Thursday, February 27, 2014

Jeopardy! and Crackle and the Decades Tournament

Jeopardy! is in the midst of its Decades Tournament, with the '90s segment coming up next week. In conjunction with this tournament, a bunch of old Jeopardy! episodes featuring the participating contestants, with notable names such as Chuck Forrest and Frank Spankenberg, are currently available on the streaming service known as Crackle (available via Roku and many TVs and Blu-Ray players). I've never used Crackle for more than watching about two episodes of the Dana Carvey Show, but this nostalgia trip for an iconic game show has piqued my interest. The picture quality is superb, and the '80s episodes, in particular, remind us how much the presentation and tone of Jeopardy! have evolved through the years. It's a clever use of a new mode of content delivery, and it makes me wish streaming would offer everything on demand (for a price, no doubt), so I can watch a random episode of Jeopardy! or $ale of the Century from 1984 anytime I want. As for the tournament, I can't help thinking it's going to come down to something we've seen before: Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter and somebody else who doesn't have a chance.

Monday, February 10, 2014

A note to WeatherNation

Dear WeatherNation,

Now that you have acquired 20 million potential new viewers since DirecTV added you to its lineup about a month ago, please consider stepping it up a notch. 

I know it's tempting to sit back and watch with a bucket of buttery popcorn while the corporate slap fight between DirecTV and The Weather Channel plays out, but I'm finding your coverage a bit slight. I keep seeing your meteorologists reciting six-day forecasts for city after city followed by the drought monitor map every five minutes. How about some analysis and extended prognostication for the whole country?

On the plus side, your graphics and presentation are pretty sleek. Some people probably haven't even noticed that you aren't The Weather Channel since DirecTV slyly put you in their slot at 362. Fate has smiled upon you: DirecTV chose to make an example of The Weather Channel, and AccuWeather didn't have their channel ready to go yet. It's your moment; don't fumble.

Thanks and good luck,