Top 10 Shows of 2012: Number 2
We’re at the final stretch of the top ten new shows of 2012 countdown. As we previously said the results of the top three were close and that just shows how great of a year the genre had. We had shows from all over the world which we’ll be remembering for some time and I hope 2013 ends up like this. What you voted the second best new show of 2012 comes from England and it’s dating back to the very beginning of the year, to January 2012.
NUMBER TWO: THE EXIT LIST
ITV debuted its quiz show The Exit List on January 10th, 2012. As we previous discussed when it placed ninth in the most memorable moments countdown, the show was jettisoned to a Tuesday time slot which didn’t leave it much of a chance but it left an impact on viewers and readers. Each show saw contestants enter a maze filled with rooms and vaults of cash inside. To win the cash teams had to answer questions, and each answer went on the Exit List. If you missed a question, though, all four answers to the question went on. One vault in the back of the maze held £100,000. However, you could leave the game at any point. To get the money one of the team had to make their way out of the maze and recite the Exit List perfectly.
The game itself was good and clever. It had some issues I doubt would have worked in a second season, like the situation where one member of the team essentially bet if they think their partner would make it or or not by accepting a bribe. However, beyond that, it offered huge play along in both general trivia and memory. Memory is something you don’t see tested in games today so it was pretty interesting to see how much you could recall as the contestants went deeper and deeper into the maze.
I think what people will remember most from The Exit List was its style, though. We give ITV’s The Cube endless praise for, essentially, being the first game show from the future. If any show has come close to trumping that (or did trump it), it’s The Exit List. If Tron had a game show this would be it. The set was drenched in shiny black and neon blue. The futuristic lighting, unique-for-game-show camera techniques, the maze itself, and everything else made it an experience unlike anything else. A set and production alone does not make a show, but it certainly helped this one go from being a bland quiz to something unique and striking. We, of course, must mention host Matt Allwright who was perfect for this show. He doesn’t seem to have done any game shows before or after this, but he was fantastic. Hopefully, if he wants another one, he can find another gig soon. He had the perfect mix of humor, suspense, and seriousness that a show like this needed.
It is a shame it didn’t last long, but for the rules that were made, again, I don’t know how long it could have survived to begin with. The Exit List had some major teamwork, strategy, and decisions which would be too easy for duos to work on far before taping. It almost worked best as a one-off. I know that brings no comfort to anyone who worked on the show but being so short lived and set aside by ITV helped The Exit List achieve a cult status. It also helped the show not get old and stale after time which worked hugely in its benefit. We’d love to see something similar in the future, but we appreciate The Exit List for its substance, style, and memory aspect that of which we’ve really not seen before.