I recently got reunited with one of my favourite quiz shows and have been binge watching it: Jeopardy!
Jeopardy! is an American classic, and anyone that’s a fan of quiz shows will know the show. However, if you’re unaware, Jeopardy is a game that has three rounds. The premise of the game is that an answer (which I’ll refer to as a “clue” from now on) is provided to you, and you have to provide the question. The clues are provided across six categories, with five clues in each one. Each clue has a dollar amount associated with it, which determines the amount you add/lose upon providing a correct/incorrect question.
The show lasts 30 minutes (with ads) so you’re talking about 20 minutes-worth of content. The game has three rounds, with the first two rounds having a total of 60 clues (30 clues each round) and another one final round with a final question. That’s a total of 61 clues across the 20-minute time bracket, which is impressive, and one of the reasons why I like the show so much. Time isn’t wasted on idle banter, and the majority of the show (short of the small interview after the first commercial break) is spent playing the game. There’s almost no dead-time in between clues too. What you end up with is a fast-moving quiz show.
But that’s not all the sets Jeopardy! apart from other quiz shows. I first started watching Jeopardy! when I was 7 years old. The format of the show has not changed. The theme song has not changed in terms of melody. The studio even looks the same. It’s so great to see a show that knows what it is from the start and sticks with the format, because in my opinion, its format is perfect. You go in expecting a quiz show, and that’s exactly what you get. The fast pace of the show really forces you to think quickly, and as someone that enjoys taking a stab at the clues posed, it makes it really fun.
And let’s not forget about the host, Alex Trebek, who has hosted the show since 1984. Many people do not pay attention to the host because they think the job is fairly trivial. It’s not and if you’re a Jeopardy fan, you’d know that the show would not be the same without him. He doesn’t make mistakes when reading the clues out. He reads them clearly and at a perfect pace. Also, not monotonic, and varies his tone accordingly to emphasize important points in the clue. And lastly, he sometimes even throws in a small bit of trivia in between the clues as it relates to them – something that shows his long term hosting a quiz show.
Lastly, it is the difficulty of the clues themselves. While they are focused on American culture (such as history, politics, literature and events), the clues are hard regardless. But what’s more is that there is a broad variety of subjects covered. I’ve watched hundreds of episodes of Jeopardy! and I can’t think of a single subject that wasn’t covered at least once. Participating on a show like this ensures that you do have a good general knowledge. I have fairly decent general knowledge and at best, I only have about a 30% success rate when it comes to the clues (and about 5% when it comes to the Final Jeopardy! clue). Contestants on this show appear to have a nearer to 90% or more, which is impressive.
Jeopardy! is a great quiz show. I really enjoyed watching it in my childhood and I still enjoy watching it today. If you do like game shows, Jeopardy! is a classic show that you should have a look at. It’s been around more than 30 years, with more than 7,000 episodes aired and I hope it’s around for many more years to come. And for Jeopardy! fans, if you’re not already aware, I’d like to direct you towards J-Archive. You’re welcome.
So, do you watch Jeopardy? What about other quiz shows? Which shows do you recommend? Let me know in the comments!