Double Dare is a beloved American Children's Game Show that was big in the late 80s, early 90s. In which teams would compete against each other in a game of trivia, and a few physical challenges in the hopes to go through an obstacle course to win 8 prizes.
Variations would show up, including a "Super Sloppy" version, that took the games from the main double dare, and made them messy (water was now slime, or food)
Family Double Dare saw families of 4 compete against each other, and for some reason, they made the prizes a new car.
Then they tried and make a tournament for some reason, and bloop, it ended.
Fast-forward to 2000, and Double Dare 2000 hit. It was larger and messier, however, the game decided to have physical challenges that take up the majority of the time, and also a "triple dare" that usually made the game break. Also, calling the show "Double Dare 2000" would easily date the show, because, what if it wound up good, and lasted into 2001? or 2002?
With a revival in 2018? Has Nickelodeon learned from their mistakes?
To keep it short - yes, it's double dare. you wanted it, you got it. you might enjoy it.
To be a bit longer - yes, but it has an issue with audience.
Double Dare is hosted this time around by Liza Koshy, she's big on the YouTubes. Something tells me somebody casted her, because they did some algorithm where if 10% of her audience watches double dare, then there might be a guaranteed 400,000 viewers. (Based on Sub Count)
But do not fret, if you are a long-time fan of the show, as Marc Summers is still there, more or less as "The Harvey". But in this new Double Dare, they are practically Co-Hosts.
Marc Summers offers his classic Double Dare hosting style when it's needed, namely during a physical challenge. Otherwise, everything is on Liza, and she's a bit rough along the edges.
Liza, when doing ad-lib, such as an Obstacle Course run, is amazing. She is into the game, and encouraging. However, when it comes to the "Trivia" aspect of Double Dare. She is very rough along the edges. She gets into the "Game Show Host" role, complete with a different tone and just "THAT IS CORRECT" or "YEAH YOU ARE" as the defaults. As the show progresses, I can only hope Liza loosens up a bit, and keeps the show moving. YouTube is not hosting, even though both require addressing the camera at times, but her audience work is great! I have no doubt she will do a great job with this show, as soon as the producers loosen it up and give her the same ability to play with the props as Marc did.
Marc is there to say the answer to a question that was thrown out for a "physical challenge" and explain the value of the $200 or $400 physical challenge (no more triple dares) and provide the hosting commentary that was popular in the original double dare - but Liza is still there, and it seems they butt-into each other a bit. Liza is trying to do her comedy based on their teams and backgrounds, Marc is trying to say how close to the line they are, or how many they need left to complete the stunt.
The set, while very colorful, still feels very dark, compared to Double Dare 2000 or Family Double Dare, with the white background, this is going for the typical "dark", and while the video monitors show off the team names, and a graphic now displays "Dare" (complete with guitar sting) and "Double Dare" (complete with another guitar sting) and "Physical Challenge" (complete with that commercial bumper from the olden days) the team name backgrounds turn from their team colors to a dark black with slime... and i guess we are now treating it a bit serious?
The Physical Challenges, however dark the set might be, are creative and clever and fit with the show. Between Sticking Sponges with Shaving Cream, to Squirting "ink" to a large pen, the games range from "water messy" to almost-as-slimey as the Super Sloppy Days. There is no "drop the large vat of gak on your head" either due to clean-up time, regular game time, or because they just don't have it in the budget to waste $20 on a different colored slime.
The Trivia, also fits the beloved Double Dare trivia. Pop Culture Trivia about Riverdale, Childish Gambino, Shawn Mendes, and then it ramps up for the intentional dares and physical challenges. As you see "How many members of New Kids on the Block" in the 90s, and "Backstreet Boys" in 2000, expect one to ask about "BTS" in the near future.
In Round 1, the values are $50, and if you dare $100, and if double dare it's worth $200. If you decide to throw the question out for a physical challenge, it will be worth the $200.
In Round 2, the values double, so $100, and then $200 or $400.
But there is a new rule only the team with the highest score, keeps their money
And as a purist, this is something I don't like. I think both teams should be able to keep their money regardless of income, and it seems like another thing that they did to cheapen the budget (Why hand over another $800 or $750?)
In the two episodes from Monday's Debut, both episodes ended close with a $50 difference, both of which ended after the alarm horned right when the team about to come-from-behind got control. Did they decide to not waste one of the questions or not to interrupt in the result of a Dare-Double Dare, or they didn't want to make time to get another physical challenge?
As you know, television is more commercials now than television, eventually you are gonna see 20 minute shows seen as "30 minutes", which means 8 minutes are cut, so that means the gameplay is gonna be very reduced, you barely see two physical challenges in a single round, often you might only see two per game, maybe if we're lucky, you'll get three.
Whoever has the most money goes onto the obstacle course
The Obstacle Course, has some new, and some old. But with smartphones being common, you can't really give away stereos and VCRs anymore. The prizes are now more scooters, guitars, sports equipment, STEM toys, etc. They still give away trips to "Space Camp", and it seems that's all that matters.
My favorite new obstacle is "Unboxing" where a person must open a box that hides a box, that hides another box, that hides the flag, but there is others like Couch Surfing, that has a flag in a couch, or a teeter-totter, which I guess is the new version of "The Tank" (although I miss the tank)
Although, I am very upset they didn't have "Sundae Slide" either because they didn't have room, or decided it was similar to "Mount St. Double Dare" (which isn't just a small prop anymore) which is a foam ramp with slime lava that has a flag.
Which comes to, once again, a complaint about budget - whipped cream and slime seems to be the only things going for it. In the "teeter totter" and a blue-plate special, we see "nacho cheese", and that seems to be the only food substance used on the course.
Everything has just slime, the nose has slime, the volcano has slime, the mouth has slime. Everything has some form of the same green slime. But on the original double dare, you had things like Soda Jerk, which was different colored soda, Sundae Slide, was foamy mashed potatoes made to look like ice cream. But here, it's green and white, and that's about it.
Give me a ball pit, or a "molten lava cake" with chocolate sauce... it doesn't have to be old obstacles, just new messes.
But once again, I think it's budget. I wonder what they'll do with a season 2 and a bigger budget (pay the runners-up and afford the color "orange" for the lava?)
The direction of the game is really nice, although it seems the camera is a bit out-of-focus on the contestants, and really want to see that light scheme on the top of the set or the big graphic that says "DARE" when possible. When the camera is tilted at an angle pointing up, it looks "bigger", but the contestants and Liza are seen as smaller now.
Liza is really good when it's obstacle course, while marc loves talking strategy ("Obstacle 4, with X seconds left, they are needing to catch-up") Liza is all about explaining the obstacle and pointing out where things are to help them out.
I really love the challenges on this version more than the original, I do think the set design is way better (given technology), but it feels cheap in certain areas.
Also, it doesn't know how much it wants to play off the "nostalgia" - it has Marc, it has the graphic package in the scoreboard, podiums, and timer, and then they say "your mom has heard of this" with the nose... and how much they want to make it for children today.
As Double Dare in the 80s was pretty much doing stuff your parents told you not to do (play with food, pick your nose, etc.) this version of Double Dare is playing off the parents who grew up, and now have kids of their own, the next generation of kids, they will be entertained, but it's the same kind of shrug as when you tell a "dad joke". I mean, it's a big nose, that's silly...
There are things that are unnecessary - "Dare" Graphics with stingers and "Cha-Ching" noises like Johnny Test episodes, TV monitors displaying original scoreboard graphics.
There are things that felt cheapened - obstacle course slime, the rulechange for runners-up, fast production
And there are things that are nitpicky - the dark set, casting demands for dances and dabs, Liza's "YouTube tone" hosting. And something that is a likable change - the graphic package for questions and physical challenges (the question font and the red team/blue team timer for physical challenges or the obstacle course)
The heart and soul of double dare is STILL there. The game is as true as it was in the 80s as it was in the 2000s, as long as you can see smiles on children. The format is there, even if truncated for time, it is still exciting to watch. If kids aren't having fun, aren't experiencing joy, there is no point in having this. If the show loosens up the pageantry of a game show, and let's kids be themselves instead of just fake enthusiastic. You might be onto something.
I don't know if kids today are able to understand sincerity, in todays "whazzup guys" youtube world, but Double Dare, at least to me, was always on sincerity and letting kids just have fun, where even runners-up are winners, and it being true aspirational television.
Everything still feels "tense", at least in my eyes of the show, and Double Dare is like the flip-opposite of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. It should act that way, and there are signs it could still be.
I recommend it to any 80s and 90s kids who still have cable television
And modern kids who still have access to Nickelodeon for some reason (YouTubeTV?)
But with what looks like a rush in production, and done on the very cheap, it seems Double Dare's flaws come from a lack of faith in the show. But if Pyramid and Match Game did so well, i wonder what would happen if they went "all-in" instead of just having just dipping their toe in the water.
Double Dare's cast and crew definitely put their hearts into this production and it shows. I hope it becomes a success, but only time will tell.
I watched a few more episodes, and it seems that the physical challenges and obstacle courses do offer NEW messes!
I saw a physical challenge where they had to pour water, fruit punch powder and ice on themselves in 20 seconds, and another involving catching pancakes on a head. The messes are there!
Additionally, "The Tank" was back on the obstacle course, and some new messes were available, such as "hot dog" where the flag was hiding in a giant bottle of ketchup, mustard, or relish. And a "slime hydrant" where slime would spray all over the stage (really, all over the stage) and the flag in the center to grab. I think there are some more messes on the way, but I still don't know why we need to the ceiling of the Double Dare set. All the exciting stuff is on the floor, get more reactions of Liza, Marc, and the Contestants. More close-ups, if possible! And it's still too purple/dark.
But I think if they got a bit more money next season, you will see so many problems fixed.