Television: “Jeopardy! Makes a mess when maybe there was no need with Richards exit | Things to do

Mike Richards will be seen nationally as the host of “Jeopardy!” after all.

For once only, but he will be seen.

Richards, the executive producer of the trivia game that was offered, accepted and prepared to take over the late Alex Trebek’s role as “Jeopardy!” Bar on September 13, left his post following controversy over comments he made in a ten-year-old podcast and his nomination in a discrimination lawsuit while serving as an executive producer of “The Price is Right”, also ten years ago.

Before leaving, he recorded a program. Rather than having the competitors replay this game and confuse them, “Jeopardy! Will broadcast Richards’ only performance as “Jeopardy!” »Permanent host as expected.

Starting September 14, the show will continue with guest hosts, Richards, as executive producer, scrambling to book.

I am disappointed with the whole situation.

Yes, yes, Richards’ podcasts are recorded, so they exist to provide evidence that he called a fat woman and remarks disputed by the Anti-Defamation League, but what I’ve seen is pretty benign and in the range of humor – low, ridiculous humor, but humor as we could hear it in many places in 2012 – and deny the idea that Richards could have matured from such comments and have different feelings.

I’m not trying to be a Pollyanna or excuse remarks that cause chills and offense today.

I try to apply two measures that I always seek and for which I evaluate, a perspective and a proportion.

On my scale of perspective and proportion, Richards’ remarks were juvenile and harmless. They weren’t even rated at the time. They’ve been dragged along by people who like all of us have access to all kinds of information through social media and chase dirt as soon as someone is high or given an opportunity.

Especially people who don’t agree with a choice or don’t appreciate that a particular person has this opportunity.

I have used the word “juvenile” before. “Juvenile” is what I consider Richards’ podcast to be. The hunt for dirt and the cries of revenge isn’t juvenile, it’s childish. It requires some sort of deferred consequence for a minor incident and no lasting damage.

It’s pure and simple moralism, and it bothers me.

A lot.

Moralism is different from morality. Moralism insists on a perfection often based on an unrealistic or self-righteous standard.

One does not pass the litmus test of another, so action must be taken.

I have rarely found this to be true.

I tend to rely more on quotes from plays by William Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw, two of the brightest men who ever lived (although the moralist group has an eye on Shakespeare these days).

I consider Shakespeare to be the original psychologist. Long before Freud or Jung, he examined and noted human behavior. His pieces are shocked at examples of his sharp observations. They are also loaded with sayings that we commonly use today.

One is from “Hamlet”, in which the main character says, “Use every man at his just desert, and who ‘will whip?”

It’s an iteration of laying the foundation stone and a forerunner of life in glass houses. Shakespeare says no one is perfect. We are all subject to punishment and contempt if we give in to extreme judgment. He follows the whip remark by having Hamlet say “Use them after your own honor and dignity”, this time an iteration of the Golden Rule.

Shaw, in “Heartbreak House,” has his character, Hesione, responding to a young woman who reveals Hesione’s husband in a lie, saying, “People don’t have their vices and virtues in sets; they have them anyway. She says no one is all good, and no one is all bad. A person who is virtuous or talented in one way may be imperfect in another. You have to take the good with the bad.

By showing perspective and proportion, of course, and avoiding or ignoring the uproar as well.

Richards’ resignation is the result of an outcry. A small but noisy group makes noise, and panic and action must ensue.

Usually the uproar is limited to a handful of people making enough noise for someone to take action. This is another reason why uproar and moralism bothers me. They usually put the few above the many who wouldn’t and don’t care.

Let us return to the problem posed. Mike Richards was the best, most comfortable and friendliest guest who replaced Mr. Trebek. I would place George Stephanopoulos as next in line. Mayim Bialik, who will continue to host the prime-time projects of “Jeopardy!”, Was also commendable.

If the guest hosts’ stays were an audition for the permanent position, Richards deserved it.

Forget the tumult of the crowd. Everyone I know who actually watches “Jeopardy!” agree with me when I said Richards was doing his best. Granted, I might be talking about eight people, but those eight are all regular viewers and huge fans of the show.

Richards is the executive producer of “Jeopardy !.” Critics have given the impression that he has nominated himself to the post of host.

I’m sure he was part of the decision-making group. He is the only one responsible for this “Jeopardy! Looks like the viewer every day. He is not the only decision maker. The folks at Sony Pictures and Merv Griffin Productions, people who have more to say about “Jeopardy!” that Richards clearly supported his rise to the on-air role, otherwise it wouldn’t have happened. Richards was probably the lowest ranked person among those who picked him to replace Mr. Trebek.

As a constant viewer of “Jeopardy!” the only program that I, who watch a lot of television, make an appointment to see while it airs, I was satisfied with Richards’ date.

It was the right choice.

Do I need Mike Richards to be the host?


On the contrary, the 14 guest hosts proved that gambling is the most important element of the show. Even the weakest substitutes – Katie Couric, Joe Buck, Robin Roberts, Savannah Guthrie – couldn’t diminish the power of “Jeopardy!” and its entertainment value for people who enjoy quizzes. (I’m also a fan of “The Chase” and “College Bowl.”)

So any reasonable person will do.

That doesn’t prevent Richards from being qualified or, in my opinion, the best for the job.

All things considered, I think he made the wiser choice.

As he said in his statement, he doesn’t want to distract fans of “Jeopardy!” Game.

I also imagine him saying to himself, “I can be an executive producer. Why do I need all of this negative hype worsening? “

It’s easier to let moralists do what they want.

Their success is part of my disappointment.

For once, I’d like to see a production company – Sony, Grifffin, anyone – stick to their guns and let ratings decide a host’s popularity.

This is based both on my contempt for the moralist and on the belief that those discontented with Richards’ appointment were few. I think “Jeopardy! Fans would have supported Richards.

Since there’s no way of knowing if I’m right, maybe the powers that be are at “Jeopardy!” Knew what they were doing.

They kept the peace and put the game in the foreground. It may be worth something.

One day and soon, I would like to see a producer or a network with the courage and the courage to face the crowd and its torches. I would like to see them say that they are in charge of the show, that they will make the decisions and that they will test those decisions with the general public. Television is, after all, the ultimate democracy. People watch a show or not. Finding out what they are doing is easy.

Oh, for an executive who would consider the honor and dignity of a situation and take into account that people have virtues and vices to varying degrees before they either step aside or capitulate to the tumult of the crowd.

‘The Chair’ is worth a Netflix frenzy

“The Chair,” on Netflix, is a series that discusses the extent to which political correctness should influence academic programs and other policies.

It takes place in a fictitious college which has a tradition and a high standard, but which loses enrollment.

Produced by “Game of Thrones” duo David Benioff and DB Weiss and written by Amanda Peet and Annie Julia Wyman, “The Chair” covers many basics such as how a classic is taught; How far can a joke go, however ill-conceived and ill-considered it may be; a teacher’s knowledge and reputation for behavior, what students should have to say, and whether education is to be entertaining or educational.

The points raised and the situations depicted are sobering, but the series suffers from one of the things it criticizes. The topics it raises are general and topical, but the show seems heavy on a tone that expects some knowledge of today’s academia and its issues. I was bored with part of the setup while still being interested in how she handled the plots she plotted. In this, I have seen Peet and Wyman wanting to walk a middle line while giving in to ideas that deny education for education or fail to recognize certain bases in favor of populism, such as wondering if an author of his era currently supports controversial topics rather than whether what he wrote is a good, solid read.

To make the show due, it never got me excited, but it made me watch, and I enjoyed the performances of Jay Duplass as a reckless teacher, Holland Taylor as the dinosaur of the English department who Yet has a point on the value of what she gives, and Everly Carganilla as the incorrigible child of the main character, played by Sandra Oh.

911 anniversary shows

The 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack on America on September 11, 2001 is approaching, and television is responding with several programs on the subject.

One, “NYC Epicenters,” a four-part series by Spike Lee that interviews about 200 New Yorkers of all kinds, began airing yesterday on HBO.

On Sunday, August 29, National Geographic begins a six-part episode, “9/11: Day One in America.” “

On the anniversary, the History Channel broadcasts “9/11: I Was There”.

Locally, WPHT (1210 AM) is preparing a major broadcast to commemorate the shocking event.

Neal Zoren’s television column appears every Monday.

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