A few weeks ago I got the following text from my sister:
Normally I don’t follow reality TV competitions. I’m not a snob about them, they just aren’t my thing. I’ve never seen a single episode of Survivor. Overall, I think I’ve watched more parodies of reality TV shows than actual reality TV shows. However, the concept (and my sister’s endorsement) of this one piqued my interest, so I gave The Quest a try.
It is a televised LARP.
It’s what would happen if you could play a World of Warcraft style video game in a holodeck instead of whatever lame-o device you’re stuck playing it on. Of course, this means all you have to work with are your own personal stats, not a superhuman digital character’s. So far the challenges have included archery, horseback riding, blacksmithing, running, plus a variety of puzzles that require more brains than brawn. In the tradition of reality TV (so I’m told), one of the three weakest contestants gets voted out every week, so you don’t want to use Charisma as a dump stat.
Although the contestants themselves are fun to watch, I think my favorite thing about The Quest is the NPCs. For you poor, sad people who aren’t familiar with fantasy roleplaying games, NPC stands for non-player characters. They’re the people who exist for you to interact with. Sometimes they’re basically talking furniture. Other times they have distinctive personalities, major roles in the story, and enhance the overall environment of the game. The actors playing the NPCs on The Quest are doing a great job putting themselves in the latter category. I have no idea whether these actors are nerds or not. For all I know, they could’ve taken the job because it was this or a Viagra commercial. But they are SO into their roles. They never break character. Ren Faire Drill Sergeant. The Royal Queen of Queenliness. The Vizier. The Fates. OMG, the Fates. And there is no scenery left, because The Hag chewed it all to pieces.
The Quest airs on Thursdays at 8pm/7pm Central on ABC. As my sister said, it also replays on Hulu (though it’s on a one-week delay if you don’t have Hulu Plus). Click here if you want to check it out!
Oh, and if any producers are reading this, y’all totally need my sister for Season Two.