Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader...Who's Been Given The Answers?

Finally, the bizarre brilliance of the kids on "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader" is revealed. The LA Times has a fine feature on the dumbing-down of TV game shows and how old gems like "21" actually involved, you know, intelligent questions that challenged intelligent people, today's shows are moronic in their simplicity. (I would point out that this isn't true everywhere around the world. In the Uk, their game shows like "QI" -- hosted by Stephen Fry -- are terribly erudite.) They say one adult contestant on "Fifth Grader" actually struggled with the question "What is five times two?" Can that be true? How imbecilic are the adults they find? And then the LA Times explains how remarkably smart the kids are. Per the story, "a disclaimer notes the producers supply the kids with workbooks to help them bone up on material covered during the show." In other words, they feed them the answers. No wonder those kids miss almost nothing.