If there's one thing I've learned from my time writing entertainment news, it's that New Zealand goes absolutely nuts for The Chase.
Something about the UK quiz show has enchanted our nation - and indeed, the UK as well, so much so that after 10 years on air, it's still going strong enough to have launched a spinoff series.
Beat the Chasers is the new quiz series that hit our screens on Sunday and it has everything Kiwis already love about The Chase and then some.
While in the original Chase, contestants compete as part of a team to beat one chaser, here, they compete solo to beat a team of chasers.
Don't let the fancy new set and countdown timers fool you; the format is largely the same.
Someone's just done a very clever rejig of how contestants are given headstarts and how offers are presented, to make the whole thing feel surprisingly fresh.
Contestants take part in a cash builder round, answering questions for $1000 each to form the basis for their starting offer, which they'll have to beat two chasers to win.
From there, a third chaser will join, upping the cash offer, then the fourth and fifth do the same. The head start, rather than being a couple of steps ahead on the board, comes in the form of seconds on the clock.
The contestant starts with 60 seconds and the chasers give them a headstart - usually of 20-30 seconds for lower offers and as little as four or five seconds for higher offers.
Once the clock starts, if you get a question right, it pauses, if you get it wrong, it starts dwindling down fairly quickly - it's much easier to understand once you see it.
While it may be a similar format, the dynamic of the show is so different, it feels infinitely more fun and exciting. The vibe is far less intense and stuffy and could well start appealing to - or at least not completely repelling - a younger audience.
The chasers have a good bit of banter and seem to be having more fun and focusing less on their Chase characters. We also get the added bonus of seeing them have to buzz in as part of a team for the first time - plus some of the looks they give each other for a wrong answer are absolutely withering and I love it.
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The other element here is that it feels a bit more possible for people to win. I don't know, but I assume the rest of the country loves The Chase for the same reason as my household does; because you can play along.
And that's much more fun when you actually feel like you might be able to keep up or even last 'til the end. Unlike The Chase, where you absolutely have to have a good knowledge base to stand a chance of winning, here, you can rely a little bit more on luck and a good bet, and that's attracting some new kinds of contestants you might not usually see on The Chase and thus providing some new entertainment value.
It was particularly fun to see a young woman take home a massive $25,000 for one minute's work against three Chasers, simply because the Chasers made too high a gamble.
What ups the ante even more is that one person can take home tens of thousands of dollars - that's a rare occurrence on The Chase where, even if you do somehow manage to make it to the end and beat the Chaser, you've still got to split your prize money with any fellow teammates.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the penalty for mucking up is a lot harsher, too. If a
contestant gets the first question of their cash builder round wrong, that's it. They go home empty-handed. Even Paul Sinha (aka The Sinnerman) said: "We get to make as many mistakes as we like … that's pretty brutal!"
The other thing that's brutal is the amount of pressure this new format puts its contestants under. You have to feel bad for them; as if being under studio lights surrounded by cameras weren't enough, you're up against some of the best quizzers in the world in front of a live audience whose judgement is no doubt palpable, with time running out before your eyes.
But that's what makes it all the more exciting. That, and the rounds are over in a couple of minutes - even with host Bradley Walsh's banter - so you get to see new contestants in new scenarios throughout each episode, which makes things a lot more interesting.
I'll be honest; I don't know if it all seems so much more exciting because it genuinely is or just because it's a new format, far flashier and more relaxed than what Chase fans are used to. But either way, it is exciting.
I expect Beat the Chaser will fast become Sunday night ritual viewing for households around the nation.