March 2, 2010


With the advent of DVR, Brian and I don't watch much live TV anymore.  But there is one exception, and it's a show that we follow with nearly religious devotion -


I suppose this TV viewing would also qualify as being somewhat geriatric.  I can say this with some degree of certainty, seeing as how all of the on-show commercials are for Poli-Grip and Osteo Bi-Flex.  But I digress.

I LOVE Jeopardy!.  I always have, or at least since the retooling of the show back in '84 (those of you who are reading this blog that are past "a certain age" may remember the Art Fleming-hosted Jeopardy! back in the 60's.  I wasn't born yet, but I have seen reruns).  When it first came back on the air, I was a sophomore in high school and, even though I was barely passing most of the classes I was taking at the time (my first semester that year I had three Ds and an F), I always kicked some butt at Jeopardy!.

Over the years, it's been interesting to see how the show has changed.  Every 2-3 years they change the set, but I do believe the questions have gotten easier, too.  There seems to be a lot more pop culture mixed in with the "17th Century Royalty" categories.  And now that King Features Syndicate has been swallowed up by Sony, there are a lot more, albeit subtle, plugs for Sony products (Playstation 3 was a popular "answer" about two years ago).

One of my favorite reasons to watch, though, is a snarky one.  I secretly love it when Alex lambasts the contestants when they answer incorrectly.  If you want to see Alex get really mad, then watch when someone answers a question about Canada wrong.  Hoo boy!  You can almost see the slow burn!  Of course, it's easy to sound high falutin when you have the answers right in front of you, isn't it, Alex?

Of course, like most Jeopardy! devotees, it has always been a dream of mine to become a contestant.  I even took the online test last year (note to self:  you should've paid more attention in school).  Unfortunately, as long as I still have friends in the TV biz, even if I were to be picked, I'd be disqualified - I know too many people who work for CBS, the distribution company for the show.  But let's say I were free and clear to be on the show - I have a feeling I'd be one of those people to have a negative balance after Double Jeopardy, and therefore unable to play Final Jeopardy.  Oh sure, the game looks easy when you're sitting at home watching, but can you imagine the pressure when you're up there?  And forget about it if there are any geography or science questions!

If all of this "Dumbing Down of America" talk is true, though, I'll be a shoo-in in about 15 years.  By then, the questions will resemble the ones that Will Ferrell's "Alex" asks the celebrity contestants on Saturday Night Live.  If  I get lucky enough to be on the program the night that "Your Ass or a Hole in the Ground" is a category - I'll run it for sure.

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