ABC is placing a particular spin on two of its largest recreation exhibits this fall, Jeopardy! and wheel of fortuneeach of which can air primetime Celeb Editions for the following few weeks. Celeb Wheel of Fortune is an hour-long time killer, wherein contestants like Snoop Dogg fail to guess easy phrases like “A cherry on prime.” However for one thing that immediately reminds you of a traditional Saturday evening Dwell sketch, Celeb Jeopardy! is rather more concernedand more exciting—than it has any proper to be.
That is as a result of, and I can say this with out hyperbole: Celeb Jeopardy! has extra drama than virtually the rest on TV proper now.
Jeopardy! has at all times been a compelling watch, particularly in case you’re a trivia buff; it is an academic studying expertise as a lot as it’s a nerve-wracking one. And lately, the commemorated recreation present establishment has solely expanded its cultural cachet: Longtime host Alex Trebek died of pancreatic most cancers in November 2020, kicking off a frenzied seek for a brand new trivia grasp the next summer time. That search concerned former contestants who appeared like shoo-ins, beloved TV hosts who sadly did not cross muster, C-tier celebrities, and one government producer who was shortly ousted for his previous transgressions and horrible discriminatory feedback.
It additionally concerned history-making successful streaks from two completely different contestants: Matt Amodio and Amy Schneider, each of whom have been almost unstoppable final season. Schneider gained much more renown because the present’s first overtly transgender winner; she went on to rack up probably the most wins of any feminine contestant ever.
All of that’s to say that Jeopardy! you will have had numerous eyes on it these days. which is why Celeb Jeopardy! each is sensible and appeared like a momentum-killer. Who desires to observe wealthy individuals win cash? (Their winnings go to charity, fortunately.) And who desires to observe them attempt to fail to reply softball questions? (OK, not all of them are really easy.)
Seems that I do, and it’s best to too. As a result of Sunday evening’s season premiere of Celeb Jeopardy! was legitimately thrilling.
Andy Richter (of Conan O’Brien discuss present fame), Ego Nwodim (SNL), and Simu Liu (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) competed for cash to their chosen charity in addition to a spot within the semifinals. However Liu and Nwodim have been working at an obstacle from the beginning: Richter has competed in and gained Celeb Jeopardy! earlier than.
He appeared set so as to add one other notch to his championship belt from the beginning, buzzing in and accurately answering nearly all of the clues. And the clues weren’t all baby-level easy, both; the celebs needed to display their data of faith, geography, movie historical past, and vocabulary, amongst different issues. (Nobody knew what a “monkstrap” shoe was, and neither did I!)
The hour-long episode additionally featured “Triple Jeopardy!” for the primary time within the present’s historical past. That meant the contestants had an additional board’s price of clues to puzzle out, in addition to the possibility to win, and lose, much more cash than standard. Which is how Richter entered into Closing Jeopardy! Boasting not solely 45 appropriate solutions, but in addition $21,110 to work with. That is some huge cash, contemplating you may double your winnings in case you play your playing cards proper on that final clue.
Nwodim and Liu have been combating for second place at this level, enormously trailing Richter by as a lot as $11,000. Liu spent the entire recreation facepalming and grousing about how badly Richter was steamrolling—at one level, he stated, “I am realizing now that I am not the primary character of this episode.” Sort of a wierd method to have a look at your life, however that is the extent of exasperation he was feeling. Sit back, Simu, I stated to my TV—Andy’s a giant ol’ nerd! Let him have this!
But it surely’s due to Simu Liu that Celeb Jeopardy! is now a must-watch Sunday evening tv. The clue for Closing Jeopardy! was in regards to the world’s smallest landlocked nation, each size-wise and population-wise. I had no clue what the reply was, and neither did Nwodim, who guess all her cash on “Togo???????” (Emphasis hers.)
Then, to the shock of each him, me, and his rivals, Liu bought it proper: Vatican Metropolis. He’d guessed that in an earlier spherical, and it stayed on his thoughts, he defined. And since he was feeling hopeless about his possibilities at successful, he guess all of his cash on him, which meant he went from standing in second place with $11,600 to first place with $23,200.
Rattling, OK, hunny! Too unhealthy Richter might simply greatest him, if he bought it proper and guess no less than $2,200. However Richter did not get it proper. He guessed Liechtenstein for, sure, $2,200—bringing him right down to $18,900 and planting him in second place.
Reader, I gasped. Liu gasped. Host Mayim Bialik in all probability gasped. Andy Richter, favourite to win the entire dang competitors, was out within the first episode. And Simu “Only a Facet Character” Liu was transferring onto the semi-finals.
The look of shock that unfold throughout his face is unforgettable. In actual fact, Simu Liu memorialized himself in a post-show tweet.
If that is the drama that occurred in simply the primary episode, what extra lies forward? I’ll completely be watching each Sunday evening to search out out.