The Quest Series Premiere Review

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by: Ricky Strong @strongricky


So there is this new “reality” show on ABC titled The Quest that premiered July 31st and I totally missed it. Through the power of Hulu I was able to watch the premiere before the second episode airs on August 7th. So what is The Quest you say? Well, it is a new pseudo reality show that puts the contestants in a fantasy world, sort of like The Hobbit or Game of Thrones, with actors that portray residents, monsters, and characters that progress the plot of the show. Basically it is Survivor meets The Lord of the Rings. The official synopsis of The Quest per ABC:

“The Quest is a new reality adventure that takes 12 lucky contestants on the journey of a lifetime when they enter the world of “Everealm.” For The Quest, the executive producer of the blockbuster movie franchise The Lord of the Rings has joined forces with the creators and producers of The Amazing Race to conjure a land of magic and malevolence, where mythical creatures lurk in the woods, agents of darkness stir in the shadows, and mystical beings infiltrate the keep. For 12 lucky souls, a fantastic world will come alive in a unique competition series where players will engage in epic challenges. Fantasy meets reality when one player emerges as a real-life hero.”

I am not a huge reality show or competition show viewer. I rarely watch them because they are becoming more and more scripted and it takes me out of the experience. The reason I went back and watched The Quest is because it speaks to my love of fantasy stories. So are ABC executives great Dungeon Masters or does the show fall flat like so many others before?

The presentation of the show is superb! The narrator is such a brilliant touch and it really gives it the feel of a great fantasy story. I also really like that they are going for it and introduced the large monster to the contestants at the beginning of the show. It looked great and the contestants looked genuinely mortified, especially Shondo. The castle that the contestants are living in is very well done but for me they went overboard with the stage lighting and it took away from the authenticity that the producers are trying to convey.

The part of the show I really enjoyed was the competition. The contestants are split up in to teams of three, and must fire a scorpion (a huge mounted crossbow) at dummies behind a wall. The team that hits the least amount of dummies is subsequently sent to another archery elimination challenge to determine who is banished and eliminated from the game.

The Quest will definitely appeal to fantasy fans and reality show fans alike. It is a fun take on the competition shows that have bombarded our televisions. However, there are a lot of things I would have done differently to make it more authentic for fantasy fans. One of the biggest things I feel like they missed on is that they made it an individual competition due to there only being one winner at the end of the season. All the fantasy games I have played, like Dungeons and Dragons or LARPing, are team games and you work as a team to win as a team. You cannot survive fantasy worlds by yourself, which is why there is such a strong team spirit about them, and I would have like to see The Quest differentiate itself from other reality competitions in this way: by having a team win instead of an individual.

The Quest is an entertaining show, especially for fantasy nerds, that is definitely worth watching. You can find it on ABC Thursday nights at 8PM EST/7PM CST.

Rating: 3 out of 5


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