Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune are my favorite game shows. I rarely miss an episode of either. I love Jeopardy because it’s all about facts. Hard facts. There are no absurd alternate right-wing facts on the show. Just real facts.
Wheel of Fortune is a party show. You can sit down with your family and friends and try to shout out the answers to the puzzles before them. It can get silly - as can Jeopardy - but it’s one of the most good-natured shows on television.
Sadly, corporate greed is pushing them away from me. I’m very sad that I don’t know when I’ll be able to watch them again.
For the present, Jeopardy is on the wrong side of the picket line. Its writers are on strike. Co-host Mayim Bialik, a member of SAG-AFTRA and maybe even the Writers Guild, has refused to cross that picket line. Several of the finest Jeopardy champions also refuse to cross the picket line. Much to my disappointment, Ken Jennings has chosen to disrespect the picket line. It’s not a good look for you, Ken.
Just as bad as Jennings failure to support the unions is what the Jeopardy producers are planning for the upcoming season. They are going to use recycled material. They are going to use questions from past seasons. Besides being an insult to the striking writers, it’s one of the dumbest ideas I can manage.
There are common characteristics among Jeopardy champions. They are huge fans of the show, having watched it with their parents since their childhood and continuing to today. They also have remarkable memories. They wouldn’t be champions if they didn’t.
So the plan is to ask contestants, who have watched damn near every episode of Jeopardy and who almost certainly have amazing memories, to answer questions they would’ve seen on the show before. Forget about how smart the contestants are. Now the key factor on Jeopardy will be how fast they can buzz in.
That’s not my Jeopardy.
Closing question. Will the striking Jeopardy writers be paid when their material is recycled?
Wheel of Fortune? The show isn’t as fact-intensive as Jeopardy, but it appears it will be using recycled puzzles as well. Once again, memory will overshadow deduction in determining who will win each game. But that’s not my only problem with Wheel.
Pat Sajak is leaving the show after one more season. Sajak doesn’t always remain appropriate in his back-and-forth with contestants, but he is one of the most quick-witted hosts in television. He is unfailingly friendly and even kind with the contestants. Much more often than not, his quips land well.
His announced replacement? Ryan Seacrest.
If there is a more over-exposed and under-talented personality on television, ignoring the right-wing clowns on the fake news shows, I don’t know who it would be. He’s a dullard who couldn’t even hold his own with Kelly Ripa who, frankly, carried Seacrest when he was her co-host. His New Year’s Eve celebration hosting is even worse than perpetual man-children Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen. He is an aging pretty face with no substance.
Pat Sajak is not irreplaceable, but his large presence needs to be filled by someone much more qualified than Seacrest. I’d recommend Wanda Sykes, but she’s already my go=to recommendation for almost everything. If they make a movie about my life, I want her to play me. She’d be better in the role than me.
Then there’s the disgusting mistreatment of the lovely Vanna White, whose beauty, charm and congeniality is a crucial element of Wheel of Fortune. By Hollywood standards, White is insanely underpaid for what she brings to the show. She hasn’t had a raise in decades and the powers-that-be don’t seem inclined to give her one. The lawyers are now involved and it could get ugly. Another reason not to watch Wheel of Fortune. I stand with Vanna!
Here I sit. I’m crushed two of my favorite programs will no longer be on my weekday watch list. I blame the greedy CEOs. The cost of agreeing to the modest demands of these unions would cost maybe 2% of their inflated earnings. Such greed is not good.
I’ll be back soon with more stuff.
© 2023 Tony Isabella