Quiz Show


Charles Van Doren frets over a question on the NBC game show Twenty One, 1958.

I re-watched Quiz Show on Netflix over the weekend. Always thought that was an underrated movie in its brilliance and recreation of the quiz show scandal of the late 1950’s.

Whenever I talk about reality TV on one of my other blogs, this movie, and the 1969 film They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? about a Los Angeles area dance marathon during the Great Depression, are never too far from my thoughts.

In times of great depressions and great distractions come these type of contests. I don’t think it’s an accident that reality TV, especially packaged, non-live reality TV, has done well in the post 9/11 world. Shows like Survivor and The Bachelor/Bachelorette have prospered, while shows with live elements like American Idol and Big Brother have left the air or struggle to remain relevant.

But these are the times we live in, such as they are.


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