The Quest: 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching
“Life is too short not to geek out” and “magic is real” aren’t the only reasons everyday viewers will be tuning into The Quest
Last week saw the launch of ABC’s new LARP-ing inspired reality show, The Quest. Immediately appealing to any true geek, complete with a medieval castle, invading army, wicked villain, and set of mystical Fates, The Quest is a must-watch of the fall season and has already proven itself to those familiar with its fantastical origins. In order to achieve its coveted second season, however, the magic of Everealm will have to ensnare more than just the stereotypical fantasy fan. Assuming that all loyal geeks (myself included) are already tuned into this explosion of geeky magic, why should the everyday viewer buy into the nerdgasm that is The Quest?
- The environs: As befitting a mystical reality show, the world of The Quest — Everealm — is breathtaking. Filmed in real-life Austria, The Quest features a genuine medieval city, an eerie-looking (and fantasy-appropriate) dark forest, and every scenery shot is resplendent with verdant fields and looming mountains. Nerds will love the Tolkien-esque imagery, and even non-fantasy fans will find something to look at (even if that something is just the rugged face of Sir Ansgar). If ever there were a reality show to rival the natural beauty of Survivor, this is it.
- The diverse cast: The contestants on The Quest—known to committed fans as Paladins —fit the expected requirements for a modern-day reality show. Across the twelve cast members, the producers have managed to represent many (if not all) major cultural groups, which should leave many viewers satisfied. The true diversity, however, is found in the plethora of actors populating Everealm. Many of the scripted characters deviate from the traditional western-European fantasy trope, and deliver excellent performances to boot (see Peter Windhofer as Sir Ansgar, head of the Royal Army). From the three Fates to the existence of a Queen rather than a King, The Quest has waded into the realm of the fantastical with one message: fantasy isn’t just for white men. Thanks, The Quest.
- The Fates: The three ruling ladies of Everealm are straight out of Greek mythology —but move over, Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos; Everealm’s leading ladies are a little different. Portrayed by actresses Florence Kasumba, Stephanie Buddenbrock, and Mai Duong Kieu, the Fates of Everealm are equal parts imposing, thrilling, and giggle-inducing. The women play their parts well —particularly Kasumba, who is striking as the central Fate —and their ability to maintain character in front of the quaking (albeit a little unbelievably) Paladins is impressive.
- The prize (or lack thereof): A little unusual for a primetime reality show, The Quest has not yet offered its Paladins any type of monetary prize. Instead, their reward is to do battle with the evil overlord Verlox and (read: hopefully) save all of Everealm. This may seem a little unbelievable, and the show may yet reveal a larger prize as episodes continue to unfold, but as you get to know the Paladins and the denizens of Everealm, you begin to understand why someone would go to such ends just to save this fictitious world.
- The producers: Between their illustrious backgrounds and dedication to connecting with fans, the producers behind The Quest make this reality show one of the best around. Produced by Elise Doganieri (The Amazing Race), Rob Eric (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy), Jane Fleming (Tiger Eyes, The Frozen Ground), Bertram van Munster (The Amazing Race), Mark Ordesky (The Lord of the Rings) and Michael Williams, The Quest has some serious production chops behind it —and it shows. The attention to detail is astounding, and their hard work will allow you to buy into Everealm more than any “it seems so real” soundbyte thrown at you by the Paladins. Beyond this, the producers have gone above and beyond in connecting with fans, and if the enthusiastic tweets thrown into the Twittersphere by Rob Eric (@roberic1) aren’t enough to get you hooked on the show, then may Verlox take you.
Fans of The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, and the rest of the fantasy hall of fame will click with The Quest from episode one. Those less connected with the ever-beating heart of the fantasy genre may struggle to look past the two-dimensional villainy of Verlox or the equation of darkness with evil, but the environment, cast performances, unusual premise, and producer dedication should be more than enough to bring even the least adventurous back to Everealm.
The Quest airs Thursdays Knights at 8|7c on ABC
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