Hey you! Do you like movies? Of course, you do, that why you’re here reading the reviews I write. But do you also like trivia and or are you big into sports? If yes, great, if no, that doesn’t matter either because the Movie Trivia Schmoedown is for just about anyone and everyone no matter what age you may be. The year 2020 disrupted so much of normal life and the Schmoedown wasn’t excluded from the pandemic that made this online YouTube competition change its course of direction.
Here is a little background on the Movie Trivia Schmoedown. Created by YouTube personalities and movie critics / stand-up comedians Kristian Harloff and Mark Ellis back in 2014, the game wasn’t the grand production that is put out today. In fact, it was only meant to be a segment on a show called Schmoes Know where a single match between JTE and Christian Ruvalcaba turned into a 16-week tournament called the Ultimate Schmoedown. Mixed with the trivia is a flair for theatrics ala WWE style’s including entrances, characters, costumes and storylines. Season one featured a singles tournament where season 2 featured a team’s tournament that introduced new characters and players while still being a Schmoes Know production.
Season 3 however in 2016 became a Collider production after Schmoes Know merged with the online video channel. The Movie Trivia Schmoedown premiered on Collider Video until 2019 when Kristian and Mark moved the Schmoedown back to the Schmoes Know channel with a different name: Schmoedown Entertainment Network (SEN). Season 7 comes with a subtitle of “The New Era” because it is promised to be bigger and better than ever with the sponsored support of Skybound Entertainment. With a global pandemic, a promising season turned frantic for Kristian and Mark as they quickly adapted and turned to an exclusively virtual format that began in mid-March.
What’s a game without rules and a format to follow? Chaos. The Schmoedown has a bunch of rules and a clear-cut format that is followed to a T. Regular matches are three rounds long with the first round lasting 8 questions from a variety of categories. If a competitor happens to get a perfect round, he or she gets a bonus question. Each question is worth 1 point and there is no stealing opportunities. In round two, each competitor takes a turn to spin from a wheel that features a variety of categories – two categories are chosen by each competitor as strengths. On the wheel is a “spinner” and “opponents” choice.
Round two questions are worth 2 points each, but multiple choice is an option with a loss of one point if a competitor chooses to go that route. If a competitor misses a question the opponent has the opportunity to steal the missed points which can change the game’s outcome. In round three each competitor chooses three numbers that correspond to three categories. The first question is worth 2 points, second is worth 3, and the third is worth 5 big points. Championship matches last 5 rounds that add a betting round and a speed round. Each competitor is allowed one challenge per game and 3 repeat the questions or “JTE Rule” (named for the famed Ecuadorian engineer) per game.
Season 7 brings a lot of hype with it following season 6 dubbed “The Magic Season”. For the first time, there will be a draft and 9 factions where players and competitors call home. Each faction has a different manager who scouts and drafts the competitors to their squad. Following season 6 the top 5 teams are protected from being split up. The managers and teams include The Usual Suspects managed by Samm Levine, TheDungeon managed by Kaiser, The Burning Droogs managed by Robert Meyer Burnett and later replaced by Ken Napzok, The Den managed by Kate Mulligan, the Quirky Mercs managed by Coy Jandreau, The Finstock Exchange managed by Bobby Gucci, The Roxstarz managed by Roxy Striar, S.W.A.G. managed by Winston A. Marshall, and Korruption managed by Shannon Barney.
The year started off with a bang and hit the ground running with the draft that shook up a lot of the competition. The first live event featured two high profile matches between Andrew Ghai and Robert Meyer Burnett as an undercard and the main event featuring William Bibbiani v Dan Murrell v Brendan Meyer in a number one contender match for the singles belt. The winner would go up against Singles Champion Ben Bateman. This live event set the tone for what season 7 would eventually blossom into.
With the pandemic, the season turned virtual which allowed for bigger competition and more matches than in previous seasons. The Schmoedown has 4 high profile divisions: Star Wars, Innergeekdom, Teams & Singles. Each division had its own respective tournament that featured some of the best matches and storylines of the year. With Star Wars, a relative unknown in Andres “Ace” Cabrera came out victorious against some of the toughest competition garnering the “Upset City” moniker that propelled Winston A. Marshall and S.W.A.G to an early lead in the faction standings. Cabrera, winning the tourney would earn a title shot against the current longest defending champion Alex “The Demon” Damon at Schmoedown Spectacular V
The second tournament out of the four would be the Innergeekdom division where rookie phenom Robert “The Spider” Parker would make his run at the title against faction mate and champion Kevin “The Smasher” Smets. Unfortunately, Shannon Barney had other plans for this tournament. Chance “The Cobra” Ellison & Mike “Killer” Kalinowski each won in their respective brackets and faced off in the tournament finale sending The Cobra to Schmoedown Spectacular V to face the new champion Chandru Dhandapani.
Like any other sport, the Movie Trivia Schmoedown would have free agency and trades between managers and factions to get in the best position to win the season. Free agency brought in some high-profile rookies that would enter the Singles tournament. Celebrities like Kevin Smith & professional wrestler Chris Jericho would be picked up by Coy and the Quirky Mercs & the Roxstarz respectively. One rookie that made the biggest impact is Adam “The Coyote” Collins who went 6-0 in the singles tournament to face the Singles champion “Dangerous” Dan Murrell at Schmoedown Spectacular V.
The last tournament would be the Teams division. 9 different teams would battle it out to make it on top and punch their ticket to the big show at the end of the season. Teams like Final Exam, Category 9, The Witching Power, Odd Couple, Founding Fathers all found their way into the tournament but only Odd Couple (the overwhelming favorite) would reign supreme to face Shazam! At Schmoedown Spectacular V.
Schmoedown Spectacular V features 6 matches – 4 title matches, and two regular singles matches. The event premiered live on December 12th, 2020 and lasted for about 9 hours. The event was perfect and absolute bonkers. The production value alone makes this simple trivia game worth every penny for Patreon supporters and hour spent watching matches play out. In the year that had zero sporting events for majority of the year, the Movie Trivia Schmoedown filled a much-needed void in fans lives. It’s pure entertainment with some of the best storytelling and character work from its competitors.
With each year, the Movie Trivia Schmoedown gets bigger and better. The amount of attention it’s received is well earned and the excitement for what is to come next is palpable. The competition gets fiercer with each new batch of rookies making it a true spectacle from all involved behind the scenes to the talent in front of the screen. Just like any sport, there is the diehard fans who adore it, those who get involved and those who cover it with unique shows like any other sport. Schmoedown has a cult following that has some of the friendliest and most passionate fans. The community that Kristian and Mark have created is unlike anything else and their efforts to make this trivia game feel fresh and exciting each year cannot be understated.
The Movie Trivia Schmoedown can be seen on the Schmoedown Entertainment Network (all 7 seasons). Season 8 will begin with a draft at the end of January and kicking off with matches in February. The Movie Trivia Schmoedown is one of the best devoted online communities of fans. If you haven’t seen the Schmoedown, check them out, you won’t regret it for a second. Previous seasons don’t need to be watched in order to get into season 7 but if you want to see how the Schmoedown became the Schmoedown, I’d recommend starting from season 1. It can’t be ignored how well the Schmoedown adapted to the digital age with changing certain aspects of the game to the logistics or coordination of each match. In a flawed year, the Schmoedown was flawless. Season 7 is the best season by far.