The Kids Are Going To Be Alright

Text by: Cyndi Seidelman

Growing up in the late 80s, it was a haven for kids game shows. Shows like Double Dare, Fun House, Finders Keepers were staples of the before school or after school viewing of many kids. The the 90s hit and it was just as awesome for kids. Shows like Get The Picture, Legends of the Hidden Temple, GUTS, Masters of the Maze, Figure It Out and Click were great watching for the kids of the era. The 2000s are seen as a dry period. With only a few shows for kids such as Endurance, Paradise Run and Brainsurge, there wasn't anything for kids to get excited about that wasn't oversaturation of Spongebob Squarepants and the detestable Johnny Test.  However, in 2017 and 2018, all of that is changing.

In the span of 5 months, we have seen three brand new kids game shows hit the airwaves on Universal Kids and Nickelodeon. The big thing is that all three of these shows are well made and are enjoyable for all audiences. Some of these shows are downright creative. They take what we normally think of the kids game show, turn it on its ear and you get a really quality product to go along with it. To me, it's a big win-win for not only older fans of the genre, but showing the kids that there is more to kids TV than mediocre teen comedys and passable to horrible cartoons.

The first two shows that spring to mind that turn the traditional kids game show format on its ear are The Noise and Keep It Spotless. When you think of traditional kids game shows, you think of big noisy endeavors that get the kids super messy. These two shows punish you for getting messy and for being loud, but that's the beauty of it all. They take those concepts and turn them into engaging formats. I'm on the edge of my seat when the kids get to do the Run Of The House and try to clear all 5 tasks in the house to win all the prizes plus the $5,000 grand prize. While that is one of the hardest end games, right up there with Legends' Temple Run, it's also just as exciting as it, even if contestants only get 1 or 2 prizes. The same is said for Keep It Spotless, with its Gauntlet at the end and its $10,000 grand prize for staying above 91% spotless at the end.

And that's another thing that surprises me are the big cash payouts. Back in the day, there wasn't much cash given away, but a lot of cool prizes like Nintendos, bikes, stereos and that sort of stuff. The game show that I remember giving the most cash on a kids game show was Make The Grade, which gave away over $1,000 every day. So, seeing kids walk away with upwards of $10,000 is astounding to me. But then again, both shows make it extremely tough to win the grand prize, so it's not like they're just giving away the cash willy-nilly. 

Another thing is seeing older formats getting revived with a newer generation in mind and that is the direction Beat The Clock went in. This time around, a kid and a grown up play the silly games that those in the early decades of television saw, but just a bit more colorful so to speak. What I also like about this one is that it has a bonus game that makes sense with the rest of the show. This isn't like the Monty Hall version with the damned Shuffleboard game or the PAX revival with the swirling whirlwind. You actually do a bunch of stunts and try to complete them all for $2,000. It feels like a complete show now and I'm happy it got back on the air, even if it did bogart Bayley's Wacky Wavy Inflatable Tubemen from WWE.

In conclusion, I am happy that the new generation has taken a page from the old generation and made the shows fun, enjoyable and gave them all their own different identities. I wish The Noise, Keep It Spotless and Beat The Clock continued success and may they stick around and be there for the current generations kids.

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