Thursday, 28 July 2011

What's my age again?

We watch a few game shows in the Ameringlish Household.
Our favourite is Eggheads.
Lately we've been tuning into Pointless.

Pairs of people compete to come up with answers.  The trick is that, like Family Fued (Family Fortunes to the UK readers out there), a random sampling of 100 people have been asked the same question.  The player's aim is to answer the question correctly, but with the answer that the fewest number of that 100 gave.  Does that make sense?  They're looking for a pointless answer.  That is a correct answer that no one else gave.  It's sorta stupid, but kinda fun.  I especially like when they ask stuff that is hard for Brits to answer, but super-easy for any American.  (You'd be surprised how often it happens!)  They compete for money, but seemingly more important is the Pointless Trophy.  I think my brother would rock this game show.  Or at least an American version of this game show.  After all, there are even more cases where the answers are skewed to a British competitor.

But, yet again, this post isn't really about any of the ramble that you just read.
It's about something that I've noticed about British game shows in general.
Namely, that they are obsessed with age.

At the start of every British game show that I've ever watched, when the contestants introduce themselves, you'll hear a variation of the following:

"My name is Sally.  I'm 34 and I'm a receptionist."

Name, Age, and Job description.

The name.  Yeah.  Obviously.  A given.
The job description.  Sure.  I think most US game shows include this info too.
But age?  Every single time.  It strikes me every time.  Especially in the case of women beyond their 20s.

Perhaps because I was raised in the south, but it feels rude and intrusive to know a contestant's exact age.

Have any other expats noticed this?
Am I alone in thinking that it's weird?

(Note:  I am not complaining.  Merely pointing out an interesting difference in cultures.  I like England and I like living here.)*

*I'm thinking of putting this disclaimer on all my future blog posts to avoid people accusing me of being whiney or whatever.

But all of this is not really the point.

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