Monday, December 21, 2009

TV Character Contest: The Update

Over the weekend, I got some interesting comments and questions about the "Favorite TV Character" contest. Basically, it boils down to this: should you bother guessing/entering if you don't know ALL of the 25 characters?

After all, I did kind of phrase it that way:
Your job? Identify all 25 characters (not the actor, not the show).

The first person to send an email to TNRLMeditor(at) with the correct response...
That phraseology presupposes someone out there will be able to correctly name each and every character shown, and that the first person to do so would win, right? But what do you do if you "know" who many of them are, but aren't sure about a few others? Under the presupposition that someone will know them all, you might not even bother to guess on the rest or submit an entry.

Well, thus far, no one has identified all 25 correctly yet.

That brings me to two points:

  1. I'm slightly modifying the contest, but not so much that the modification wasn't inherently part of it to begin with, at least in my head (though obviously not explicitly stated, or clearly communicated, by me. Sorry about that). The winner will still be the first person to correctly identify all 25 characters. HOWEVER, if no one can identify all 25, then the winner will be the person who correctly identifies the greatest number of characters by the deadline. The deadline will be Friday night (X-mas!) by midnight, EST. In the case of ties (i.e., the highest number of identifications), the winner will be the person with the earliest email "postmark" date. Make sense?
  2. Did I make it too hard? Do I watch too much TV? (I think we all know the answer to the second question). I've developed quizzes and tests before for both profession and personal challenges, and I'm always left puzzling over the difference between "difficult" and "arcane." I mean, I know it, so that means everyone else must know it, right? But different people know things in different ways in different areas. For example, I can see or hear a bit of trivia one time, and then just absorb it into memory. But I can travel the same route somewhere 5 or 6 times, and still be lost without GPS, turn by turn printed directions, a trail of breadcrumbs and a sherpa to guide me. Or I have a dear friend who can recognize just about anyone by their face ("it's that guy from the movie who played the killer next door, and he was also the doctor in that thing...") but not always pull up the name and list of imdb credits from memory. So while I think the cropped pictures should be guessable, they indeed might not be, because I started with a list of names, and then assembled the photos knowing who they were the whole time. (It's a little like the old shell game. Yeah, I know which shell the pea is under because I put it there, but how do I know if you're following the sleight of hand?) Regardless, I know many of them are, because I've received some fairly accurate submissions thus far, indicating that there are at least a few of you out there who revel in their couch-spudness as much as I do.

So, bottom line: Keep guessing, there's still time to win!

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