Yesterday I saw the first episode of Jeopardy! I've seen this season. My classes/work schedule have prevented me from seeing the show when it first airs, and although I taped a few episodes earlier in the year, I haven't had time to get to them, and the urgency has passed. I follow the episodes online now, either at j-archive.com or at the jeopardy.com message board.
I saw the Double Jeopardy round, without sound, at Godfathers Pizza. It's fun to try to guess what the correct response is to a visual clue when you can't hear the Clue Crew reading it. I guessed wrong both times on "buoyancy" and "pineal gland", but I would have known them if I could have heard the clues. It seems that the game is faster paced than it was before. The clues are more tightly written (an aftereffect of the need for faster writing during last year's Ultimate Tournament of Champions, I think), and thus they take less time to read.
As far as the difficulty of the material goes, it's about the same as it ever was. I had trouble with the lesser known senators at the bottom of the board, and I can never remember how exactly Nazareth-Bethlehem-Jerusalem all fit into Jesus's timeline. Otherwise a good general knowledge episode.
The contestants had some trouble with Constitutional Amendments. I think that any American who is smart/educated enough to get on Jeopardy! should know the amendments, especially the Bill of Rights, cold. Although
The one that ends with the word "infringed" (1)
is trivial enough that you might not get it in the 5 seconds allotted for thought. However,
The "cruel and unusual punishments" one (2)
is such basic civics general knowledge that any reasonably well-educated person should know it.
Of course, I got it wrong too, so whaddyagonnado?
Final Jeopardy was a head slapper for me. After I saw the clue, I thought about it for 5 seconds or so, and then it came to me. And then I realized, they just spoiled a major plot point of a currently best-selling novel which is going to become a hit movie in the next month or so. Holy cow. Can we get a spoiler alert here people?
It was also fun to see the show on a high-quality television. I've never really liked the set redesign from 2002, but it looks a lot better on a larger TV with a brighter screen.
The Tournament of Champions is going to air in May, and I'll have to make sure to tape and watch those episodes. I've heard from a former champion who attended the taping that the contestants are evenly matched, and the gameplay is outstanding.
Maybe I'll even break out the old scorecards, to see if I can still play with the big boys. We'll see.
This game can be found at j-archive.com: April 26, 2006
Answers to sample questions may be found in the comments.