New Zealanders can’t get enough of The Chase, so why can’t we have our own version? And what would a homegrown version of the quiz show look like anyway?
If The Chase were a pandemic, we’d all have herd immunity by now. The British TV quiz show has never been more popular with New Zealand viewers, with TVNZ announcing this week that an average of 1.6 million viewers tune in to the daily 5pm episode, and over 930,000 viewers watched the first episode of spinoff Beat the Chasers last Sunday night.
This means that one in every five of us is regularly crushing on The Chase. One in every five, Aotearoa. I don’t know what the other four of you are doing with your free time, but get with the programme.
What is it about The Chase that makes New Zealanders love it with the fire of a thousand suns? Is it Bradley Walsh’s obsession with finding out what contestants do in their spare time, or do we just have a void in our lives that can only be filled by four British strangers who can’t work out which Spanish city is closest to Gibraltar?
Perhaps in this chaotic world, we’re embracing the reassuring predictability of The Chase. There are no grey areas on The Chase, only right or wrong answers, and anyone can win, right until the last few seconds. Each night, Bradley will make a corny joke and The Chaser will astound us with their brilliance, and we’ll surprise ourselves by answering at least two questions correctly.
It could be you up there, splitting $3,000 three ways, using your winnings to buy a She Shed or a family trip to Legoland. What dreams, friends. You’ll yell as Bradley speeds up on The Chaser’s final round questions and you’ll scream when the players miss an easy answer, but no matter what happens, you’ll always have a good time with The Chase.
Since we’re worshipping so hard at this quizzy altar, it’s only a matter of time until TVNZ sees the light and blesses us with a New Zealand version. The Chase NZ would feature tricky questions about cheese rolls and Lorde, and you’d know at least three contestants in every episode. You’ll probably have pashed at least one of them, but it’s fine. There won’t be any questions about regretful turn-of-the-century Rhythm and Vines hook-ups, at least in the first season.
The big question is, who should be the New Zealand Chasers? We’ve studied the facts and come up with a list of potential brainiacs who are experts in their chosen fields, who thrive under pressure, and who will likely know their Cumulonimbus from their Nimbus 2000s. Yes, there are smarter and more worthy Chasers out there, but would they terrify and amaze us in the same way that Simon Bridges’ baby yak would? The answer, Bradley, is no.
Already had a TV show, gave it away due to pleasingly low ratings. Loves answering tricky questions, rarely gets flustered, and just like Bradley Walsh, turns up every time.
Dr TK Samuels from Shortland Street
A smart doctor, though tends to answers every question with “all my wives are dead”.
While we watched The Chase during lockdown, Nadia Lim wrote a book and made a TV show. Also knows the difference between a colander and coriander, and is therefore a genius.
We all love an underdog, or an underyak, if you will. Yaks are used to high altitudes so this baby Beast will have no problems sitting high atop the Chaser’s raised platform. On the other hand: is a yak.
Our former prime minister just scored an important new job with WHO, so she’ll probably have heaps of spare time to sit next to a right-wing yak and answer a series of quick fire questions about All Blacks and lamingtons.
Dallow delivers a barrage of facts and figures every single night at six o’clock, but he’s also been to Mars, witnessed the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, and delivered the headlines from the Somme. He knows his shit.
Auckland’s Giant Santa
What else is he doing with his time? Sweet fuck all.
Astar from Good Morning
I will not unplug my glue gun until Astar returns to her rightful place on mainstream television. Astar would answer the Final Round while also making a crown out of egg cartons and plastic flowers, a feat that neither The Sinnaman nor The Beast have ever been brave enough to attempt. Would also bring the burns, but again, that could be from the glue gun.
You know whose kind, reassuring face I’d want to see if I was staring down the barrel of a five team Chaser £100,000 final round? This one.
Matty McLean, but only if he’s dressed as a dinosaur
Zip me into an inflatable costume of crazy dreams, because Matty McLean wearing a dinosaur suit on Breakfast was the joyful highlight of my TV year. We need more Dino Matty. Put him on The Chase, put him in charge of isolation, put him in charge of the country. Just put him somewhere.