What I'm Watching: The Quest
Gasp! ANOTHER post about something recent! ANOTHER tv post!
ANYways, I wanted to talk a little about ABC's new show, "The Quest".
If you don't know, "The Quest" is a reality show with the usual format of completing tasks and voting someone off the Middle-Earth. The 12 competitors are normal people from the 'real' world, playing along, and the world is populated by actors to add flavour.
I can sum this show up in two words, "dopily entertaining".
Having something that's a twist on the usual reality show style is a nice change of pace. And making the very obvious dichotomy of a reality show in a fantasy realm is a great way to go with.
Can you sense the 'But' coming?
But...man, it just doesn't work. The mythology is bland and generic, the actors filling up the world are mostly lackluster, and the logic of the show is pretty meh. I guess some of that is to be expected, however, things are just kinda there.
The show is HIGHLY MST3Kable, which fills in a lot of the entertainment, so there's that.
My biggest problem is that for a quest, it's pretty boring. So far, in the two episodes, these great heroes that we're supposed to be see trying to save the realm have basically been doing training, or so they want us to believe. In reality (Hah), it amounts to little more than busywork, IMO. Sure, you can't just drop untested rubes from Jersey (And beyond!) into an adventure, and training is probably good, but it comes off as SO tedious and boring.
And having the losers of the busywork having to do MORE busywork to try and not be the person sent home this week is no less tedious.
A better way to do things, and I'll even keep some stuff!, is okay, let's still have them do a training mission to kick things off. That's fine, and makes some sense. But instead of then trying to show the Fates that they're still worthy by nailing horseshoes to a wheel (WHY), you could at LEAST try and dress things up and make things, oh I dunno, more QUEST LIKE and make their later test some sort of adventure type thing.
Instead of having someone voted off the castle, have then grabbed by an orc in battle, or SOMEthing instead of just walking out an arch.
NOW, all that said? The ending of the second episode, and the promo for the third, actually start to make things look like they're going in that direction in a big way, and actually going on a quest for stuff. That could be a HUGE step up, and I really hope it is. The shoe desperately needs something beyond making fun of it for laughs.
There is legitimately a decent idea back there, but they just seem to be going about things the wrong way. It's not terrible, it has some moments, and there's hints that it MIGHT veer in a better direction very soon, but so far it's just kinda goofy.