Be the nerd you're meant to be

Published December 30, 2021

Harry Potter scarf and tie

Unless you’ve been deliberately avoiding it (and you might have, because it’s troublesome these days), you’ll know there’s a Harry Potter celebration on New Year’s Day. The stars of the movies are getting back together to celebrate the 20th Anniversary ready to reminisce about what must have been a huge part of their childhoods. I’m interested to see what is revealed.

But I was also super interested to see a four part quiz special hosted by Helen Mirren pop up on Now TV. The show featured big Harry Potter fans gathered in the four houses of Hogwarts doing battle to win a big trophy, and probably some Diagon Alley street cred as well.

I love a quiz, and I love a quiz about a subject I know quite a lot about, so this sounded perfect. It was not perfect. It was, in fact, awful. I only managed to get twenty minutes or so through the first episode, and in that time, they only asked about four questions.

A Telegraph review says:

This is a Harry Potter-themed quiz that will have you cringing to your toes. Partly that’s because Dame Helen is wildly miscast as a quizmaster. What she’s doing here, I have no idea. She wasn’t in any of the films. And Dame Helen has many talents, but appearing natural while chatting to game show contestants is not one of them.

It also goes on to note that as the contestants are all super fans, they get pretty much every question right, so there’s no suspense. I don’t think that bugged me, what I found more irritating was their slightly odd pretense that they needed to think about it. Were they asked to do this by producers just to make it a little bit more dramatic?

When asked which of the four nicknames related to a werewolf, the group conferred: “Hmm, it could be this one, but also it could also be this one, but as he’s a werewolf it’s probably the one that mentions the moon.” When you know, inside, they are absolutely screaming MOONY, IT’S MOONY, WHO HASN’T WISHED THEY COULD TURN INTO AN ANIMAL AT WILL AND GET UP TO MISCHIEF? MOONY, MOONY, MOONY.

“We’ve talked it over and we’ll go with Moony, Dame Helen.”

I couldn’t bear it so had to switch off, which is a shame, because I love a bit of Harry Potter trivia. The trouble with a show like this is, I want to see absolutely hardcore fans rapidly whipping out answers because they’ve put the effort in. We want the Mastermind of Harry Potter fans to be tested. But I guess showing the glorious true nerdy nature of superfans isn’t mainstream enough for a show like this. We’ll get there, though.

← Previous The movie calendar
Next → On the record 2021 - wrap up