with the TV Geek, also known in some circles as the King of TV (note his wacky sideburns.) -pm

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

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