TV GUIDE

RE­VIEW CHILD GE­NIUS

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - FRONT PAGE - with Shane Douthie

SHOW: Child Ge­nius CHAN­NEL: SBS TIME: Fi­nal, 7.30pm tonight, Wed­nes­day

EX­PLOIT­ING young chil­dren for tele­vi­sion rat­ings is as old as Keith Smith’s Pocket Money Rid­dle Round Up back in the 1960s or Young Tal­ent Time the fol­low­ing decade. Of­ten it’s about see­ing kids more adorable, tal­ented and freakier than our own although most par­ents (but not all) would soon say they still love their own cre­ation than the ris­ing ‘stars’ on the screen.

The new IQ game show on SBS Child Ge­nius has all the nor­mal twists as any other re­al­ity com­pe­ti­tion show. Vary­ing char­ac­ters, per­son­al­i­ties and abil­i­ties each re­act­ing dif­fer­ently to the alien en­vi­ron­ment and re­spond­ing in dif­fer­ent ways to the pres­sure. Of course there are the par­ents and if there is one thing lack­ing there, like the chil­dren, it’s nor­mal­ity. Child Ge­nius has brought to­gether chil­dren from across the coun­try in a con­test to find Aus­tralia’s bright­est child. Pre­sented in as­so­ci­a­tion with Aus­tralian Mensa and presided over by quiz­mas­ter, Dr Su­san Car­land, Child Ge­nius tests out these bud­ding Ein­steins in maths, gen­eral knowl­edge, mem­ory and lan­guage. From the mini sci­ence buff to the mu­si­cal prodigy; the ul­ti­mate dic­tio­nary-read­ing word­smith and even a cou­ple of kids whose par­ents had no idea how clever they were un­til they sat the Child Ge­nius IQ test. To watch some of these kids per­form is star­tling. In the mem­ory test they each had two hours to re­mem­ber the or­der of a deck of 52 play­ing cards and then step out un­der the spot­light in front of the au­di­ence (their par­ents and the other fam­i­lies) and say them in or­der. As­ton­ish­ingly sev­eral did a clean sweep, recit­ing ev­ery card in cor­rect or­der. The spell­ing test in­cluded words I had never heard of and don’t get me started on the ana­grams.

Of course there can only be one win­ner and each night one of the lit­tle an­gels has been booted off which can re­sult in some gut-wrench­ing scenes but also some mo­ments that re­store your faith in chil­dren and their par­ents.

If you missed the se­ries you can prob­a­bly still see it on SBS De­mand or what not and I would sug­gest sit­ting down and watch­ing it with your own chil­dren. Then you can ask them, what’s wrong with you?

◆ QUIZ KIDS: The bright­est young minds in Aus­tralia go head to head to sort out the win­ners from the losers, no par­tic­i­pa­tion rib­bons here.

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