SEE AGAIN: I like a good quiz.

The same goes for many Kiwis, as evidenced by the popularity of The hunt and Millionaire hot seat.

At the time, we also had a lot of local produce – local versions of Brain, University challenge and The Krypton Factor that captivated a large audience in the prime-time slots.

But somewhere along the way, we lost our mojo. Perhaps it was choosing Mike Hosking to host the New Zealand version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Maybe it was the horror of Are you smarter than a 10 year old?

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Well, now, perhaps bolstered by the steady windfall of ratings that Bradley Walsh and his Knowledge Monsters have, we finally have a local competition taking place in the once glamorous tea time slot that hosted once people like The wonderful world of Disney and A canine show. Even better, 9 lives (Sunday, 6 p.m., TVNZ2 and available to stream on TVNZ OnDemand) openly celebrates two of our three national languages.

The flash of 9 Lives, the neon infused ensemble can't hide the fact that the concept is convoluted, confusing, and half an hour too long.


The flash of 9 Lives, the neon infused ensemble can’t hide the fact that the concept is convoluted, confusing, and half an hour too long.

However, it is with great sadness that I must report that while the bilingual show hosted by Matai Smith is a great idea in theory, in practice it just fails to entertain.

It’s flash, the neon infused ensemble can’t hide the fact that the concept is convoluted, confusing, and half an hour too long. I counted 78 questions in the roughly 40 minutes of real-time on-screen, about the same number it would take a fifth of that time to read in two “Final Chases”.

Smith seemed compelled to pause for a joke after every second question, but with the quartet of candidates seeming to be struggling to figure out what was going on, there were plenty of “I have no idea” or “I just came” responses. to guess”. Scholarly or witty television, it was not.

The game takes place over five rounds, with the ultimate winner being the last to have lives. Players initially accumulate them over the first round of nine open-ended multiple-choice questions, which is then followed by individual money-building questions, where they earn $ 100 for each correct answer. After that, they can buy additional lives for $ 300 apiece (which they can also do before each of the next two turns), before embarking on another multiple-choice turn, after which the lower performing one is eliminated.

Round 4 also eliminates a contestant, with the trio answering three sets of three questions related to photos or video clips. This leaves the final duo to face each other, until one of them runs out of life.

But, as is the case with modern quizzes, there is one final twist. Another “pātai with Matai”, where, if the candidate is successful, he wins the second place silver, as well as his own. Do it wrong – and they get nothing.

Matai Smith is the host of 9 Lives.


Matai Smith is the host of 9 Lives.

Exhausted and confused? You’re not alone. And I’m sure the players’ strategy will improve as the season progresses. But while the incorporation of Te Reo has been handled well (although not as friendly to older viewers – Pākehā as let’s say the brilliant National treasure) and I enjoyed learning Maori words for Pac-Man (Tangata Pakē) and Space invaders (Uru Ātea), it almost looked – dare I say it – like a gadget.

A number of Maori game shows are much more truly bilingual in comparison and even children’s shows. brain teaser makes it easier and organic. The latter also feels like a role model for 9 lives – replace the observation tower with an obstacle course and there are some striking similarities in the format.

How many dice are there in this photo?


How many dice are there in this photo?

It seems rushed into production, however. Smith (with a Derek “Silver” Fox-esque makeover), a more than capable presenter on the likes of Marae and Indigenous affairs, seemed confused at times, while there were some questionable issues among the questions. A multiple choice question asked: “How many points is a Yahtzee worth?” Two of the possible answers were technically correct, as anyone who has played the game will tell you.

Then, during the observation round, participants were asked “how many dice are in the photo?” Although there were two with numbers, there were also probably five others. Boggle-esque “dice” elsewhere in the frame. It was all a bit messy and at odds with the slick presentation the ensemble was trying to portray.

We do not talk The chair or Every second counts level of disaster here, but it made me crave old-fashioned run-down-looking, yet simple and weirdly addicting contests like Face the music.

9 lives is now available to stream on TVNZ OnDemand. New episodes debut on TVNZ2 at 6 p.m. every Sunday.

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