And these two current versions in their modern forms have been around all my life and are still present even today. They did exist in original versions earlier, but I know the day will come when Alex Trebek, and Pat & Vanna won’t be around, and I hope the series will survive that day, but maybe not. I hope so, especially since, these are two television shows that I would absolutely love to get a job as a writer on some day. (Being a game show writer under the best of circumstances, has to be a pretty cool and underrated job. Under the BEST of CIRCUMSTANCES at least. [Yeah, I’m looking at you, “Temptation”!])
That said, I have essentially, grown apart from them. I don’t watch them all the time like I really should, especially since I do take the “Jeopardy!” online test fairly regularly. A lot that’s just, growing up and looking for evolution and other things to watch and study, “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune”, like most game shows, they haven’t changed all that much over the years. (Well, I mean, I'll talk about a lot of the changes, but still, essentially they're the same game and the same show.) Still though, they've been on so long that perhaps it's time to give them a real evaluation.
I certainly will seek them out when I do hear about something that happens on them. Recently, I’ve been watching “Jeopardy!” much more lately. There’s several reasons for that, and I’ll get into a few in a minute, but honestly, I usually don’t even bother with “Wheel of Fortune” anymore. I don’t know when exactly-, I guess I started getting a bit turned off when Pat Sajak was suddenly getting more political. I mean, it’s subtle, but yeah, it got noticeable. Of course, most game shows hosts have traditional been a bit more conservative, despite some moderate efforts recently to switch that up considerably, so that really doesn’t bother me that much. That said, the few times I’ve tried watching “Wheel of Fortune,” recently…, I hate to say it, but they’ve gotten a little unwatchable.
There’s a few reasons for this, for instance that really dumb Crossword Puzzle category, where the words are both horizontal and vertical across the board and the clue is like, _____ Something and all the words pair with the Something. They use that puzzle almost every show now, and I hate it. Just bring back Megaword if you’re gonna do something gimmicky like that.
The ideas of the returning champions for "Wheel of Fortune" had always been sporadic although they got rid of them entirely by 1998. Sure, “Wheel of Fortune” is more of a luck-based game show than “Jeopardy!” or most other shows, but I can remember some memorable “Wheel…” champions from my youth, and taking that away gives you much less of a reason to keep watching, and “Jeopardy!” has definitely been the greatest example of how amazingly compelling Returning Champions are, but we’ll get to that.
The old joke used to be that you’d watch “Jeopardy!” to make you feel stupid, and then watch “Wheel of Fortune” to make you feel smart. As much I love the sense of schadenfreude you get when somebody on “Wheel…” is clearly the last person around who hasn’t solved the puzzle, I can’t say that’s entirely accurate. At least, for me. I was always felt smarter watching “Jeopardy!” Hell, I usually learned something. I don’t remember the first puzzle I solved on “Wheel…”, but I damn sure remember the first time I got a “Jeopardy!” answer right before anyone else on TV or in my house did. Nowadays, I generally know I would’ve at least known ¾ of the answers and at least get 20 of them right when I play with my nearest clicky-top pen. It’s fun solving a puzzle too, and sometimes when somebody does manage to solve it so fast it makes your head spin, I’ll seek that out on Youtube or something, but I’m definitely not tuning in to find that rare puzzle solve anymore.
Sure made “Jeopardy!” more fascinating now than ever.
At different times, the hot game show on TV has been "Supermarket Sweet", "Debt", "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire", the "Twenty-One" revival for like two months, "Are You Smarter than a 5th Graged", 'Street Smarts", 'Ca$h Cab", the new “Match Game”, “Celebrity Name Game”… there’s many others that have been the cool new it game show- hell, I’m not even counting reality-competition shows, which some might and that would make this list 2X longer. Still, I’ve gone through them all and I love this new era of game show revival that’s being pushed along by ABC, but you what has never needed a revival? “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune”; they’ve just always been there. (Alright “The Price is Right” has been there too, but, ehh, I’ve expressed my critiques of that show already. Link below: )