Quiz Show

In two new TV game shows, the search for wannabe millionaires reaches the history egghead and the sports nut

Undertaken with the deep seriousness of a Congressional investigation or an Oxford oral exam, Drill manages the neat trick of neither condescending to nor kitsching up its material. It takes an almost irony-free approach to the topic, despite the smug presence of host/class clown Kenny Mayne, whom even my ESPN-averse wife knows well enough to despise.

Regis Philbin, what hast thou wrought? The History Channel's History IQ
Regis Philbin, what hast thou wrought? The History Channel's History IQ

Still, if money talks as loudly as it's doing right now, we might as well accept the commodification of every available store of knowledge. My real hope is that the antique homemaking skills that The Price Is Right tests will be supplanted by something more current. We could call it Soccer Mom Challenge and require contestants to work a full-time job, chauffeur the kids, fix dinner, and maintain a viable adult relationship. If you're going to be tested for knowing something, after all, why not make it something worth knowing?

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