Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Jeopardy: Not Even Trying Anymore


I happened to tune into the last few minutes of Jeopardy on Monday night and "What is Ding Dong the Witch is Dead?" was the right response in Final Jeopardy. Apparently the show has stopped trying. The category was Classic Movie Songs (or possibly Classic Songs from Movies) and the clue was "6 word title of the song that says 'for the house fell on her head, and the coroner pronounced her dead'" Okay, really? What else could it be??? This was not Teen Jeopardy or College Tournament Jeopardy. It was regular Jeopardy. That question wouldn't be worthy of the $200 slot if that category showed up on Celebrity Jeopardy. The thing that kills me is that it would've been hard or at least a bit sneaky if they didn't specifically say "6 word title" because some people might think the actual title is something like "the wicked witch is dead" forgetting the "ding dong" or add "wicked" to "witch" and get it wrong. But by giving you the word count, you can just take 30 seconds to count in your head and figure out which 6 words are correct. Seriously, who hasn't heard that song? It's a fundamental experience of modern cinema and TBS aired it somewhere around 16 times this past weekend. That song is unavoidable. It's been used all over the place. How many other classic movies do you know where women got killed by falling houses and people sang songs about it?

The sad thing is that one nerd who was in the lead didn't know the right answer and he lost. And you know what? He deserved to lose!! If you can't pull "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead" out of that clue, you don't deserve to win. I put it right up there with Belichick's decision to go for it on 4th down and 2 this past Sunday against the Colts. You play like that, you deserve to lose.

I guess I didn't realize how far Jeopardy had fallen. This kind of softball trivia is something I'd expect from Wheel Of Fortune, where Sajak has been on cruise control for at least 15 years and Vanna doesn't even need to touch the puzzleboard for letters to show up nowadays. In fact, following Jeopardy, the first toss up puzzle on Wheel was under the category "People" and the answer was "Red Sox Nation" and they filming this week in Boston. The puzzle was solved after 3 letters. They just don't build these shows like they used to.

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