REVIEW CHILD GENIUS
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.