Monday, May 07, 2018

Children's TV nostalgia

[VIDEO] Watching this brings back some interesting memories. In the late 1980s our home was connected to cable TV for the first time. It was my first exposure to Nickelodeon - a network advertised for children. However this wasn't exactly my first exposure to the children's game show Double Dare. It aired in syndication around the nation back then in addition to airing on cable.

Before I became fascinated with pro-wrestling or Star Trek it was game shows. In the late 80s it was hard to change the dial during the daytime without running into a game show. Especially without cable if you only got the channels 2, 5, 7, 9, 11, 32, 50, or 66 (before they became a Spanish network) in Chicago.

Think about it. There was The Price is Right, Classic Concentration, Card Sharks, Blockbusters, Jeopardy and surely some others that had been then in production. There wasn't a game show out there for the younger audience especially children. Double Dare certainly fit the Nickelodeon network back then with the emphasis on slop or messes or even green slime.

I remember when in about 1988, a family version of Double Dare aired on the emerging FOX TV network. It didn't last beyond that summer, but it was interesting to see a version of a children's game during the prime time hours on a broadcast network on Saturday. It was much different than the game show I became used to.

Of course as happens over time, things evolve. Double Dare ceased production in the early 1990s. I grew up a bit after that and lost interest in Nickelodeon as a regular viewing option. It also didn't help that periodically the cable subscription would be cancelled for reasons that likely include costs. If I recall having options beyond the regular broadcast networks weren't as readily available as they are now. Our local cable company eventually evolved into Comcast and these days there are more competition as far as TV services.

As much as I want to get into the technology of cable or even cable boxes between then and now, I'll save that for another time. This post is about nostalgia for one of my old favorites from my youth. And as an aside Nickelodeon tried to bring back Double Dare for a new millennium and sadly it didn't take. I wouldn't even watch it when it was in production in 2000, however, who knows if the executives at Nickelodeon might consider bringing back this game show one more time.

BTW, for a few months last year on Sunday nights Buzzr aired episodes of a 1970s game show also called Double Dare. It counts a young Alex Trebek as host for it's one year in production. It wasn't as sloppy and messy as the Nickelodeon show, however, to my adult sensibilities it was an interesting game of wits and risk. It also was the first game show with that name although it proved not to be an issue when the Double Dare I'm most familiar with aired in the 1980s.

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