By | May 21, 2018

Not a great deal going on on TV this week, but on Youtube new Tom Scott/David Bodycombe co-prod Lateral begins a six part run from Thursday. It’s the sort of thing you might enjoy if you enjoyed the short run of Bother’s Bar Does Что? Где? Когда? from a little while ago as it’s that sort of thing.

Edit: Ooh here’s a turn-up, the recently filmed celebrity specials of The Crystal Maze are going out in June. 30 new games promised. Which means there are three series one episodes still to be shown and six civilian series two episodes to go out at some point. And another celeb special, I think.

Although you do have to think they’re pissing in the wind at this point, it seems pretty clear that to retain continuity pretty much all of the criticisms of the first series that the audience has rejected will still be there.

We need to talk about apps

By | May 18, 2018

I’ve not had much time to pursue Bar stuff recently – I’m behind on a lot of things – mainly because in real life I work for a famous university in Cambridge and it’s exam season, which means I’m hammering the overtime as my department is open much later, so it’s leave work, get kebab, get home, catch up for about an hour, fall asleep.

One thing my colleagues and me have been doing to pass the time is play quiz show apps – recently the highly recommended Tenable one and the less highly recommended Who Wants To Be A Millionaire one from 2014. And it strikes me that most of these quiz show apps lack one important function – some sort of quizmaster mode.

It would not surprise me in the slightest if, if you choose to play these with other people, rather than pass the phone round one person will read out the questions to everybody else. The best apps (Barnstorm ones generally) nail the feel and format of a show but they still fall short in this regard. Some of them don’t need much tweaking – a button on the Tenable app for when someone suggests an answer that isn’t one of your possible options, for example. The Millionaire app is several years old (and can’t be expected to have Ask the Host in it, which I cleverly patched in) but I can’t vary the timing of the reveal and the question usually disappears before I’m able to build up tension.

A lot of quiz show apps are understandably a bit more difficult to adapt – the whole point of Tipping Point is the machine for example, but for shows that are a bit more pure quiz surely it shouldn’t be too hard to implement modes for social play.

House of Games returns on 28th May

By | May 16, 2018

Number two gameshow format 2017 House of… sorry, Richard Osman’s House of Games (or ROHOG for short) returns to BBC2 at 6pm on Monday May 28th, provisionally, with hopefully lots of new games and apparently lots of new prizes. So that’s nice.

Also, seeing as it’s been mentioned by four different people, Stellify are rebooting Win Your Wish List for Channel 5 with Gino d’Campo (best comment we’ve read so far: a clever choice because he doesn’t have to read out the questions). Physical elements are promised. We liked WYWL originally.

Show Discussion: Hardball

By | May 13, 2018

Weekdays, 4:30pm,

Ore Oduba asks questions of six contestants, each trying to outrun the Hardball as it makes its way along 25m of track by answering general knowledge questions in the hope of winning cash prizes.

Don’t know much about the format other than that, presumably they’re keeping it simple and hoping lots of questions will suffice. Pity the set is just a track in front of a giant screen, though.

Let us know what you think in the comments.