Show Discussion: Tom Allen’s Quizness

By | May 13, 2021

Fridays, 8pm,
Channel 4

Rapidly becoming TV’s hardest working man Tom Allen invites contestants to show off their knowledge in a bid to win £25,000.

BUT, it’s not just knowledge that’s needed but an element of mental agility too as they must usually do something to the answers to make it sound a bit silly, whether that be substituting words that begin with certain letters with different ones, or forming a chain of answers that builds up to a punchline.

A bit Big Money Richard Osman’s House Of Games? Maybe. I can say, having done some of the early runthroughs, that there’s a subset of people who are likely to absolutely dig it, and probably a subset of people it’s likely to leave a bit cold. Lots of Bother’s Bar sorts working behind the scenes on this, so I’m hoping it’s a good end result.

But what do you think? Let us know in the comments.

22 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Tom Allen’s Quizness

  1. Whoknows

    Christ almighty Tom is extremely annoying in this. I normally like him but… wow. He’s making this unwatchable.

    Otherwise I don’t mind the quiz though there’s no good reason for it to be in primetime rather than daytime. The ‘white’ round was a little annoying and way too many flag questions.

  2. Danny Kerner

    it is an okay format. A few borrowed ideas and a few repeated rounds including the final but it works for a bit of entertainment.

  3. Chris M. Dickson

    I liked the games, I liked the questions, the jokes hit their target and I laughed.

    The whole show seemed like a hot mess; it’s a really good episode of Richard Osman’s House of Games turned into something where strange production decisions have made for some odd power dynamics. If we had, say, Dan or David hosting this over Twitch, and not really playing for the points but playing for laughs for everyone watching it, this would be excellent. When there’s a host and civilian contestants and established expectations as to what roles hosts and civilian contestants play in a show, this just feels like it’s not so much subverting our expectations as reinforcing the reasons why our expectations are the way they are and why established practice works.

    All that said, I probably will be watching future episodes and I’m looking forward to watching again because the show will reliably produce silly giggles.

  4. Henry R

    Enjoyable but I’m hoping there are more rounds across the series as there was a few duplicate games in there.

    Some seem to take a little too much influence from House of Games

  5. Shanine Salmon

    I did a run-through for this and there was no indication it was basically aiming to be Jimmy Carr’s Distraction for the 2020s because none of the silly games were that funny. At the run through it didn’t seem if it wanted to reward good knowledge or silliness but I think the presence of Allen will be off putting and a show like this needs a multiepisode run, not just five weeks, to bed in but I think people will like playing along at home.

  6. Brig Bother Post author

    I think ultimately I like the idea of it more than I like the reality of it, which doesn’t quite come off for me, I don’t think it helps that Panel Show And Conversation Tom Allen is much more bearable than Centre Of Attention Tom Allen.

    Why the hell does this show have post-game interviews? What insight into a silly quiz are they adding?

    I thought the contestants were largely good value (I did chuckle at the idea of a wrestler called Jimmy Nails) but I’m surprised some of the questions didn’t work quite as well on screen as they did on a run through – I remember the “one two, skipper, few, ninety-nine, one-hundred” being much funnier because we’d all worked out the joke before the end and were buzzer battling before hearing the question and that was completely lost here, for example. Nothing wrong with the show’s quiz writing (which is personally a relief) although I can’t say I found much of it hugely funny or anything.

    Ultimately it feels like if it wants to live up to the comedy potential the whole thing needs to be a bit jankier and messier, as it stands right now it’s falling uncomfortably between Tom Allen’s brows (high and low), when it needs to be a monobrow. It’s clever but needs to be funnier.

    Appropos of nothing:

  7. Chris M. Dickson

    For those who want to like the show, myself firmly included, I did enjoy it rather more watching it along with the good burgers of Ash the Bash’s Discord channel, for they had scheduled a game night at eight to clash with the premiere and watched the show along together afterwards. Recommended as the company made it rather funnier.

  8. David

    One thing I noticed must have been a very last minute change- in the endgame explanation, when the floor is lighting up to show correct answers, you can very briefly see there was a money tree (100,500,1000,2000,5000,10000,25000)- looks like they decided to go with just the 1000 if the endgame was lost after the graphics were made…

      1. David B

        There were about 3 different endings trialled, but they went for a (mostly) all-or-nothing end game.

  9. Cliff

    I liked it – it’s a bit like a Numberwang-style sketch turned into a real quiz, but I love Tom Allen and he’s the correct host, to the extent that I should’ve checked the credits to see if he devised it himself. I doubt that he did, but it does seem like the sort of format a comedian would come up with.

    1. Steve Williams

      No, Dan Maier, a comedy writer of some repute, devised it.

      I quite enjoyed this, actually. As suggested, it probably could have done with a few more rounds and the fun of Subbly Jubbly might pall a bit over the series – especially using it as the opening round and the final – but there were some amusing ones in there.

      I liked Tom as host. Funnily enough it was a different episode to that billed in the Radio Times so they’ve previewed another one, where in the final he said “You can win £25k to spend on… er, whatever you said earlier”. I like that, I enjoyed it when the first contestant went and he said “I wanted her to win, now I’ve only got you lot”. The contestants all seemed to be up for it as well and were having good fun (although I wanted Hayley to win cos she looked a bit like Kim Wilde).

      Not sure how much variation there’s going to be throughout the run, though, and my partner couldn’t be doing with it at all. But quite likeable, I thought.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        Yeah I’m interested to see if the rounds change or not – there’s actually a very good argument for not changing them up (we used to call that “a format”), and if you do change them up you have to have enough in the rotation to bring in new ideas pretty regularly and to actually rotate them properly (otherwise you get “minigame fatigue”).

        I suspect some rounds I had playtested are getting dropped. I think I could live with the same rounds every week for this, I think.

  10. Steve Williams

    Actually when I was explaining it to my partner, I said it was like Answering the Question Before Last on The Two Ronnies, but played for real, which it sort of is.

    I think the show it most resembles is The Time It Takes and it probably would have worked a bit better in the same slot, for the same duration.

    1. David B

      We did, very briefly, flirt with the possibility of doing something Two Ronnies-esque . Then again, it’s been done (Tarrant’s Lose a Million).

      C4 doesn’t really have a shoulder-peak Saturday evening slot for this kind of show. And remember this is a commercial hour, so take out the ads and you’re not far from the running time of TTIT or similar shows.

  11. Henry R

    Looks like the rounds are staying the same. Which wouldn’t be a bad thing if a few of the rounds were so similar

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Second ep consolidated to… 477k, 4%.

      I knew it’d be divisive, but I’m a bit surprised it’s THAT divisive.

        1. Crimsonshade

          It really doesn’t deserve to be hated as much as it is. *Sigh*

          1. Brig Bother Post author

            I don’t think people do hate it really, it’s just waaaaay down the list of priorities to watch. It’d probably be seen as a Fluke-style cult hit if it was twenty-five years ago, but silliness isn’t really in. Maybe if it was Milton Jones’ Quizness.

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