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Author Topic: The Most Challenging/Intellectual Shows Of All Time  (Read 1991 times)

TimK2003

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The Most Challenging/Intellectual Shows Of All Time
« on: October 01, 2020, 01:19:13 AM »
Got into a discussion the other night with some game show & trivia geeks about what are some of our favorite intellectual and challenging shows of all time.

We pretty much all agreed that Jeopardy was the #1 show of this particular category, but there were some great other choices that led us to watching a few streams to introduce some shows to those unfamiliar with some picks of ours.

Anyhoo, love to hear some of your favorite challenging shows...Here is my 5 picks that came to mind in no particular order::

1) Jeopardy
2) Countdown
3) The Who What & Where Game
4) The Big Showdown
5) Pointless


And yours?

Chelsea Thrasher

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Re: The Most Challenging/Intellectual Shows Of All Time
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2020, 06:26:44 AM »
Different types of folks find challenge in different ways; to me, the Concentration series are one of the most difficult games out there.  My brain just absolutely will not translate pictures into words/sounds into phrases in the short burst of time available, particularly when parts are unrevealed.  So to me it's a bona fide *challenge* to sit there and work out a puzzle before to or at the same time as a contestant, because my brain just absolutely does NOT do those types of processes well or particularly quickly. 
Chelsea

SuperMatch93

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Re: The Most Challenging/Intellectual Shows Of All Time
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2020, 10:03:26 AM »
Mastermind and College Bowl/University Challenge have to be up there. I watched a ton of UC in the early 2010s when I was in high school doing scholastic bowl.

I tried showing my girlfriend an episode of the latter once and it was a bit over her head; typically we watch some of the stuff on Prime Video like Dawson Feud or Celebrity Bowling.
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BrandonFG

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Re: The Most Challenging/Intellectual Shows Of All Time
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2020, 10:09:42 AM »
Jeopardy
The Challengers
The Big Showdown
Millionaire
Two-Minute Drill

I know we always say it’s a difference between playing at home and being on TV, but (Classic) Concentration is the one show where I just can’t rag on “dumb” contestants. You’re trying to remember whether the bedroom is behind 17 or 23, and then decipher a rebus. That takes skill.

Now You See It, for a similar reason, but trade rebuses for a word search.

I suck at math, but Countdown is fun too. But I think the dryness only works for Brits. I couldn’t imagine how they’d try to Americanize it, unless it aired on PBS.
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Unrealtor

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Re: The Most Challenging/Intellectual Shows Of All Time
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2020, 10:43:52 AM »
I'm going to include the obvious and say Only Connect. Some of the questions are pure thinking, but there are a lot that require trivia knowledge and the ability to think one step removed from the information given.

Along those lines, in my mind, the writing on Jeopardy has gotten easier as the clues have gotten more explicit about cueing contestants to the piece of information they want in response. These days, you're more likely to get "there are 5,280 feet in one of these" than having to put the category of "weights and measures" and an answer of "5,280 feet" together to get "What is a mile?" It's still covering a huge range of material, but it's more recall and less thinking.
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MikeK

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Re: The Most Challenging/Intellectual Shows Of All Time
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2020, 11:19:21 AM »
Only Connect
Double Dare CBS
Million Dollar Mind Game
The Challengers
Jeopardy!, natch

jage

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Re: The Most Challenging/Intellectual Shows Of All Time
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2020, 11:42:01 AM »
I'll add to the mix Grand Slam, especially the words/math rounds.

chris319

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Re: The Most Challenging/Intellectual Shows Of All Time
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2020, 01:18:47 PM »
College Bowl.

mmb5

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Re: The Most Challenging/Intellectual Shows Of All Time
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2020, 06:43:09 PM »
History IQ
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rebelwrest

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Re: The Most Challenging/Intellectual Shows Of All Time
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2020, 11:20:20 PM »
In terms of the most challenging shows of all time, I would put up Britain's The Krypton Factor.  Not only did you have to be smart, you had to have astute mental agility, a good memory, great hand-eye coordination, near perfect spatial intelligence, and uh.........oh yeah RUN A FREAKIN OBSTACLE COURSE BUILT BY THE MILITARY.

The winner of each series was given the title of UK Superperson of the year.  That's the right title for the winner.
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beatlefreak84

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Re: The Most Challenging/Intellectual Shows Of All Time
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2020, 12:01:12 AM »
The first two I immediately thought of were Million Dollar Mind Game and Grand Slam.  Certainly, Jeopardy! is currently the most intellectual game show on American TV, so I'll include that.

If I were to stick with solely American game shows, I'd go with the following (in no particular order):

Jeopardy!
Million Dollar Mind Game
Grand Slam
Camouflage (GSN) - some of those puzzles were downright brutal to solve without almost all the letters removed, though maybe I just sucked at the game!
Dirty Rotten Cheater/The Enemy Within - The challenging part of these, and why I always said I'd be terrible at these, is because you don't want to build up too much money/get too many right answers/seem too smart, and that just goes against the gut instinct of how a trivia game works (I don't include Weakest Link in this because, even though strong players may get eliminated, that's not the point of the show)

Fun topic!

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jmangin

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Re: The Most Challenging/Intellectual Shows Of All Time
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2020, 12:09:10 AM »
I'm going to include the obvious and say Only Connect.
This show is superb. Some clues you are in sync with after two clues, and others so obscure. This is one of two shows that have struck a chord with my "non-game show" friends. The other is Three on a Match. Always when I show someone Only Connect for the first time -- they love it. Dry humor, a cerebral game and unique format. It's fantastic.

BillCullen1

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Re: The Most Challenging/Intellectual Shows Of All Time
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2020, 07:57:24 AM »
I don't believe anyone has mentioned "The Chase" so far.

Ian Wallis

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Re: The Most Challenging/Intellectual Shows Of All Time
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2020, 10:01:15 AM »
Different types of folks find challenge in different ways; to me, the Concentration series are one of the most difficult games out there.  My brain just absolutely will not translate pictures into words/sounds into phrases in the short burst of time available, particularly when parts are unrevealed.  So to me it's a bona fide *challenge* to sit there and work out a puzzle before to or at the same time as a contestant, because my brain just absolutely does NOT do those types of processes well or particularly quickly.

I'm with you on that.  I'm actually pretty good at remembering where things are, but I've never been good at solving those puzzles.  I could see myself on that show, racking up a ton of prizes, and not being able to win the game.  I guess I'd be good for the prize budget!
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joshg

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Re: The Most Challenging/Intellectual Shows Of All Time
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2020, 11:13:21 AM »
Different types of folks find challenge in different ways; to me, the Concentration series are one of the most difficult games out there.  My brain just absolutely will not translate pictures into words/sounds into phrases in the short burst of time available, particularly when parts are unrevealed.  So to me it's a bona fide *challenge* to sit there and work out a puzzle before to or at the same time as a contestant, because my brain just absolutely does NOT do those types of processes well or particularly quickly.

I'm with you on that.  I'm actually pretty good at remembering where things are, but I've never been good at solving those puzzles.  I could see myself on that show, racking up a ton of prizes, and not being able to win the game.  I guess I'd be good for the prize budget!

I'm just the opposite, the puzzles are easier for me than the memory part. I love mashing the english language together to get 'No Smoking' from a nose + the letters 'mo' + a picture of a king. It seems though that Steve Ryan tried to use letters and symbols that got closer to the actual words in the solution. Cat = get  was a recent example on Narz Concentration that plays with your mind a bit more than it should have.

As for the matching, I find myself so distracted by hearing Johnny O on my TV that I don't pay attention to where the H'Hold Lube is or any of the other head starts are  ;D Although on Classic, the contestants took so damn long to choose a number, I actually had an easier time remembering the matches.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2020, 12:22:53 PM by joshg »
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