Kathleen Recommends…Internet Time-Wasters (Pt. 2)

J! Archive


For those of us who are regularly home in the early evening, and looking to scratch our useless trivia itch, “Jeopardy!” is just the show to make us feel smart, important, and not lonely at all. (And our cats like it too!) It’s got the kind of effortless formula that makes its viewers feel as though they could actually be on it…at least, until they hit a random category like “Volcanoes” or “Raccoons.” (And never mind that on the actual show, shouting out a series of wrong answers before touching upon the right one is discouraged.) Still, maybe the secret to becoming a “Jeopardy” champion is not a high IQ, quick buzzer fingers, or fearless wagering skills, but rather a matter of training. Maybe all it takes is a reliable database and hours to kill. If that’s the case, then there could be no better resource than the incredible J! Archive.

J! Archive, purportedly a go-to site for preparing “Jeopardy!” contestants, is a fan-maintained archive full of transcribed episodes dating as far back as season one. The questions are presented on a grid much like the one featured on the show, and each episode transcript is divided into the same rounds, with even a record of which players answered which questions (whether correctly or incorrectly), and who earned points on them. It’s truly a remarkable site, which no doubt takes a lot of effort to maintain—especially considering it’s managed by someone in no way affiliated with the show. For anyone lagging behind on recent episodes, or who just needs a quick fix, the site is a great chance to play the game without committing a full half hour to it. It’s straightforward and user-friendly, but, what’s more, it actually aspires to mimic the experience of “Jeopardy!” So, if you have some time to kill, and you won’t miss the awkward banter between Alex Trebek and the contestants, give J! Archive a try. …It’s the smart thing to do.

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