About a year ago, I wrote about both my love for Jeopardy as well as my disdain for the current Jeopardy champion at the time. I bring this up solely to illustrate my love for the show. Lately I have found myself watching the program a lot more. Having a job where I don’t work such long hours and dating a girl who also loves the show has contributed to me spending a lot more of my evenings with Alex Trebek.
As I have watched the show more, certain little things have started to get under my skin. Attribute my crankiness to my escalating age but there are some practices and tendencies that frustrate me about Jeopardy. In today’s blog post I want to offer up my top five annoyances with my favorite game show (in no particular order).
Speaking Over Trebek: A few times each show right in the middle of a round, there will be that awkward moment when a contestant will answer a clue and then immediately choose another clue without waiting for Alex to finish talking. Many times Alex will be elaborating on an answer or sometimes he will just be telling the contestant to make a selection but he or she will be too excited to wait. What will result is Alex and the contestant talking at the exact same time. It makes me feel uncomfortable and it ruins the flow of the game.
Contestant Interviews: Speaking of awkward moments, nothing is more embarrassing and cringe-worthy than the interviews/introductions with Alex and the contestants in the middle of the first round. You have to understand, many of the Jeopardy contestants are weird people to begin with. Having them talk to a person who is socially-different as well, like Alex, spells disaster. I hold my breath through all three interviews. Many of them are beyond bad. My suggestion would be to bring out a super model or a high profile sideline reporter to do the quick interviews. It would shake things up a bit, decrease the awkwardness, and give us all something nice to look at.
Leaving One Clue on the Board: I literally yell at the television screen when either the first or second round ends and there is one remaining clue on the board. I mean come on!! Is there really that much of a time crunch to not finish out the board? Make that blue screen look complete and just read the damn clue. The contestants, the people at home, and the people in the audience will all have no idea if the timer expires and there is a single remaining clue. Please producers, refrain from sounding that awful noise signaling the end of the round and let Trebek present the very last question.
Video Clue Categories – The video clue categories in Jeopardy are a complete joke. No one enjoys them. Maybe 20 years ago they were instituted to show that Jeopardy was with the times and savvy with technology but they are completely counterproductive now. All what they do is slow the game down and eat up precious time in the round. I don’t care about the correspondents traveling to exotic places, demonstrating techniques on screen, or trying their best to make the audience laugh…it is the biggest pain ever. I plead with the Jeopardy producers to axe the video categories and leave the clue asking to Alex Trebek.
Jumping All Over the Board – In the post I mentioned above, I complained about the strategy contestants utilize of jumping all over the board, surfing to different categories and random dollar amounts. In the post-Arthur Chu era, this method has become more and more prevalent. I understand that the players who employ this strategy want to find the daily doubles and they want to fight against their opponents getting into a rhythm, but for my own selfish sake I dislike it. My small brain wants the categories to be revealed starting with the $200 clue in one category and continuing in that category through the $1,000 clue. I don’t want the $600 clue in “British Poets Rhyme Time” then the $1,000 clue in “Shakespeare Characters” followed by the $1,000 clue in “Supreme Court Law.” I know this won’t change, but it would help me be more competitive when I am playing against my family and girlfriend.
Jeopardy is a wonderful game show. I have watched it for most of my life. I think my appreciation of the show is evidenced by my willingness to write a whole blog post on the little things that annoy me about it. Out of the five things I mentioned, if there is one change I would love to see implemented it would be the elimination of video clue categories. Maybe they could salvage the jobs of the correspondents who record those clues and have them give the contestant interviews during the show. Don’t Blink.