"Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" is an extremely popular gameshow that started in the UK before the concept was sold on and turned into an equally popular show in America and other countries. And it's addictive, despite its many apparent flaws. Its irritating presenter for one - one of the high points of the computerised pub quiz machine version is that you can poke Chris Tarrant, the British presenter, in the eye to skip his part of the dialogue, and Regis is, I hear, no better. Many of the contestants are just as bad, with their boundless stupidity; you can find yourself wanting to scream at them "Denmark! For God's sake, you're a moron! Denmark! IT'S DENMARK!" (or, in some cases, actually doing it), especially when they "phone a friend" who turns out to be as braindead as they are. Yet, somehow, you find yourself sitting watching this trashy, sensationalist drivel, utterly enthralled with it.
Perhaps it's because it hinges on suspense and the sheer intensity of seeing someone decide whether or not to answer a question that could double their winnings or send them home with a paltry few thousand pounds (or dollars). Do you take the 64 thousand that you can have now? Or do you try for 125 you could win, but maybe lose 32 and leave in shame... maybe the next question will be easy; maybe you can take the big one, become a millionaire. It's gripping stuff; you can see the contestant sweat in their seat, see them driven almost to breaking point by the knowledge that their next decision could change their life. It's not often that you see someone do something that could really alter the course of their entire life.
Another reason for its popularity is the producer's habit of deliberately not taking on people who do extremely well on the phone-in entry quiz, thus ensuring that only people of fairly average intelligence get on, and that they don't have to pay out the big prizes too often. Naturally, it's mainly to save themselves money that they do this, but it also means that the people up there are just like you. If perhaps a little less intelligent. E2, by its very nature, ought to attract people of above-average intelligence (and above-average smug superiority, too). Anyway, the contestants aren't nerdy trivia-mad mega-brains who memorised the encyclopedia before the show; they're Joe Normal who works in the shop round the corner. This isn't countdown (a popular British show), where the contestants are just too damn clever; you feel you could actually do as well if not better than them. It could be you up there; and by god, you'd be sure to win that million.
So, if you find yourself not being able to change the channel despite wanting to punch Chris (or Regis), then just think; it's secretly because you wish it was you sat across from him, being teased, tormented and pressurised for the entertainment of the masses. Come on, admit it. You want a go too, and you'd do better than that fool.