The Quest

Saturday, August 2, 2014

My inner fantasy nerd was really excited to hear about one of ABC's newest reality shows titled "The Quest". Its origins sound promising, too: an executive producer of "The Lord of the Rings" teamed up with producers and creators of "The Amazing Race" to create a cinematic alternate reality-style reality competition.

The premise is a little complicated, but I'm going to try to sum it up for y'all as best I can:

The objective for twelve "paladins" on the show is to venture into the world of Everealm to compete to become the "one true hero" who saves the kingdom from a dark force. They are the only unscripted characters in a scripted world, which makes for interesting scenes where the contestants have to either work together to solve a puzzle or meet characters who can help or hurt their adventuring. Each paladin has a piece of the "sun sphere", and as each paladin is banished for not fulfilling a task (or, as each contestant is eliminated each episode), they have to give up their piece of the sun sphere so that whoever does make it to the end can use the pieces to defeat the enemy.

The contestants all come from various walks of life, and they all have some interest in fantasy, medieval history, or a combination of the two. They all seem pretty relatable, and it's fun to see how they each interact with the world based on their backgrounds; for example, the way a math teacher interacts with a task can be different than the way a MMA cage fighter would. Other contestants include a school counselor, a university student, a personal trainer, and a server, to name a few off the top of my head.

Here's who I would have loved to have seen among the competitors:

  • A video game developer. With games like Final Fantasy around, someone with experience programming a game would likely have interesting insights to bring to the table.
  • A novelist from any genre. I could see a fantasy writer getting really excited about Everealm and its denizens and figure out the world from their perspective. A mystery or nonfiction writer would be cool to see, too. (I'm also slightly partial to this one because I'm working on a novel right now :)

If I were to describe the show simply, it's Survivor meets Lord of the Rings meets any fantasy video game. The first competition they participated in for the first episode involved a crossbow relay race of sorts that reminded me of Survivor (complete with "[Insert Color Name Here] Team" written under each contestant's name during interview footage during the contest). Contestants are even ultimately eliminated by popular vote...just like Survivor.

In spite of the reality show elements that need to be there for reality show's sake, the world of Everealm is actually pretty cool. The cinematography in particular is outstanding, and I really like the costumes. There's even lore attached to it that's explained by a higher-ranking character that makes the story feel more weighted. This took place 1000 years ago already with twelve paladins completing a quest, but the fates called twelve new paladins to fulfill the quest a second time when the evil returns? I'll take it.

I really like the show so far, I'm honestly curious to see where the show goes. I love a good story - especially a good fantasy - so I'm planning on watching this quest unfold.

Have y'all seen The Quest? What do you think of it?

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