We Recommend: Pointless

Some of you will already know this show, and those that do will have an intense reaction to it. As clichéd as it is to say, Pointless really is the Marmite of the televisual world — you either adore it and wouldn’t miss an episode, or you think it’s The Worst Show That Has Ever Been Made and should be cast into the fiery depths of hell. There is minimal exaggeration here.

I, as you may have guessed, fall into the former category. I love Pointless. Many a happy hour has been spent on my living room sofa, shouting the answers at the TV with my parents and pouring scorn on people who can't name one communist state or a single Disney Princess.

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This probably makes no sense to you if you haven’t seen Pointless before. It is one of those shows that looks batshit crazy when you first see it, and is frighteningly reminiscent of Numberwang. But at its heart it is so, so simple you wonder why no-one thought of it before.

Pointless is basically the opposite of family fortunes. Richard Osman (more on him later) reads out a question that the Pointless team have already asked 100 people, and the contestant have to find the correct answer that the fewest respondents gave. So if the question is “Name a Tom Cruise film” you don’t say Mission Impossible, you say Endless Love.

If you get a wrong answer, you get 100 points. If you get a pointless answer, as in one that no-one has said, £500 gets added to the prize fund. A team of two contestants is knocked out for several rounds based on who has the highest score, and then when there is only one team left they have three tries to get a pointless answer. If they get a pointless answer, they get the money.

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It sounds dull, but it’s really not. Partly down to the excitement of watching that number bar count down from 100 or suddenly turn into a giant red cross, but mainly because of the presenters. Richard Osman has made himself a star with his cheesey jokes and wry comments, and Alexander Armstrong (yes, that Alexander Armstrong) is endearingly awful.

I think “endearingly awful” could be used to describe Pointless in general, actually. It’s truly terrible, incredibly cheesey and badly made. But it’s wildly popular because it’s so much fun. I dare you to watch just one week of it. If you’re not an addict by then, you’ll hate it so much you’ll probably want to scream at me for recommending it. But I’m willing to bet there’ll be more of you who like it than who hate it.

100 new episodes of Pointless start tomorrow on BBC One at 5:15pm. Let us know below what you think of it..

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