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  1. You know, for years I wondered what Siegfried and Tristan's real names were. I knew that those were pseudonyms, but surely their actual names were in some way Wagnerian, or operatic, or at least unusual enough that they stood out from most guys you'd meet in real life. Just like in the books, right? I was so disappointed the day I learned that the actual men had the perfectly ordinary names Donald and Brian. That's not Wagnerian at all!
  2. I love Ragtime. It's one of the great musicals of that era, in my opinion. Overshadowed by Sondheim and Lloyd Webber, but right up there with them as dramatic musicals go. Presumably they had Audra McDonald giving the clue because she was in the original cast. It's not short (the cast album is on two CDs), but the music is gorgeous. Fun fact: the lyrics are by Lynn Ahrens, who also wrote a bunch of the songs for Schoolhouse Rock! ("Interjections! Show excitement! Or emotion!")
  3. I hadn't thought about that aspect of it. My thought about that bit was, surely the odds would have changed once it was known that Andante wouldn't be running. It's not like his being put down was a secret--the whole village was talking about it! I don't think Tristan's winnings would have been as big as he was expecting. In addition to Siegfried's support of James, I also like the little moment of support from Tristan when the old lady asked for Siegfried to treat her cow rather than "the horse killer," when he said, "My brother's not available. It's Jim or nothing." Interesting that Tristan is the only one who calls him "Jim."
  4. I also got Final Jeopardy based on Doyle's interest in spiritualism. It's sometimes surprising to remember how long Doyle lived. Because Sherlock Holmes is associated so strongly with the Victorian era, we don't always realize that Doyle lived well into the 20th Century, and the final Sherlock Holmes story was published in March 1927.
  5. I've had that impression too, especially in last night's game. Ken seems to ask more follow-up questions, particularly if the story touches on something he's interested in. Ken has done surprisingly well so far, in my view, although I still wonder if they will give him the permanent job.
  6. James struck me as having a curiously flat affect in the role of Chaser. The trash talk didn't seem to come naturally to him, and felt scripted (as it may well be). The thing about The Beast's wisecracks is that they seemed to be more genuine. He at least made them feel like he came up with them himself on the fly--though his might have been scripted also. As others have said, Mark Labbett seems to be a more naturally snarky and quick-witted person. Of course that may just be because he's had a lot more experience in the role. Seeing James blaze through the final questions definitely brought back memories of the GSN show. I haven't seen much of the British or Australian versions, but on the GSN version it was quite rare for the contestants to win. The Beast generally made pretty short work of them in the final round. I wonder what the Chasers' average will be here. The viewing room thing is thankfully not as "dude-bro" as I feared it would be, but I agree it doesn't really add all that much. And Brad so far is pretty quiet, as if he's not really into doing snarky commentary.
  7. I agree, j5cochran. Very well done. I also agree about the difficulty of coming up with amusing anecdotes! I'm glad that you mentioned the camaraderie among contestants, which is something that I suspect a lot of people don't think about. Like you, I am now Facebook friends with folks from my taping group.
  8. Enjoyed this adaptation quite a bit, though I couldn't help comparing it to the earlier version, which I've rewatched recently, thanks to BritBox. Siegfried in the original seemed to trust James much more quickly, and the Mrs. Hall of the original was much older and more dour. A young and attractive Mrs. Hall will take some getting used to! 😀 Now I'm tempted to read the books, to see which adaptation is more accurate. The Yorkshire countryside is as beautiful as ever, and the animals are suitably adorable. I'm not especially familiar with any of the cast, but they all seem capable so far. Samuel West is doing a good job of showing that there's a heart under Siegfried's prickly exterior, which I hope is something that will be further explored as the series continues.
  9. "Aquarius" and "Let the Sunshine In" were recorded as a medley by The Fifth Dimension, and count as a single song for chart purposes. The other song that charted was Oliver's recording of "Good Morning Starshine." Sing it with me: "Glibby gloop gloopy, nibby nobby noopy, la la la, lo lo..."
  10. Traditionally Wonder Woman was set during World War II--the comic book debuted in 1941, and the first season of the Lynda Carter TV series was set during World War II. For whatever reason, the movie moved it back to World War I. I didn't get it, although after it was revealed I felt like I should have. Alex did telegraph that it was going to be a somewhat unusual answer. 1917 was all I could think of, even though I knew it came out too late to fit the clue. I was trying to think of other movies set during WWI, but I couldn't think of Wonder Woman--even though I just watched Wonder Woman '84 over Christmas.
  11. Same for me (serials cataloger here!), although I don't think I ever learned Jefferson's cataloging system. It's been years since I've done anything with Dewey Decimal. I work in a university library, so we use Library of Congress Classification (which was invented in the 1870s for the specific purpose of replacing Jefferson's system, so it must have been pretty bad). I knew Charlotte Corday, but I always want to add an extra "R" and call her "Cordray." That's what I did this time as well, and so I would have gotten it wrong. I remember the Opera Costumes category from when it was on originally. As a theater person, I loved seeing all those costumes.
  12. So far as I know, "the" is part of the country's official name. Wikipedia seems to confirm this. I think Alex was mistaken in saying "Grand Pooh-Bah." The character in The Mikado is just called Pooh-Bah.
  13. I believe that Master Minds, Season 2, was filmed during the summer. I remember seeing advertisements for contestants sometime last spring. I suspect that the entirety of season 2 is already in the can. Assuming Jeopardy! keeps to the same schedule it had before, it only records two days a week. Ken could conceivably work on The Chase and Master Minds on other days. On The Chase, in particular, he wouldn't need to be there for every game, since he's one of three chasers, and only one chaser plays in a given game. Back in the old days, when there were a lot more game shows on the air, guys like Bill Cullen or Wink Martindale seemed to host several shows at the same time. It's a matter of scheduling, I suppose, but I think it's feasible to work on more than one show at once.
  14. I don't think it was just teenage girls. Everyone called him "Lindy" after his flight across the Atlantic. He was a major American hero for a long time. That's one of the things that made him so problematic in FDR's view. By the late 30s-early 40s, anyone who was politically aware would have known about Lindbergh's political views. He made frequent speeches in favor of the U.S. staying out of the war, and generally of accepting that the Nazi presence in Europe was none of America's business. We tend to forget about it these days, but there was a fair amount of pro-German sentiment in the U.S. in the days leading up to the War. Lindbergh gave a genuine "heroic" face to that sentiment, which is one of the reasons that FDR criticized him so strongly. In less serious matters, it was interesting to see Ken playing in just a typical game, somewhere in the midst of his long run. Usually all that gets repeated are his tournament appearances. This episode is a good reminder of what a "normal" player he was, contrasted with someone like James Holzhauer. He took the categories in order, top to bottom, stayed in one category until it was finished, and his Daily Double wagers were pretty conservative. He just answered a lot more questions than anybody else, but otherwise he didn't really do anything differently.
  15. It may not be entirely luck. He answers a lot of clues correctly, which means he gets to control the board most of the time. When you control the board, you're more likely to find Daily Doubles. I have nothing to complain about with Brayden. He's a good player (I have no problem with educated guesses when you're not sure), and seems likeable enough. And like others have said, I'm glad that Alex got to experience another good champ in his final games. He always seemed to enjoy good players. It's sad to realize that the games we're seeing this week were all taped on Alex's next-to-last day of work. The final week's games will have been taped on his last day. I think about the contestants who taped on that day. How they will always know that they were there on Alex's final day of Jeopardy, even though none of them knew it at the time. How bittersweet would that be? If Brayden has a long run, as he seems likely to do, he might still be champion for Alex's final game. I can't imagine how that would feel, if it were me.
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