Friday, September 19, 2014

The Quest: When TV Makes Me Ridiculously Happy

I know that this blog is supposed to be about books, but I want to tell you about the awesomeness that is The Quest.

The Quest is a fantasy-based reality show that aired on ABC. The show is unique because it is a blend of reality competition and scripted story. The cast is a mixture of real people and actors who are playing characters. In the first season, the twelve contestants were brought to a castle outside of Vienna, Austria and told that they were in the magical kingdom of Everealm. Their job was to save Everealm from the dark power, Verlox. The contestants interacted with actors who guided them through the quest, but the results of the challenges and eliminations were based on the contestants’ abilities and decisions. Contestants were “banished” until only one remained. The winner was crowned the “One True Hero” and got to battle Verlox.

The finale of season 1 aired last week, and I already miss this show. It made me so happy to see people on television who were unapologetically nerdy. The contestants threw themselves into the fictional world of Everealm and seemed to love every minute of it. Yes, the show was occasionally illogical and cheesy, but I loved seeing adults use their imaginations. The show was the ultimate form of wish fulfillment for some of the contestants. They grew up dreaming of being heroes, and the show gave them the chance to live their dream.

I think the real world beats the imagination out of people. Adults don’t “play.” They work, take care of children, worry about money, spend hours stuck in traffic, and hide the parts of their personalities that are a little unusual. Adults who like to dress up in costumes and pretend to be someone else for a few hours are looked at as “weird.” The Quest celebrated that weirdness. The best part of watching the show was seeing the sense of wonder in the contestants and knowing that they had the freedom to be their nerdy selves in Everealm. That wonder and freedom is often missing in the real world. It was amazing to see it on television.

I have no idea how TV networks make their decisions about which shows to renew and which to cancel, but there is a petition to get The Quest a season 2. You can sign it here.

I really hope that this show gets a second season. I’ll miss it if it doesn’t.

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