For the first month or two I was back in the Chicago area, I kept forgetting to watch Jeopardy!, since it's on at 3:30 instead of later in the evening like most of the rest of the country. Now I remember, and I've been watching every day for the past couple of weeks. I saw the end of the Tournament of Champions, the Teen Tournament, and right now, the College Championship.
I love Jeopardy. I really do. It takes me back to the glory days of my high school academic team, which was a really good time. I know it has its flaws. The judging of close-but-not-right answers is pretty uneven. The judges wouldn't accept "Memories" for "Memory," but allowed someone to pronounce "Colbert" in an Anglicized way. Its biggest flaw, as far as I'm concerned, is the "chat" section between Alex Trebek and the contestants. I usually mute this because I think it's just embarrassing for everyone.
The younger contestants seem to enjoy this part a lot more, which can make me either cringe more than at the older contestants, or endear them to me. There was one kid in the Teen Tournament that I particularly liked, because he was sort of gently making fun of the cheesiness of the whole thing - making an overly enthusiastic face for the camera, poking fun at Alex's puns. He was still into the competition, though, and he was really mad at himself when he wagered all his money on a Daily Double and lost it. (The question was about which Czech playwright later became prime minister - which was a staple in the Jefferson County Public Schools academic competition question sets.)
It also amazes me what some of the contestants can't answer. During the Tournament of Champions, no one could identify what band made the album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. The college champions were unable to name the director of Sicko, or fill in the blank in the following lyrics: "____ singing in the dead of night." I am terrible with pop culture references, but even I know those.
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