Jeopardy Masters

Beatrice and Benedict

I received this question last month from my friend Catbird.

What do you think of the Jeopardy Masters?

At the time I was asked this, I had seen ZERO episodes because I was either preparing to go to France or was there or was recovering from being there.

Honestly, I wasn’t all that excited. Seeing these same six people AGAIN was not that interesting to me. But seeing the relationships that developed among the six, especially between Sam Buttrey and Matt Amodio, was fascinating. When Mattea Roach’s father, Phillip, died at the age of 57 from a brain aneurysm, their tribute to dad was touching.

I do NOT want to see where the DDs are, BTW, and I think this is going away, except maybe on an app.

In general, I like it, but sometimes I start wondering if SONY recognizes J as its one sure thing and is squeezing every last bit of revenue out of it.

I think this may be the case. But JEOPARDY Masters had good ratings for ABC. Moreover, extending the brand made sense with the proliferation of social media with Inside Jeopardy.

 I also wonder what the story is with Mayim Bialik: After all that fuss about sexual harassment, did she get the host job, or not?

She and Ken Jennings, to the best of my knowledge, will continue to share the hosting duties.

Why does KJ get all the special (and probably higher-ratings) shows?

MB got the Celebrity JEOPARDY shows that did fine in the ratings.

Does “creepy guy” MR still haunt J culture?

The former executive producer and, briefly, host,  Michael Richards, is gone, gone, GONE.

Is she too Jewish? Is it her two X chromosomes? 

Maybe, and maybe.

KJ is better

But I contend that Ken Jennings is also better at the job because he’s a student of the show. He prepares like Trebek prepared.

The time for the host to acknowledge the correct answer still takes longer with her. She STILL doesn’t tell the contestant with a low or negative score that they can bet up to the maximum value of the clue on the board, $1000 in the first round, and $2000 in Double JEOPARDY.

And she made an egregious error in the game on May 31. in the category of Presidential Doin’s:

“Had a cold, went out to buy veggies anyway; got pneumonia, died before 31st full day on the job.” She accepted Harrison; it was William Henry Harrison, but it could have been Benjamin Harrison.

But a few minutes later:

“Made Henry Clay Secretary of State; 2 years after the White House, settled into a new House (of Representatives).” To their response of Adams, she correctly requested more information. John Adams was wrong; John Quincy Adams was correct.

One ALWAYS asks which president when it’s Adams, Harrison, Johnson, or Roosevelt. It’s JEOPARDY Hosting 101.

Is KJ  being greedy?

IDK what this means.

Sometimes I overthink things.

What’s your take on the current incarnation of J?

They’re bringing back all of the Season 39 winners that didn’t make it to the ToC to have some play-in thing so that someone WILL make it to the ToC. It diminishes the product, IMO.

I will always root against the person who’s been on for more than five days. But I still watch, and ASAP because my newsfeed often tells me info first thing the next morning.

Billy Shakes

Kelly took great umbrage regarding a ruling in the Final JEOPARDY of May 23.

“The names of these two lovers are taken from Latin words meaning ‘blessed.’

“Ben… got the right characters: Beatrice and Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing. But wait! He spelled them Beatrice and Benedict, which was enough for the judges to rule him incorrect. His wager was big enough to drop him into second place, and off the show (until he comes back for the Tournament of Champions, so all isn’t lost for Ben).”

I disagreed with him in the comments. Still, he responded that “Maybe that’s how they’ve always done it, but honestly, as a casual viewer, I still think it’s BS.”

So I asked a list of former JEOPARDY contestants, who are not casual viewers, the question. I mean, I know this like I know that in baseball with two outs the run does not count if the batter is put out at first, EVEN if the runner crosses the plate before the batter makes the out. It just IS.

The responses:

Of course, it was decided correctly.

Absolutely correct. It wasn’t that it was a spelling error…he changed the name.

Decided correctly. Changed the name AND the pronunciation.
The ruling was correct. That’s how Shakespeare spelled it, so you can’t allow any variations. If you do, where does it stop?
Agreed – as soon as it showed up, I said out loud, “No, that’s not right.” I can see if he hadn’t spelled it with the ‘k’ at the end, but adding a ‘t’ makes it a different name.
Given that the show has also noted the decision was correct, I stand by my thoughts on this.
Conversely, I KNOW Kelly could have answered this item: Stephen Sondheim composed most of the score of “A Little Night Music” in 3/4 time, also known as this dance “time.”
It was one of 23 clues that were Triple Stumpers on June 7, 2023. No one answered them correctly. It WAS painful.
BTW, “What is waltz time?”

Not “in their cups”

Do your worst; I’ll make it home all right.

drinking,drivingA friend of mine had a traveling companion who had a drink of an “adult beverage.” A member of the waitstaff wanted to know if the person was “in their cups.”

I knew what the phrase meant. It means drunk. An example: “When you’re in your cups, foolish ideas have a peculiar tendency of sounding like excellent ones.”

It’s possible I’d heard it, but seriously doubt that I’d ever used the phrase. So I needed to know where it came from. People speculating about its derivation suggested that it probably came from Shakespeare, a good guess, and often correct.

However, The Word Detective states: “‘In his cups’ first appeared (as far as we know) in printed form in [that] sense… in 1611, in, of all places, the then-newly-issued King James Version of the Bible.

OK, so WHERE in the KJV is it? 1 Esdras 3.  Verse 22: And when they are in their cups, they forget their love both to friends and brethren, and a little after draw out swords. Verse 23: But when they are from the wine, they remember not what they have done.

This begs a different question, as posed by King James Bible Online. “Why is 1 Esdras shown with the King James Bible?” It’s not in the Bible I grew up with.

The answer: “The Apocrypha is a selection of books that were published in the original 1611 King James Bible. These apocryphal books were positioned between the Old and New Testaments (they also contained maps and genealogies). The Apocrypha was a part of the KJV for 274 years until being removed in 1885 A.D. A portion of these books was called deuterocanonical books by some entities, such as the Catholic church.”

Fresh hell

My wife wanted to know the source of “What fresh hell is this?” Once again, Billy Shakes is considered the likely culprit. This time, the source may be much more recent.

Is it Dorothy Parker? She “died in 1967, and her earliest known linkage to the phrase appeared in the 1970 biography ‘You Might as Well Live: The Life and Times of Dorothy Parker’ by John Keats. The book records the testimony of journalist Vincent Sheean who was Parker’s friend:

“‘When it came time to leave the apartment to get a taxi, you could see this look of resolution come on her face,’ he said. ‘Her chin would go up and her shoulders would go back; she would almost be fighting back fear and tears, as if to say to the world, ‘Do your worst; I’ll make it home all right.’ If the doorbell rang in her apartment, she would say, ‘What fresh hell can this be?’—and it wasn’t funny; she meant it.'”

Now it IS possible that Parker may have adopted a pre-existing expression. But it’s almost certain that Parker used the expression often.

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