By Rachel Patek
Trivia fans everywhere rejoiced on Sept. 25 while watching their favorite celebrities take on puzzling questions and compete head-to-head on the first episode of this season's “Celebrity Jeopardy!”
Hosted by the new regular “Jeopardy!” host and “Big Bang Theory” cast member Miyam Bialick, the first episode featured a star studded cast including Simu Liu of “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” “Saturday Night Live” cast member Ego Nwodim and Conan O’Briens long time show companion, Andy Richter. The three played an intense game full of fast comebacks, big losses and even bigger gains, all while holding lighthearted banter that gives “Celebrity Jeopardy!” a much friendlier feeling than the real game.
There are a total of 27 celebrities playing, making for nine quarter final games, three semi-finals and one big finale. Each celebrity is competing for a grand total of one million dollars to donate to a charity of their choice. Last night's competitors' charities included Liu's selection of Stop API hate, Nwodim for NYC’s God's Love We Deliver and Richter playing for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.
This season of “Celebrity Jeopardy!” takes a whole new spin on the classic game show. Unlike regular “Jeopardy!,” each episode lasts an hour. Also, for the first time in the show’s history, each game has three rounds, including the brand new Triple Jeopardy!. As a fan of “Jeopardy!” myself, I was worried that having three rounds instead of two might cause a viewer to lose interest. However, I found myself engaged the entire time.
I have been watching “Jeopardy!” for as long as I can remember, but this is my first time watching the celebrity version. Although the two are quite similar, the overall atmosphere of the shows are different. “Celebrity Jeopardy!’ offers a more relaxed version. The questions are significantly easier and range in more universally known categories than ones on normal games. There is also an added lightness to the program with contestants talking and joking with each other during the rounds — something that rarely happens in the traditional game. Personally, I loved the playful and laid-back energy, but if you watch “Jeopardy!” solely for the challenging trivia, then “Celebrity Jeopardy!” might not be for you.
Be on the lookout for familiar faces like Michael Cera, B.J Novak, Ray Romano and many more throughout the show. If future episodes are anything like the premiere, I highly recommend tuning in for the rest of the season.
New episodes of “Celebrity Jeopardy!” premiere every Sunday at 8 p.m. on ABC.