Last Call: Only Connect is the hardest TV game show I've ever watched

Illustration for article titled Last Call: Only Connect is the hardest TV game show I've ever watched
Screenshot: BBC (YouTube)

Only Connect

A few weeks ago I became hooked on the U.K. hybrid game show 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown (a mash up of the comedy panel game show 8 Out of 10 Cats and the decidedly unfunny but erudite Countdown). One of our frequent Takeout commenters, simon-on-the-river3 (hello, Simon!) suggested then I check out the BBC game show Only Connect. “It is a very different show but has its own moments,” he wrote. “At your own peril.”

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That night, I watched the episode embedded above. It was a bizarre experience—no studio audience, no laugh track, just a delightfully brainy poker player-turned-TV presenter named Victoria Coren Mitchell, plus (and I say this in the most positive connotation) six nerds whose breadth of knowledge is astoundingly wide. The premise of the show is to make connections between seemingly disparate clues. My god, the show is tough. Between the audience-less aesthetic and Mensa-level questions, this show would never play on U.S. television. Which is exactly why I love it so much. Thanks, Simon.

Next week at The Takeout, it’s Cheese Week! See you then. [Kevin Pang]

Kevin Pang was the founding editor of The Takeout, and director of the documentary For Grace.

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meh-zuzah
Meh-zuzah

just a delightfully brainy poker player-turned-TV presenter named Victoria Coren Mitchell

I feel this is a terrible slight to Renaissance woman Victoria. She’s been a writer and journalist since she was a schoolgirl and has been an Observer columnist and documentary presenter/serial panel show guest since before she made waves on the European Poker Tour. She and a friend also produced a porn film just for laughs. And let’s not forget her father is comedian Alan Coren; her brother, food critic (and massive twat) Giles Coren; and she’s married to the perfectly matched David Mitchell.