People keep telling me about this Ken Jennings guy who is on the Jeopardy tear, having won over a million dollars so far. I just can’t really stress how little I care. Seeing as how this situation is generating lots of free publicity for the game show and I presume higher ratings, which in turn makes lots of money for the show – it sets off my cynicism alerts. I haven’t watched this highly boring show in a very long time (probably the last time was when Win Ben Stein’s Money first started) and don’t even know when it comes on or on what station. Folks who have seen it tell me that Jennings appears to know all the answers, have good buzzer management and to be kind of charismatic and funny. Hmmm. If you are the producers at Jepoardy and you need to goose the revenue of the program by driving the ratings up, and you find a smart and personable guy from the talent pool, would it really be that hard to rig it so that he goes on a publicity-causing tear? You don’t even have to do a Dotto style cheat of giving the answers to the contestant. If he’s going to know most anything anyway, you just rig the buzzers to give him the edge and let it ride. He doesn’t even have to know anything about it.
I’m not saying the show is crooked. They may have just caught a break with this guy who is a great player and is generating them lots of attention. Given that it would be a pretty straighforward task for them to engineer this feat with anyone they wanted, forgive me if I don’t care.
At least this stuff is coming from Jeopardy, and not Who Want’s to Be A Millionaire, surely one of the most head-scratching successes in TV history. That show was not only boring and cheesy but was populated with numbnut motormouths who had to give us their life story each and every answer as they told us their every deliberatory thought in painful detail. I’ve never ever turned this show on and only endured it uncomfortably when others want to watch it. Everytime it is ever on, I root against these mouth breathers every single question, chanting “Miss it! Miss it!”