Intensities in Ten Suburbs

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TV O.D. : Victor Swings for the Fences on Grand Slam

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on August 6, 2007

“Ken, I’m coming for you”

Good friend of Intensities in Ten Suburbs’ Victor “Victorious” Lee has had a pretty busy year, televised trivia-wise. Besides winning $250k with myself and Andrew Weber on this year’s World Series of Pop Culture, Victor also appeared on Jeopardy! this February (performed well, but lost in Final Jeopardy on a last-second hesitation and a very poor wagering stategy), and a few weeks after our WSOPC win, he called to tell me he was going to getting the hat trick as the Twisted Misters’ representative on producer Michael Davies’ adaptation of his UK series Grand Slam, which takes 16 contestants that have all been big money winners on game shows in the past, and pits them against each other in single-elimination formatting not dissimilar to the WSOPC’s.

Was I extremely jealous that he had been chosen instead of me? Of course I was. But I managed to not get too angry about it, as it was hardly surprising–Victor was by far the most charismatic (and as it turned out, most successful) of our team, so it was hard to fault the producers’ choice, and I was glad at least one of us had gotten on it. The format did sound like a lot of fun, though–four different categories of trivia (general knowledge, mental math, word games and potpourri), delivered rapid-fire at the opponents by none other than the WSOPC’s very own Pat Kiernan. So I hoped Victor would represent for us, and I could at least live it a littlle vicariously through him (especially when I heard who he would be playing first–none other than Jeopardy legend and arguably the most famous trivia geek in the galaxy, Ken Jennings).

Well, it didn’t turn out quite as well as the WSOPC did for Victor, but I think he did better than most people would’ve expected–in fact, he outperformed Jennings on two of the four categories (General Knowledge and Word Games), so under some game show formats, he might’ve even taken the trivia diety down. Unfortunately for Victor, that wasn’t the way Grand Slam worked, and his fairly poor performance in the Mental Math category was more than enough to ensure a win for Jennings. At the very least, he held his own, and his performance put to rest any possible “that should’ve been ME up there!” mental grumblings I could’ve had, as I’m fairly certain that, mental math aside, I definitely would’ve bombed in a far more humiliating fashion.

In any event, the show seems like a winner. The rapid-fire trivia format is always a welcome repsite from shows’ increasing tendency to draw out ten questions over the space of one hour. though it feels like they could be fitting even more into each episode than what they already have–if they cut out all the annoying bantery bits between wisecracking hosts Dennis Miller (who seems uncomfortable and vaguely annoyed in his game show skin) and Amanda Bryam (yeah, I have no idea either), they could fit in three matches an episode instead of the two they do, but I guess that’d mean five episodes instead of eight. But more importantly, the trivia is legit–stuff that both tests your knowledge recall and your ability to think and reason quickly, which should be the goal of most if not all trivia-related game shows. Plus, that visual setup is kind of badass–very Paralax View / the video for Billy Joel’s “Pressure

So, congrats to Victor on his third solid TV performance in one year, and be sure to tune in to the rest of the show from 8-9:00 this week on Game Show Network. Hell, show gets good ratings and we play our cards right, maybe Weber or I can get on next year. (You can read more about Victor’s experience first-hand at his blog, Victor Sells Out)

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2 Responses to “TV O.D. : Victor Swings for the Fences on Grand Slam”

  1. […] As much as I was rooting for Mr. Lee, it’s not like I expected him to win… sorry, if you ever read this, Victor, but you didn’t really stand much of a chance. I was hoping for the best, all the same, though. I haven’t actually seen the show, but here’s what Andrew Unterberger’s said: […]

  2. Joe said

    I watched that clip and got maybe 4 questions right. I can’t imagine the American version being anywhere near as difficult as this.

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