Legends of the Impossible Game Show

Last night in a fit of nostalgia, I found myself watching Legends of the Hidden Temple on Nick GAS (Gotta love digital cable and its complete randomness of a lineup.) and something occurred to me that never had before — that was the hardest freaking game show ever!

Seriously, it makes the rigorous “answer in the form of a question” Jeopardy! format look like a cake walk. Ken Jennings never had it as rough as these poor kids who had to climb tire swings (and various other random apparatus) across a man-made moat to get to the question-and-answer round. Amazingly, some of these kids could walk on water! They would fly across the moat at breakneck speed. The others, who seemed to be short the “walk on water” gene, got sent home with a stick of gum as a consolation prize.

But the lucky four teams that made it across the fastest got to test their ability to memorize the most random factoids about vaguely historical events imaginable. Did you know Joan of Arc was French? I never would have guessed! Atilla the Hun killed people? You don’t say! Columbus never made it to India? You mean this isn’t New Delhi?

Then, if they were really lucky, they were one of the two teams who got to compete head to head with another team for the chance to run the gauntlet through the temple. The would have to play games similar to Jarts and Kick the Can to win pieces of a “Pendant of Life” that could be used in the temple (if they made it that far).

They would give these kids complex geometric problems disguised as Survivor-style challenges. Of course this was before Survivor became the standard for “reality TV,” so these poor kids had no idea what they were in for. You could see poor little Susie trying to calculate whether it was possible to use her Orange Iguana t-shirt as a projectile to knock out the host.

That’s another thing — the teams. With names like the Red Jaguars, Blue Barracudas and Purple Parrots, these kids were like their own mini NFL team playing for that one moment when they could pillage the temple for its hidden treasure. The only problem was, hardly anyone ever got through the temple to the artifact and back out in time to claim their trip for two to Mosquito Mountain.

Sorry Susie, you just weren’t skilled enough. We know you walked on water to get across a tire swing maze on a man-made moat, memorized eight pages of information on the signing of the Declaration of Independence, fought off the Silver Snakes while attached to a bungee chord and acted a fool in a ridiculously difficult obstacle course/maze for two minutes, but we can’t scrape up the funds to give you a Game Boy. Have a yo-yo as a consolation prize.

What?!? You’re kidding right? I did all that and all I get is a freaking yo-yo!

What Susie is forgetting is how she will be able to look back on her awkward adolescence almost 15 years later thanks to an amazing invention called digital cable.

And today, somewhere in America, Susan, as she now prefers to be called, is all grown up. One night when she can’t sleep, she starts flipping through the channels lands on the rerun of her 15 minutes of fame as an Orange Iguana. She thinks to herself, “If only I had gone to the Shrine of the Silver Monkey instead of the Bamboo Forest, I’d have won that trip to Space Camp.”

I hear ya Susie. Next time, try your luck at something easier, like actually becoming an astronaut.

Posted by Carrie Pack

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