Catsdown - Why the Small Dictionary?

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Matthew White
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Catsdown - Why the Small Dictionary?

Post by Matthew White » Mon Dec 21, 2020 11:58 am

This is probably an overly pedantic thing for what is a comedy show, but felt like raising it anyway (apologies if it's already been discussed)

Watching some old 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown episodes and noticed they still use the physical dictionary as opposed to the online dictionary - just checked a recent one to see if they've moved to the online one, and it appears not even in the latest episodes?

Surely given the sheer number of nonsense words thrown out on the show it would make more sense to use the online version in line with the one used on the main show, given them a slightly higher chance of actually being in there?

Is there any good reason not to use the online dictionary with recent updates?

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Charlie Reams
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Re: Catsdown - Why the Small Dictionary?

Post by Charlie Reams » Tue Dec 22, 2020 11:27 am

I think there's something quite iconic about the physical dictionary, and it makes the verdicts feel more "real" than getting them from a computer in the production office. The actual allowed/not-allowed decisions don't really matter on Catsdown anyway, do they?

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Rhys Benjamin
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Re: Catsdown - Why the Small Dictionary?

Post by Rhys Benjamin » Tue Dec 22, 2020 1:23 pm

I had rather a fiesty discussion about this yesterday.

I only ever watch Catsdown because of the “down” bit (and also because as you can see with Clarkson-era Top Gear the unscripted bits are MUCH better than the badly scripted jokes). It must have been filmed in February admittedly, but Sean Lock and Jon Richardson were VERY competitive last night - Sean Lock refused to allow an extra point for Jon’s out-of-time 7 (he’d had 6) and they didn’t take the bonus game seriously at all until Jimmy said that points were at stake.

This, as well as things such as the overblown Rachel anniversary last year, indicates it’s having too much money spent on it and the producers don’t know what to do with it. The “mascot” section at the start doesn’t add anything comedically and there’s very rarely any payoff for it either comedically. Even just cutting that would improve the pacing - the conundrum and epilogue is always extremely rushed “yesitscorrectheresyourprizegoodnight”. So for the time being I’d cut the mascot section and play a proper 9-rounder. The original 2012 backdoor pilot had 7 rounds in a 30-minute programme which I think strikes the correct balance: it was the length of Celeb Countdown 1998, and the length of Richard vs Carol at Xmas 1997. The 18th Birthday game did 9 rounds in 45 minutes so even this is being very lenient. Even just from a comedy aspect the bits where they play Countdown are funniest (unless Joe Wilkinson is involved in any way, shape, or form).

My understanding is that they do now use ODO and Susie “acts” like it’s on the paper dictionary?

I have always maintained that Jon Richardson is octochamp standard (though not a massively high scoring one) and let’s not forget he once beat Jono at a numbers game.
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Jon O'Neill
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Re: Catsdown - Why the Small Dictionary?

Post by Jon O'Neill » Tue Dec 22, 2020 2:23 pm

Rhys Benjamin wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 1:23 pm
I had rather a fiesty discussion about this yesterday.

I only ever watch Catsdown because of the “down” bit (and also because as you can see with Clarkson-era Top Gear the unscripted bits are MUCH better than the badly scripted jokes). It must have been filmed in February admittedly, but Sean Lock and Jon Richardson were VERY competitive last night - Sean Lock refused to allow an extra point for Jon’s out-of-time 7 (he’d had 6) and they didn’t take the bonus game seriously at all until Jimmy said that points were at stake.

This, as well as things such as the overblown Rachel anniversary last year, indicates it’s having too much money spent on it and the producers don’t know what to do with it. The “mascot” section at the start doesn’t add anything comedically and there’s very rarely any payoff for it either comedically. Even just cutting that would improve the pacing - the conundrum and epilogue is always extremely rushed “yesitscorrectheresyourprizegoodnight”. So for the time being I’d cut the mascot section and play a proper 9-rounder. The original 2012 backdoor pilot had 7 rounds in a 30-minute programme which I think strikes the correct balance: it was the length of Celeb Countdown 1998, and the length of Richard vs Carol at Xmas 1997. The 18th Birthday game did 9 rounds in 45 minutes so even this is being very lenient. Even just from a comedy aspect the bits where they play Countdown are funniest (unless Joe Wilkinson is involved in any way, shape, or form).

My understanding is that they do now use ODO and Susie “acts” like it’s on the paper dictionary?

I have always maintained that Jon Richardson is octochamp standard (though not a massively high scoring one) and let’s not forget he once beat Jono at a numbers game.
I was going to take exception to this post (I think Catsdown is hilarious compared to other panel shows, and they get the balance and pacing exactly right, with a good balance of slapstick, wit and a generous sprinkling of "offbeat" moments.)

Then you crushed my soul in the last sentence. However, I do agree that he is a very solid player.

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Re: Catsdown - Why the Small Dictionary?

Post by Paul Anderson » Tue Dec 22, 2020 3:17 pm

Na, sorry Jon but Rhys is right...terrible pacing, not enough gameplay and a complete imbalance between the intro and the outro

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Callum Todd
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Re: Catsdown - Why the Small Dictionary?

Post by Callum Todd » Tue Dec 22, 2020 5:43 pm

Yeah Catsdown isn't really about dictionaries. It's just a comedy show that is meant to look 'Countdowny', and a physical paper dictionary does that better than an online one. I don't really watch the show but don't hate it. I probably preferred the old 8 out of 10 cats without the countdown in it, but maybe that's because my Countdown judgement is clouded by years of overexposure to the game.
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Re: Catsdown - Why the Small Dictionary?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Dec 22, 2020 9:48 pm

Rhys Benjamin wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 1:23 pm
I had rather a fiesty discussion about this yesterday.

I only ever watch Catsdown because of the “down” bit (and also because as you can see with Clarkson-era Top Gear the unscripted bits are MUCH better than the badly scripted jokes). It must have been filmed in February admittedly, but Sean Lock and Jon Richardson were VERY competitive last night - Sean Lock refused to allow an extra point for Jon’s out-of-time 7 (he’d had 6) and they didn’t take the bonus game seriously at all until Jimmy said that points were at stake.
This is all part of the comedy. Sean refusing the extra points to Jon in his grumpy way fits his comedy character much better than "Oh yes that's fine. Very well done for spotting a seven at all." The bonus game thing too - it was a joke. I think this was filmed ages ago by the way - before February. It came up as 2019 in the credits, and it must have been quite early in 2019, given that Rachel didn't look particularly pregnant.

But anyway, overall I think the show works quite well. If you come to the show simply after a game of Countdown, you're not who the show is catering for.

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Re: Catsdown - Why the Small Dictionary?

Post by Rhys Benjamin » Tue Dec 22, 2020 10:18 pm

Callum Todd wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 5:43 pm
I probably preferred the old 8 out of 10 cats without the countdown in it
This is possibly why I think what I think on this - I really don't like 8 Out of 10 Cats.
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