Fact: Pointless is the greatest program ever
Thursday. 4:59. The library. Like everyone else, I’m counting down the seconds, watching the hand on my watch slowly move round to 5. 3…2…1… and they’re off! There’s a stampede. […]
Thursday. 4:59. The library. Like everyone else, I’m counting down the seconds, watching the hand on my watch slowly move round to 5. 3…2…1… and they’re off! There’s a stampede. Half the library has leapt up and is charging towards the exit. A fresher gets knocked over. In the confusion a girl steps on his face with her stiletto. It skewers his eye. He lies dead on the floor but nobody notices. Even if they did, they would not care, as there are more important things at stake. Once people escape the crush at the barriers, they run off into the night, not thinking to look back.
Many of you will have seen this, but some may be wondering why it happens every weekday at 5pm. Well my friends, the answer is simple: it means there are only 15 minutes until Pointless comes on BBC1. For those uninitiated in the triumph of humanity that is Pointless, it is hard to describe quite what makes this show so great. In a nutshell, it’s a quiz program. Prior to the show, the questions are asked to 100 people, and the contestants have to choose the answer that they think the least number of people found. For example, if the question was ‘name a position up for election this week’, you’d pick something like ‘Member without Portfolio’ because people are less likely to know that than ‘Association President’. If no one in the 100 people gets the answer, it’s ‘pointless’.
Simply explaining the show fails to capture the essence of this program. Just watch it, ok? While a part of Pointless does consist of the actual quiz, it’s also about the outrageous banter and sexual tension between Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman. Every now and then the contestants try and get in on the act, but that’s like some teenager trying to interrupt a jamming session with Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. You’ll be blown away by the quick-fire wit and repartee.
You get rounds on proper subjects like football, but every now and then you get a question on cheeses of the world and everyone looks round in disgust. However, the ultimate Pointless experience occurs when your subject of study comes up. Suddenly, all the hours you spent slaving over chemistry (Is this the correct term? I’m an arts student and frankly I have no idea what science students do while the rest of us sleep in until mid-afternoon) becomes meaningful because it can help you answer a question on a quiz show that you’re not even on. When your subject comes up, there’s a hush. Everyone looks at you expectantly, demanding you get a pointless answer on elements in the periodic table beginning with a vowel. Fail, and the humiliation is unbearable. You spend your life studying for this one moment and you can’t even get a pointless answer. Your flatmates silently leave the room, unable to look you in the eye for weeks.
Succeed, however, and the glory is yours! Your flatmates lift you up on their shoulders and carry you through the streets in a parade like a conquering Roman emperor. Grown men weep at the sight of this hero(ine) who found a pointless answer. Nothing else on earth can give you this experience.
Headline image ©bbc.co.uk