Thursday, December 9, 2010

Spill your GUTS!

Come on, I couldn’t do an entry on ‘Legends’ and not do an entry on its companion show. For whenever one showed, the other was sure to follow.

Do do do you have it? OOH! Do do do you have it? GUTS!
GUTS! was a cross between gym class and the Olympics, in which three kids (usually between the ages of 10-15) would compete in four athletic activities in the ‘Extreme Arena’ for points. In each event, the first place finisher would be awarded 300 points. Second place received 200 points, and third place, 100. The first event was usually some sort of extreme aerial version of basketball, football, or dodgeball, and the second and third events were usually some water event in the wave pool and either a race around a track or a journey through an obstacle course. After the fourth event came the finale, worth more points than any other--the Aggro Crag (sometimes with some sort of prefix like Super Ultra Mega or whatever in front of the name).  The Aggro Crag made it possible for kids to come from behind to win, and the point distribution also eliminated the possibility of a tie, which is a pretty clever idea.
GUTS! was a bit more formulaic than ‘Legends’, but it was still enjoyable. While there were many different GUTS! events, they didn’t really vary as much as the Temple Games in ‘Legends’—for example, adding baseball diamonds on the top of some of the obstacles in the obstacle course, and voila, you have EXTREME BASEBALL!, versus just the ‘Obstacle Course.’
What GUTS! did have, however, was Global GUTS!, which brought it even closer to a sort of ‘Kid’s Olympics.’ (Kidlympics?) Kids from the UK, Mexico, Spain, Israel, Germany, Portugal, Russia, and the Ukraine did battle against kids from the US. Like all good Americans, we root-root-rooted for the home team, and also enjoyed teehee!-funny accents and teehee!-kids not speaking English! (If you’re curious, the UK kicked everyone’s asses in the end, winning 8 gold medals total over the spin-off show’s But really, Global GUTS! was a great idea that showed that Nickelodeon was fully embracing the idea of making the show into a pint-size Olympics.
One thing I did dislike about GUTS! (both original and global) was the stupid nicknames all the contestants had. They were always something like Jessica “the Crushinator” Michaels or Matthew “Roadkill” Johnston. What the hell was up with those? I mean, obviously all those kids did not go by these ridiculously awful names, so I don’t know why they were included. If I were a kid participating in GUTS!, I would have been annoyed that I had to adopt a super-lame ‘nickname’ for myself.
In conclusion, while ‘Legends’ was always the kid’s TV game show of my heart (and in comparison, I do think it was the superior show still), GUTS! was clever, engaging, fun, and still managed to pack a lot into half an hour. Another show I wish was still on TV!

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