Friends, here is the first of what I hope will be many and several “field reports” on the current state of Jeopardy! from my friend Danielle, who is the most incisive Jeopardy! watcher I know. Her socio-critical critique of Alex, the contestants, and everything else about the show is so dead-on and so consistenly furious, the only question you’re really ever left with is “why is she still watching something she hates this much?” The answer is simple: because Jeopardy! is one of the greatest television shows of all time. Danielle’s preferred forum for Jeopardy! studies is a live, collaborative environment resulting in a spontaneous, non-documented performance (that is to say: we sit on her couch, we watch Jeopardy! together and make fun of it, while trying to time our insults such that we can still keep pace with the game). Therefore, we are very lucky to have this record of her work.
“The Jeopardy! I’m Watching…”
…is like this bizarre, Lynchian masterpiece. Someone behind the scenes here was like “Hey how can I create some kind of embedded storyline that involves mining three nauseatingly awkward characters for all the pathos they’ve got” and his coworker was like “Well, we’ve got those contestants…” and the first guy said “Hey what if they had like a REALLY bad therapist?” and the coworker was all “I think I might have just the guy for the part…”and the past week or two have been like this long, dragged-out pilot episode of New Jeopardy! I mean, someone put these people out of their misery! Through some miracle they’ve managed to make it through the saddest life ever long enough to finally be on jeopardy, which is like at the very top of their list of stupendously compromised hopes and dreams, and then as soon as that first commercial break is over…POW! Sayonara LOSER! But the characters are like real weirdos. Not quite like Dennis Hopper wearing a gas mask weirdos, but not quite not like that kind either.