One of the most famous game shows ever on TV, "Jeopardy" has now been running for a little over twenty years. This DVD edition provides five episodes from the series, including the original episode, the final episode of "Jeopardy" legend Ken Jennings and three "Ultimate Jeopardy: Tournament of Champions" episodes, which feature Jennings.
The first episode is certainly the most interesting to see in terms of viewing how the show has changed in the years since. While the set is more sparse, the substancial difference is in the questions, which are certainly less complex than they are today. There have been other changes made since, including different tournaments and the rule that the contestants could not buzz in until Alex has finished reading the question. There has also been the recent addition of visual clues.
While it's unfortunate that this "best of" (of sorts) doesn't include more episodes, the DVD should be fun for fans of the show to have.
VIDEO: These "Jeopardy" episodes are presented by Sony Pictures Home Video in 1.33:1 full-frame, and look quite good. Sharpness and detail appear slightly better than broadcast quality, and definition appears consistently solid throughout. Some minor shimmer appeared on a couple of occasions, but aside from that, no concerns were spotted. Colors looked bright and nicely saturated, with no smearing or other problems.
SOUND: The episodes are presented in stereo, and sound perfectly fine, with clear dialogue.
EXTRAS: "21 Years of Questions and Answers" is actually a really nice featurette that was made specifically for this DVD edition. We learn about the original series and the issues that came up during its development and production, as well as how the decision arrived that "Jeopardy" would be brought back due to the success of "Wheel of Fortune". From there, we learn about how "Jeopardy" has expanded with the times, offering international tournaments, franchising in many different countries and adjusting the set to reflect the times and keep technology updated. Overall, this is a terrific program that offered a lot of neat tidbits about the show that I had no idea about.
"Multi-Angle Episode" offers the ability to view an episode with four additional viewing angles, including an overhead angle and a control room angle. Pretty neat to see. "What Does It Take to Get a Clue?" (20 minutes) is a look at what it takes to make it on the show, and also highlights some of the most memorable contestants.
"Behind the Questions" is a 22-minute look at what it takes to create an episode, including the process of creating questions. The piece takes us into the writing room, including some views of the writing team at work during a meeting. We then see the lengthy process of grouping questions and tying them together for one episode, then bringing them to another meeting where the producers and writers polish the material. The final piece of the featurette takes us on a tour of the set. This is a fascinating piece that really opens up the behind-the-scenes workings of the show.
Final Thoughts: "An Inside Look at America's Favorite Quiz Show" doesn't contain quite as many episodes as I'd have liked (a 2-DVD edition with a few more episodes would have allowed some additional episodes from over the years - here, we just get the first episode and then four very recent ones), the extras are terrific. Created for the DVD, the supplemental features give a fantastic guided tour of the show and offer a lot of great tidbits and info. Fans should definitely check this title out.