Let GAS Stay Dead

Posted: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 by Greg in Labels:

Having spent the last 8+ years learning and working in television, I find it difficult to attach myself to any one TV show. I'm at a place now where I find myself noticing the things I would have done differently on the production side, instead of just enjoying the story. Besides, all I ever hear from my friends is how awful LOST and 24 have gotten. This really leaves me with a couple genres left to enjoy. The first is animation, since there is no live production involved. (Sidenote: Archer is the best show on TV. Ever.) The second is reality, but I absolutely refuse to watch anything brainless like The Real World. I'm basically left with skill-based reality (like Top Chef, Kitchen Nightmares, Project Runway) or game shows.

Most game shows these days suck in my opinion. The shows I grew up on had creativity, and actually demanded skills from contestants. Since my channel was Nickelodeon, they offered little more than Space Camp and British Knights as prizes, but the kids on the show didn't care. It wasn't about making a million dollars for picking a random suitcase. It was about being the MAN in school on Monday.

So naturally, I was bummed when my place back home didn't get Nick GAS . GAS = Games And Sports. Pretty much, it was every show you remember getting wicked invested in every time it came on. Double Dare, GUTS, Figure It Out, Legends of the Hidden Temple; the list was endless. Just thinking about it made me feel like my parents whenever they turned on the 'oldies' station back home. "This is from when I was a kid, when TV was still good!" I sounded like one of the Golden Girls.

Growing up, my Big 2 on Nick were Global GUTS and Legends of the Hidden Temple. Any time either one of those two came on my television, the world stopped. Global GUTS took its original show (Guts, obviously) and added this entirely fabricated Olympics element to it. For whatever reason, 'contestant vs. contestant' didn't get it done anymore, so it had to be 'country vs. country'. Since I'm from America, this was obviously awesome to me. As for Legends, it was just creative genius. They conceptualized an entire jungle world, complete with a talking stone-God named Olmec. Essentially every valuable artifact ever conveniently landed at the center of an obstacles maze in this jungle. What kid doesn't wan't to snag Harriet Tubman's Walking Stick from a forest?

GAS was taken off the air in 2009, which I couldn't believe at the time. I thought that channel would stay on forever. Since I missed the GAS experience, I thought I was getting great news when a friend of mine just located almost every individual Legends and GUTS segement catalogued on youtube. Read that again: I thought.

I'll say this right now, before any of you waste your time: IT'S PURE TORTURE. My enjoyment with this lasted for all of five minutes, for one simple reason: THE KIDS ON THE SHOWS SUCKED. I was clearly just too young to realize how incredibly awful the contestants were. Now it makes perfect sense why GAS came off the air. People like me were ready to put a hole through the TV every episode.

Since you can tell I was emotionally invested in this, you can imagine I would have taken it damn seriously if I ever ended up on either. I would have attacked that with more strategic planning than D-Day. This is why I was entirely insulted when the kids who DID make it onto the show seemed to have been pulled from under a rock, where Nickelodeon is non-existent.

First of all, Global GUTS was about as global as Epcot. "Israel" really just meant 'jewish,' and any Latin country really just stood for your ancestry, no matter how far back that went. Every now and then, they threw a Russian in there just to have him get decimated, most likely as revenge for the Cold War. Seriously, don't think they won anything ever. As for the athletic ability itself, one word: abysmal. I am mostly sure every kid on that show, except for a select few, were the gym class rejects back home. Is it REALLY that hard to climb a rope wall? Honestly. Ball is shot at your head, you stop it. The end. Unless you're these clowns.

As for Legends, it's appalling. They used the same maze every week, so the path literally never changed. And yet there they were, kids living my childhood dream, going the complete wrong way week after week. One room involved assembling the Silver Monkey before you could continue. It had three parts: base, body and head. You may remember doing similar puzzles in preschool. To these kids, this might as well have been a Rubix cube. Anybody who watched a single episode of this show could tell you how to put it together, but not these brain wizards. Even if they did win, what are these kids going to do at Space Camp? They're barely smart enough for this planet.

I personally think they need to bring these shows back, but give people like me a shot against previous 'winners.' It would be eerily similar to Globetrotters vs Washington Generals. If not, this is one part of my youth permanently clouded. Thank God its impossible to ruin Gushers.


  1. Aims says:

    You want the Legends-like challenge you never got?


    puzzles, artifacts, logic, overall jankyness with an egyptian twist