The world is crazy these days and can get me down in the dumps. But I have approximately thirty minutes of solace each weekday when I watch Jeopardy. When the show is over, I am disappointed it can’t go on forever.
Jeopardy provides me with what I would like to see more of today. The contestants are smart as is Alex Trebek. Knowledge is valued here.
Jeopardy is orderly and polite. At worst (and rarely) Alex Trebek can be brusque with contestants but he is never mean or rude. Similarly the contestants are polite; they wait their turns. They answer when called on. There’s no crying or complaining or blame. No one is demonized.
Jeopardy is educational. I learn something almost each day I watch (though I don’t always retain it since my 61-year-old brain is more porous than it used to be). Sometimes what I learn is just how to pronounce a word I am familiar with reading but not saying. Sure, there are instances when Alex overdoes it with his fancy enunciation but even this is enjoyable.
Jeopardy provides a familiar order and routine but also keeps up with the times. You can tell the writers strive to make its content current.
Jeopardy is apolitical.
Jeopardy is well run. There are few glitches on the show; none come to mind. It just seems to hum along smoothly.
Jeopardy has heart. There are the celebrity games (never as challenging as real ones) in which prizes go to charity. This year Tournament of Champions contestants wore ribbons to honor Cindy Stowell, a contestant who passed away from cancer (and the show also gave a donation to the Cancer Institute).
Jeopardy gives credit where credit is due. Contestants routinely thank and express gratitude to their family, teachers, and mentors. Similarly, when announcer Johnny Gilbert was awarded a distinction from Guinness Book of World Records it was acknowledged on air just as was a long-time writer’s retirement.
Jeopardy assures me there are good people in the world who are thoughtful and smart. Today’s the final game in the Tournament of Champions and I don’t know whom to root for because all three contestants (Alan, Austin, and Buzzy) are great.
So on this Friday, when news is bleak and our leaders make us want to scream in frustration, I will turn to Jeopardy and have a short-lived respite from all that.
Peace, love, and solace