Who wants to be a Millionaire’ Essay
Who wants to be a Millionaire’
This is when the contestants start to panic a little and rush their answers hoping to win more money and bank it. To increase the tension at this period the background music plays at a faster tempo. The tension may get to the viewers and start shouting the answers at the television thinking it will help and if the contestant does get a question wrong then they might shout at that contestant and think they should be the one voted off at the end of the round. The climax of the show is when there are only two remaining contestants and they go head-to-head to decide who takes away the total prize money.
To increase the tension and pressure at this stage the set is put into darkness except for 3 spotlights over the two contestants and Anne Robinson and the audience is totally silent. This is all lost when one of the contestants wins the head-to-head and goes home with all the money. A cheerful music plays for the winner and the set becomes bright again. The narratives of each show are important to how they became so popular. Have you ever seen a quiz show with not one point where the tension is higher? No you haven’t because it wouldn’t be aired on television because it would not appeal to the viewers.
This is because without different stages where the tension is higher, we would have nothing to keep us hooked watching the show till the end to find out the outcome of the show. The Representation of a show is very important. It gives the show more appeal. This is done by how the host and contestants are dressed and what persona the host adopts on the show. Some people say that Anne Robinson’s personality is really cruel and nasty but they are wrong because the way she acts on-screen is put on. This is called her persona.
Personality and persona are two very separate things. Personality is what the person is really like and how their family and friends know them. A persona is how the person pretends to be. People like quiz show hosts put this on so the show seems more appealing. Anne Robinson’s persona is a very nasty one. She is unfriendly towards the contestant and makes fun of things they do. How people dress and their body language helps this persona like Anne Robinson wears all black clothing including a very long black coat, which makes her seem daunting.
Her body language makes her seem unbreakable. She stands very straight with her hand behind her back and she never smiles. The tone of her voice is sharp, stern, strict and very serious. The vocabulary she uses is very professional and the only time she may use slang is when making fun of a contestant. She also uses a lot of sarcasm. The viewer’s attitude towards Anne Robinson is that she is nasty and should treat the contestants with the respect they deserve. Chris Tarrant’s persona is much different to that of Anne Robinson’s.
He is more friendly and not a rival to the contestant but more of a friend. He wears a suit and tie, which makes him look very smart and not provoking in any way. His body language is very calm and laid-back. He sits with his legs crossed with his back pressed against his chair implying he hasn’t got a care in the world. This may help the contestant to relax because he is setting an example that there is no pressure. His tone of voice is very casual and cheerful. He cracks joke to ease the tension and doesn’t ever make fun out of the contestant.
He treats the contestant very friendly and he seems as if he wants to give the money away by offering the contestants lifelines to help them if they get stuck on a certain question. The viewer’s attitude to Chris Tarrant is that he is a pleasant man and wants to really help the contestant win as much money as possible. The Representation of a show increases its appeal because nobody would ever want to watch a quiz show with a host who didn’t care what he looked like and didn’t have any impact on the show by the way they acted. Each host is suited to their own show because of the way they act.
‘Weakest Link’ is a show where you have to work harder to win the money so Anne Robinson is there to try and distract the contestant by being sarcastic. Her being mean makes the show more interesting. Chris Tarrant is suited to ‘Millionaire’ because it is a more laid-back show and his persona is also generally laid-back. This makes the show seem calmer which attracts people wanting to become contestants. When we watch the show it is sometimes important that we identify and support one of the contestants, or we may lose interest in the show.
On ‘The Weakest Link’ we normally support a character that in someway can relate to us. Some ways of finding the contestant we want to support are if they have the same name as us, if they live in the same area or some other things like same job, or hobbies. This makes the show more exciting because they have a contestant to cheer on. If they get a question right or answer back to Anne Robinson then the viewer may be happy for the contestant because they are able to stand up to her.
If the contestant gets a vote off another contestant then the viewer may start calling that contestant and not support them in any way. The contestants on ‘Millionaire’ are represented as normal people. They are told to wear casual clothes whilst looking smart. Chris Tarrant talks to the contestant at the start for a reason. He lets the viewers get to know the contestant and reveals some things from their private life and what they would do with the money. The viewers can then relate to these things and this makes them support the contestant more.
Chris Tarrant speaks to the contestant as he is a close friend and tries to support them all the way. This makes the contestant appeal more to the viewers because they get on well with Chris Tarrant and also shows them that they are friendly and are nice to get on with. The importance of supporting a contestant is very high. If you did not support one then the show would become boring and the viewers would lose interest in the show. Also if the show didn’t make the contestants more appealing then the viewers wouldn’t want to support any of them again making them lose interest and stop watching the show.
Ideology is the message that the show tries to put across of what society is like or should be like. Part of the appeal of ‘Millionaire’ And ‘The Weakest Link’ is that they reflect the values of our society by showing competition and large prizes. We in Britain live in a Capitalist society. This is where everybody works for themselves to try and get the best jobs and the most money. An example of a capitalist ideology is ‘The American Dream’. It is an ideology that anybody can achieve if they put their mind to it. However, not everybody can achieve – there are always some winners and losers.
The two shows ‘Millionaire’ and ‘The Weakest Link’ reflects this ideology but they both have their own sides to it. ‘Millionaire’ is the more pleasant side of the dream – anybody can win the i?? 1million prize money. We should feel happy for the winners and also encourage other viewers to apply as a contestant. ‘The Weakest Link’ shows the nasty side of the dream. Instead of everybody being happy on ‘Millionaire’, there is only one winner and the other eight contestants have to go home with nothing and being very disappointed.
We, as members of a capitalist society want to see people on television competing for large prizes because it is our way of life. We work hard everyday to compete for those better jobs and more money so we can support our families and live a life in luxury. A sort of person we want to see wining is one who we can relate to in some way. They may have a similar lifestyle to that of the viewers and would like to see them win it because that might make the viewer feel as if they have a chance of winning the big prizes on quiz shows.
In conclusion, the appeal that quiz shows like ‘Millionaire’ and ‘The Weakest Link’ have are all down to how the show is put together. The producers do not just come up with an idea and put it together. They think of many things like Narrative, Representation and Ideology, which I have explained to boost their appeal to the viewers and make it a highly popular television programme. The narrative is there so the show has some sort of storyline where the tension of the show increases to make it seem more exciting.
Representation is there so the show looks professional and gives a serious look so the viewers do not just flick over thinking it is a low budget quiz show with on excitement at all. Ideology is very important because without it the viewers would become bored of the show very quickly because it does not suit them and they cannot relate to the idea of the show and the contestants. The show that appeals to me most is ‘Millionaire’ this is mainly because of the high prize money but that is not all. There seems to be less pressure on it as the host is friendlier and isn’t trying to stop you in your way for the prize.
You are also given more time to think about the question asked as in ‘The Weakest Link’ where you are against the clock and the pressure may kick in forcing you to say a silly answer costing your team some money and possibly ending your game. I do not think these show will still be popular in 10 years time because times change and the viewers will become bored off seeing the same thing over and over again. Also new quiz shows will be introduced with fresh ideas and possibly bigger prizes which will attract the viewers because of the idea of being able to win more money which would match the capitalist society they live in.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 13 September 2017
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