Monday, April 23, 2007

Italian quiz shows...trivia and (what else?) breasts

Italians love their quiz shows just as much as Americans do. There's an Italian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and several other trivia quiz shows that boast high viewer ratings.

But there's one big difference between Italian and American quiz shows: breasts.

I've blogged about this
topic before (breasts and their place in Italian culture), but quiz shows are the perfect example to illustrate this.

Take a look at this photo:

The guy on the right is the host of a popular quiz show called L'Eredità (Inheritance). And the ladies on the left? Think Vanna White after a few stiff drinks. The show is on prime time--right smack dab in the middle of family hour tv. Here's how it goes:

First, the guests all introduce themselves. Fairly standard.

Now the show begins...trivia questions, close-ups of contestants' family members biting their fingernails, brilliant contestants wowing the audience with their trivia prowess, nervous contestants flubbing obvious questions (which are never obvious to me, mind you, since I'm not Italian), etc. Again, nothing new here.

Then, just when the Italian public can't take the seriousness any longer, cue the raunchy music and out comes the group of scantily-clad women shown in the picture above, who writhe and wiggle to the music for about 30 seconds. As the last note of the song hangs in the air, they strike a suggestive pose and the audience breaks into enthusiastic applause.

Then the dancing ladies slink off-stage, the host comes back, and the game recommences.

All game shows have this half-time show, dancing-girl element, not just this one. And in the photo above, I think it's significant that the women are pictured first, and the host (who is on camera for all but 30 seconds of the show) is pictured last.

Answer (for 200 Euro): The two things that make the Italian quiz-show world go 'round.

Question: Um, Alex, what are breasts?

Ding! Ding! Ding! Thaaaaaaaat's correct!



heidi said...

congrats on winning the mermaid contest, natalie, and what great advertising for your blog! as an italy LOVER, i bookmarked you, so i'll be checking in. one two seperate occasions we've traveled to the usually places: rome, venice, tuscany (san gimiano sp? our fave), cinque terre (amazing), etc. etc. we have a four-year old son who travels well w/ us too. anyway, congrats! i hope they post the entire top 10!

TinaFerraro said...


What a crack-up! I've seen very little Italian TV since we don't have one in our house, and, well, it's all in Italian, anyway. And now I'm rather glad, thinking back on my kids at various ages, and how they would have reacted. LOL.

jennifer said...

Hi Natalie,

I'm just getting caught up on your blog. It is such a treat to be here! I love the sunglasses you picked out and it was nice to see you!

This post had me so cracked up. And I have to admit, if I lived in Italy, the breasts and suggestive poses would get on my nerves, but how lovely it would be to feel safe walking at night.

Sorry to hear about your Tech connection. It does make for a stronger punch when you're only a few degrees separated from the people of the incident. My husband got his undergrad and his Master's at Tech. It was a hard blow for him as well.

I hope all is going well on the writing front. I'll update you when I have news (good or bad) you do the same. Hopefully it will all be good!

Talk to you soon!


Natalie said...

Thanks Heidi! How nice that your 4-year-old son likes to travel. It sounds like you've seen quite a few places in'll have to come to Trieste on your next visit. :-)

Hey Tina,
I usually don't watch much Italian tv, either, but you'll have to catch this game show the next time you're here--it's hysterical! The male contestants' eyes all light up, while the women all have this can-we-just-get-on-with-the-game? look on their faces. Ha! :-)

Hi Jennifer,
Thanks for stopping by! Can't wait to hear your good writing news, and I'll keep you posted when (if??)I hear anything, too.

:-) Natalie