…But I just can’t.
Kids, when I was growing up in the late 80s and early 90s, Double Dare was THE game show. Well, aside from The Price Is Right, but that was a treat that was reserved only for sick days and summer breaks. Double Dare came on Monday through Friday just after you got home from school.
Got homework to do? To bad… it can wait until after Double Dare. And maybe the Disney Afternoon.
Anyway, Double Dare was awesome. You had Marc Summers as host, asking questions of the teams that varied in difficulty. The teams of kids playing the game could answer, or they could dare the other team. It was a risk, because if the other team knew the answer, they could get double the money and control of the game. If they didn’t know the answer, they could double dare, and the money value would double again. And if that first team really didn’t know the answer, they could take the physical challenge.
And that’s the real reason we watched the show: the physical challenge. Now, in this post-American Ninja Warrior world that we live in, one might think that the physical challenges were tough. But these kids aren’t climbing a salmon ladder or swinging across a pool on some ‘roided up monkey bars. No, the challenges weren’t necessarily that physical. But they were almost always messy.
Challenges usually involved slime or food or what Marc referred to as a milk-like substance. My guess is it was water with food coloring to make it look like milk. Do they make white food coloring?
A few months ago, I saw an ad, on Facebook of all places, for a brand new Double Dare. And they were bringing back Marc Summers! I thought it had to be too good to be true. After all, a Double Dare reboot was attempted at the turn of the century with Double Dare 2000. It was lame. It didn’t have Marc Summers. And they tried too hard to be something fresh and new. New set designs, new physical challenges, new logo… It didn’t work.
But this new 2018 version is a throwback to the original in just about every way. The set looks like it used to, with a few modern upgrades. I mean, you have to have digital screens on everything, right? You can’t keep score on an analog light up board in the 21st century.
This week, I managed to catch a few episodes of the Double Dare reboot. And kids, as much as I want to love it… I don’t. Yeah, Marc Summers is back. BUT HE’S NOT THE HOST! He’s been relegated to Ed McMahon status, introducing the real host, giving the answers to questions when teams take the physical challenge, and describing the prizes during the final obstacle course.
Let’s talk about the host… I’m sure she’s a lovely person. But she’s not a game show host. I know the trend, in recent years, has been to have stand up comedians host game shows. Steve Harvey on Family Feud. Drew Carey on The Price Is Right. Wayne Brady on Let’s Make a Deal. Maybe it’s always been that way, I just don’t know. Was Trebeck ever a comedian?
And I get it, I do. When you’re hosting a game show, or any show, really, you have to be quick on your feet. You have to be able to keep everyone entertained at a moments notice. You can’t just have dead air when contestants are introducing themselves to the national audience. But if you’re going to cast an improv comic* as your host, can you get one whose jokes actually land.
Again, I’m sure this girl is a lovely person. But the comedy is just not working for her. Marc’s dad jokes from the side podium are doing a lot better than her groan inducing puns.
But it’s not just the host. We need to talk about kids today. For a generation who could accurately navigate the internet before they were eating solid foods, you’d think they would be able to answer some simple trivia questions. I know, you’re probably thinking these questions are simple for me because I’m 38. And I’m a cesspool of useless knowledge. But when the question is about a card game that features “Skip,” “Reverse,” “Draw Two,” and “Wild” cards… Are you telling me that the average 12 year old doesn’t know that refers to Uno?!
It’s not just their lack of trivial knowledge that bothers me, though. It’s the physical challenge ability that gets me, too. I know, there are a lot of physical challenges that I wouldn’t be able to do myself. So who am I to complain about these kids on TV? But I’m pushing 40 and I’m pretty out of shape. What excuse can these kids give?
Here’s an example: the other night, during the final obstacle course, a kid had to go through one of those flat tunnel looking things. I don’t know what they’re called. It’s open wide on one end and has a cloth tube that flattens out that you just have to crawl through to the other side. Dogs do it as impressive tricks sometimes. Anyway, this kid slowly moved into the thing to look for the flag that has to be grabbed at each obstacle. And then he refused to go all the way through the tunnel. He got the flag then went back out the entrance.
Kid, you have 60 seconds for you and your partner to successfully navigate eight obstacles. EIGHT. You just pissed away 25 seconds slowly moving around inside this obstacle as if you were afraid to do what you needed to do.
So, no… I can’t do the new Double Dare. I wanted to. So badly. Even when The Goldbergs did their homage to the game show, it was an exciting thing to behold. But this is just another reboot of a beloved 80s property that I, sadly, cannot get behind.
*I did some digging. Turns out the new host, Liza Koshy, is actually a YouTube personality. I’ve never heard of her. I guess I’m just hanging out on the wrong YouTube channels. Which is fine. If her YouTube content is anything like her Double Dare duties, I probably wouldn’t think much of her videos, anyway. But, again, I’m sure she’s a lovely person.