Quarantine Catch-Up: “Common Knowledge” Rapid Review

When it comes to the general public who don’t fervently watch game shows, the genre is sometimes viewed as being one of the lowest forms of television entertainment by showing hyperactive contestants winning outrageous sums of cash and prizes by performing embarrassingly ridiculous stunts or answering pointlessly banal trivia questions. If there is any show that you could show someone who frequently reject game shows as a redeeming form of entertainment, it would be this Game Show Network gem.

In the half-hour quiz show, two teams of three contestants compete in three trivia rounds. The team with the most points at the end of the third round wins $1,000 and advances to the bonus round. In the $10,000 end game, the winning team must volunteer a teammate to answer seven multiple-choice questions correctly. If a contestant answers incorrectly, that teammate is eliminated from the rest of the round and the next teammate steps up to take their place. Answering seven questions correctly earns the team $10,000. Answering three questions incorrectly ends the round and the team walks away with $1,000.

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Common Knowledge: If A PBS Game Show Went Mainstream

Common Knowledge is one of the better Game Show Network original series I’ve seen recently. Hosted by Joey Fatone, this game show contains trivia questions about topics that could help anyone in their daily routine such as how to cook vegetables more efficiently, the “plastic bag-credit card swiping” trick to use at stores and how to properly change a diaper according to CDC guidelines. This is a game show worth watching for anybody who wants to learn new helpful and useful tips and/or to test their knowledge about fun general information that is more than likely already well known.

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The minimalist modern argyle set design gives the show a unique retro vibe. For the most part, the gameplay is pretty basic with its three-round format and static $1,000 front game reward. The two elements I enjoy the most from this show is the clever incorporation of show’s title as a front game bonus incentive for a team unanimously answering a multiple-choice question correctly and the end game. Watching the slightly $10,000 bonus round is like watching someone play the final level of a video game and trying their darnedest not to extinguish all three of their lives while traversing the seven-question gauntlet. The only change I would make is to award $250 per correct answer ($1,500 max) as a consolation prize in the bonus round.

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Overall, Common Knowledge is surprisingly educational and fun for anyone to watch. Think of it as if the iconic For Dummies book series became a game show.

Rapid Review Score: 8.5/10

Prediction: Game Show Network will hang on to this solid series for a third season

Watch Common Knowledge Tuesdays at 10:00pm ET on Game Show Network!


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