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The Weakest Link

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Introduction

The television quiz show "The weakest link" is aired at 5:15pm on BBC1. It was first aired on the 14th August 2000 and there have been over one thousand episodes. The aim of the show is to answer questions correctly to a general knowledge quiz with in quick fire rounds. Contestants compete to try and win the ten thousand pounds prize money. The show's target audience covers a wide range of people which is why the show is so successful. "The Weakest Link's" target audience includes the elderly, housewives, and mother's home from the school run, school children, students and the unemployed. The presenter of the show is Anne Robinson who is well known for her quick sarcastic comments. She talks in a rather monotone voice which makes her appear intimidating and cause tension amongst the contestants. Her continuous wearing of black symbolically represents her "evil" side and authority. From her frequent choice of wearing this colour it has almost become a symbol of the show and a uniform. Her sarcastic and rude comments such as "alas the body builder who worked on his body and not his brain" raise the tension and also attract a greater number of viewers. When someone is evicted from the show her catch phrase "you are the weakest link-goodbye" is spoken in a more clipped manner, which once again builds up the tension in the unfortunate contestant as well as the other contestants. The presenter stands in the middle so she is the focus of attention and the protagonist. ...read more.

Middle

This is used s that we can see the contestants from the presenter's point of view. It shows Anne Robinsons authority and makes the television audiences feel more powerful and superior like the presenter. Long shots are used two or three times between questions. It highlights the status differences between the contestants and the presenter, this particular shot manages to create a vast amount of tension as it highlights the emotional distance between the contestants and the presenter. It is also used in the form of quick, sharp movement as the contestants are revealing their votes. This shows the continuality and quick fire style of the popular quiz show. Sound is used to create tension in "The Weakest Link" in many ways. One sound effect which is used is the ticking clock which is heard at the beginning of the show whilst the contestants and rules of the show are being introduced. This creates tension as it makes the contestants rush; it also represents how "The Weakest Link" is a fast paced quiz show where the amount of time which is available to you decreases each round. The ticking sound of the clock is also used to represent the nervous heart beats of contestants. Low beat music is used throughout the whole show, it is used symbolically to represent danger which builds up nerves in the contestants and prevents them from gathering their thoughts together therefore making the task of answering questions more difficult. Bold loud music is used in between each stage in the show such as after rounds and the "walk of shame". ...read more.

Conclusion

The colours are juxtaposed as red is usually a symbol of danger however in this case they don't represent this. The answer bar also reminds the audience of the state of play and who is currently the strongest and "The Weakest Link". "The Weakest Link" also has special celebrity editions, in these the money is for charity so therefore it is even more important that the money is not lost. The prize money is much greater at fifty thousand pounds which works out at five thousand pounds per round. By having a greater prize money it raises the stakes and therefore also the tension. The reputations of the celebrities are at risk which means it builds up tension in the contestant and suspense in the audience. A huge variety of celebrities have been evolved in these special editions such as soap actors, sports men, page three girls, TV chefs, TV presenters, models, Big Brother housemates, Dr.Who actors, singers, charity representatives, tennis players and many more. Anne Robinson still teases the contestants despite their celebrity status, however they are more willing to answer back which creates tension as the audience are constantly wondering "what are they going to say ?" as they compete for the last word. Celebrity editions have been considered as amongst the funniest episodes as they give a greater television audience. Finally the head to head round is another aspect of the game which creates tension, if scores are level after five questions there is a sudden death round. The very name of this round implies tension, and also the fact that just one answer can make a huge difference builds up suspense. ...read more.

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