So you think you can outwit a fifth grader?
Well, hell, even I thought so.
I don’t know what’s better about FOX’s newest millionaire-esque gameshow, the initial scoffing at the premise because of some ridiculous preconception that anyone can win the million, or the sad realization that a prepubescent kid has the capacity to outplay you for the very same jackpot.
Mark Burnett’s latest endeavour in rags-to-riches game-fare definitely doesn’t have the drama of its island-experiment predecessor Survivor, but speaks as much to society. With just the right blend of brain power and call-em-out style Q-and-A embarrassment, it puts money-seeking adults in their place. We live, undeniably in a world where youth is epitomized as the pinnacle of our lives, most prominently through our appearance. In the sea of reality-tv-cum-gameshows out there which prize the (young, hot) bachelor with a (young, hot) wife or launch a (young, hot) aspiring model to stardom, it’s refreshing to see a show like Fifth Grader, as juvenile as it may seem, harping on something other than the young, hot qualities of the next generation.
And what a generation of kids they are: a spitfire, saucy group ready to shame every adult who doesn’t know, say, how many sides there are to a trapezoid in to hiding. It doesn’t seem like the kind of knowledge that would garner millions, but on this show, it does. Knowledge on this show, particularly knowledge developed as a kid, is power. Not your botoxed beauty, glimmering smile or your millions: just real book smarts.
So every time an arrogant adult swaggers on to the stage, thinking naively that they’ve got the game in the bag, it’s satisfying to see the overlooked, diminutive book nerd at the back of the class have to help them along as they aim for that jackpot. It’s a striking concept for a society that’s hanging on the whims of a now-bald Britney, or a Simple-Life– living Paris.
We hate to sound so PSA, but education, it seems gives you an Edge. An E-Rate to the Fifth power.
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Sir Linksalot: Reality Television