Just a little over a year ago I was on vacation in London, and I blogged about this incredible low-tech, un-photogenic game show I saw on TV there. I didn't catch the name at the time but apparently it's called Countdown. It was the complete opposite of an American game show - deliberately unexciting, almost completely without gimmicks, and less compelling than a party game than you might put together yourself. It haunted my dreams that night. As I wrote at the time:
And with all that space, why keep the contestants so close together where they can see each other's word? Isn't there some better use of screen time during the thirty second countdown than shots of the players hunched over their index cards interspersed with shots of the research girl hunched over another index card and the presenter hunched over yet ANOTHER index card? And what the hell is he doing? What's on that card?This show figures prominently in Friday's episode of The IT Crowd, the brilliant britcom that's coming to the US in August on the Independent Film Channel. When you see the episode, if you keep the above paragraph in mind, and it will be a LOT funnier for you.