Weekend Replay: “Tipping Point”
A while ago, before we started BuzzerUK, we had a series “The British are Better Than Us.” To anyone with a hint of a sense of humor it was obviously sarcastic, but, compared to America, the United Kingdom generally gets better shows. That’s not to say they don’t get their share of not-so-good, much like us. But sometimes the American reaction to shows confuse me. Take ITV’s newest show Tipping Point. A comment on Bother’s Bar said it best: they made the best game show based on a coin drop game that you could. But it doesn’t make it a great show. The game is fine, but the show is boring. But for some reason the American reaction has been nearly overwhelmingly positive. That reaction is completely confusing to me. You may see that if you watch the show.
The game is just answering a question and watching someone play a coin drop game for an hour. It’s undeniable the game works. There’s nothing wrong with it at all. It’s just boring. The most glaring issue is, for some reason, they decided to make the show to look dark and dramatic. With a £10,000 payout and, again, a game based on a coin drop arcade game you’d figure they’d brighten it up. I’m not sure fitting in with the crowd worked here. And if you’re going to utilize black, which tends to make a set looks bigger than a broom closet…actually make it look larger than a broom closet. It’s not a bad look, but The Chase manages to make its tiny set look a whole lot larger because of a better layout. Kudos for the machine. It’s cool and impressive for daytime. However, the entire presentation seems way too dark for an hour of color commentating an arcade game.
I will say, though, that it could improve with a second series if they attempt to add some variety and, most of all, lighten the atmosphere up a bit. The Chase started out extremely rigid and not all that good. However, in a short period of time, they managed to turn it into the best quiz on TV today. Tipping Point has the chance to be something a lot more fun. They just need to realize how absurd the game is.
The British reaction is what I expected and it’s basically how I felt. They did all they could with the game and it works, but come on…it’s watching someone play an arcade game for an hour. I’m genuinely confused at how the American reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. The only things I can think of is that Americans are so starved for a quiz show that they’ll leap to anything with a trace of a trivia question, or that they will automatically like anything British. It’s interesting because I feel that if this show debuted in America first and looked and played exactly the same, it would be written off as I described above Again, I reiterate, it’s not a bad show. They did all they could. But it’s just not that interesting or entertaining to watch. If standing behind someone at Dave and Buster’s for five minutes waiting for a machine to open up gets annoying, imagine standing behind them for an hour. That’s what you have here.