Spicks 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.
The Squiz airs 8:30pm Saturday on SBS.