The Squiz

the_squizSpicks and Specks goes sport? Sure, but just don’t tell anyone…

SBS’ new sports trivia show is the latest television panel show to debut on our screens. Hosted by Ahn Do, the team captains on this version are Amelia Hunter and Jordon Raskopoulos. There are five guests (three sports stars and two comedians) but the catch is they are team-picked, schoolyard style for four places. The fifth who misses out takes a seat on the bench and serves as score-keeper.

In the first episode those five are Jane Flemming, Matthew Mitcham, John Aloisi, Tommy Dean and George Kapiniaris.

The structure of The Squiz is cleverly familiar, thanks largely to a lot of groundwork mapped out by others in the genre.  Here we barely even need any explanation of how the rounds work.

How easily we can sit through a series of quizzing beginning with trivia questions, followed by a video round, musical round and an ‘all-in-brawl.’ Instead of dry questions about AFL scores between 1977 – 1979, the show smartly mixes pop culture with sport: “Which tennis star was formerly married to Tatum O’Neal?”

The set is a bright, contemporary arrangement of desks, with Ahn Do seated in between both teams a la Hills / McDermott and includes a soccer-net scoreboard and a section for musical acts, which in the first episode was a Bollywood number. What’s that tune? Sounds familiar, if not for the sitar….

The Squiz doesn’t seek to reinvent the wheel, but hitches a ride with ease on a popular genre. Part of the success of Spicks and Specks and Good News Week are the chemistry of the regulars, as well as viewer “playability.” At first glance it would seem The Squiz has hit this target confidently, with a subtle undercurrent of diversity for the public broadcaster. Ahn Do’s delivery is a little stilted, yet it should ultimately prove part of his nice-guy charm.

While sport is the theme, there is a light enough touch for non-sports fans (and long-suffering partners of die-hard sports fans) to be entertained for its bite-size 30 minutes.

Unlike some panel shows that have tried too hard (there were rumours Nine tried a sports trivia pilot), SBS doesn’t hit the ball out the park, but it runs around the diamond and has a fun time doing it.

4_starsThe Squiz airs 8:30pm Saturday on SBS.

10 Comments:

  1. My partner and I taped and watched ‘The Squiz’ and thought it was great!
    It has to be changed from a Saturday night though, it’s wasted there – why not a week night at 9.30pm?

  2. The Squiz seems like it woill be a sure-fire winner to me – take an already proven format and tweak it a little, and voila, you have another ratings winner [well, competitor in SBS’s case]…

  3. This dirivitive idea, by this point on our Tv screens many times over, is not what SBS gets taxpayer money for. MR Brown dont look so surprised about your funding shortfall. You dont deserve anymore funding. I cant wait for SBs to return to what it was or change into something even better. The point is it currently stinks. The station promos make me cringe.

  4. I think the fact the ads have disappeared says someone has been told to remove them. David are you told anything about the ads appearing on the site? I agree with wilmawalrus…”Squiz the original TV Quiz” doesn’t sound like the concept that SBS has and I reckon it would be difficult and expensive to have a court stop it.
    Sounds to me like someone is trying to get money for a failed years old format they’ve been unable to sell. Also how do you trademark a great Aussie word like ‘Squiz’…guess I’ll take a squiz at the trademark laws.

  5. The show is called “The Squiz” while the trademark page just refers to “Squiz” which is a common word – didn’t know you could trademark a word!

  6. David, I’ll give it a week before the name change.

    Think “Pass The Buck” (i.e what happened to see it’s sudden yanking), then you will know who paid for the ads and the squiz.tv domain.

    David, go to that site I mentioned (squiz.tv), and it should explain the random Squiz ads, complete with a email address for “media enquiries”.

    Whoever bought those ads is very protective of his trademarks.

  7. This post has caused an interesting Google ad to come up.

    In case it disappears, it says “SQUIZ is a regd trademark
    SBS TV & Ambience Ent have not been authorised to use the regd TM SQUIZ ”

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