Quarantine Diary 9: British quiz show edition

Recently I’ve heard and read multiple reports about what people are doing to comfort themselves during this extended period of isolation and disorder. Can’t remember where or when, though. Sorry, it’s all a blur. However, it seems many of us Hunker-downers (thanks for that, Leslie Jordan) seek comfort by watching reruns of old favorite TV shows. Friends. The Office. Cheers. By doing so, we go where everyone knows our name. The plots and even the punchlines are predictable in these most unpredictable of times. Unsurprisingly, that comforts us and can be a weird substitute for actual social interaction.

I also heard someone, somewhere (again, no idea) refer to it as lightening our “cognitive load.” These shows demand little of us. And with all the chaos reigning both in and out of our households, watching shows from “the before time” is a safe and predictable pastime. Watching Ward Bond lead another Wagon Train takes me back to watching it with my grandpa sixty years ago.

Nonetheless, in this household, as the Great Quarantine of 2020 drones on, with no end in sight, we’ve exhausted most of our favorite TV go-tos. What we (and I include my extreme introvert husband here) were really missing was laughter. Honest-to-goodness, laugh-out-loud, spontaneous laughter. The kind you get when you mix your smartest, funniest friends with (maybe) just a little alcohol.

For some reason, (Again, brain fog. Might have been looking for shows with with Sue Perkins or Richard Ayoade) husband tried a free week of BritBox and discovered two REALLY funny quiz shows that have given us exactly what we were looking for. Would I Lie to You? and 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.

Would I Lie to You? involves a teams of comedians telling incredible stories and the opposing team trying to discern whether or not they’re true. The stories are ridiculously funny and we both laugh out loud. What a relief.

8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown is a mash-up of two popular British shows. Again, comedians solve some anagram and number puzzles along with their comedy. You can play along or not. Bonus: Two really smart women–Rachel Riley and Susie Dent–are the math and word experts.

Susie Dent and Rachel Riley

Episodes of each can be found on HULU, YouTube and here on Amazon Prime: Would I Lie to You? 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown

A word of warning: British TV is much bawdier than American TV. You’ll hear words for body parts and functions left un-bleeped. And you’ll likely expand your vocabulary of British slang terms for ALL of those body parts and functions.

Where have you found comfort and/or laughter lately? Please share. We all could us more of that.

Take care. XO

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