“Jeopardy,” “The Choir,” “Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated”



Wednesday 7:30pm, NBC29

I love Kids Week on “Jeopardy”; it’s the one time I can actually beat the contestants as I play along at home. I joke—those little buggers still beat me. The venerable quiz show will be dominated by the preteen set this week, as contestants aged 10 to 12 show off their knowledge while making you feel dumb and old. One precocious youth in this year’s tournament is Charlottesville’s own Joli Millner, age 11, whose episode is scheduled to air tonight. Tune in, cheer Joli on, and debate the really important question: Do you prefer host Alex Trebek with or without the moustache? (I’m firmly pro-soup strainer.)


“The Choir”

Wednesday 10pm, BBC America

Fox’s musical-drama “Glee” made a big impact on the pop-culture landscape this past season. While I have some reservations about the show—I’ve known ADD-afflicted chihuahuas with better focus—there’s no denying the aw-shucks appeal of a lovable group of losers finding their way through song. That’s the idea behind this British documentary series, which actually launched pre-“Glee” in 2006. The first series follows chipper young choir director Gareth Malone, former youth-choir director for the London Symphony Orchestra, as he tries to launch a show choir at a school without a music program. It was so popular that the BBC brought it back for two follow-up series—one in which Malone started a choir at a surly all-boys school, the other where he set up a community choir in a small town—and now BBC America is rebroadcasting all three series for us Yankee Gleeks.


“Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated” 

Monday 7pm, Cartoon Network

The continuing popularity of Scooby-Doo is somewhat baffling. The speech-impaired dog and his pack of ’60’s-styled teen detectives are hardly the most original cartoon concepts, and yet they keep coming back generation after generation with very few alterations (we’ll ignore Scrappy-Doo). The Mystery Machine and its inhabitants are back with this new series, the franchise’s 11th incarnation. The major players are back and look virtually the same (Velma’s less pudgy, but you’d think someone would at least de-ascot Fred at this point). This seems to be a less-episodic affair, with subplots involving romance (Shaggy and Velma are a couple, which just seems wrong), the kids’ parents, and a shadowy figure named Mr. E. voiced by Lewis Black. That’s unfortunate for several reasons.