Nickelodeon is a cornerstone of 90s nostalgia. I’ve never been successful in an attempt to explain why it was awesome to any other generation, but I’ve never had to try to explain it to a single person who grew up during the last decade of the second millennium.
From Legends of the Hidden Temple to Double Dare to Nick Arcade, Nickelodeon had a strong stable of children’s game shows that were so painfully addictive for reasons that still escape me. Figure It Out was my favorite by far so I was excited to hear that Nick ordered forty new episodes of the show.
Figure It Out’s premise was fairly simple. A kid with a unique “talent” would come up with a phrase that described his or her ability while four of Nick’s finest celebrities would attempt to guess it. As with many Nick shows slime was a crucial element of the show, as someone would almost always trigger the secret slime action after the start of the second round.
Memorable panelists included All That regulars Danny Tamberelli (who loved slime a little too much), Amanda Bynes, Kenan Thompson (one of the few regular panelists who still has a career) and Lori Beth Denberg (who sucked all the fun out of it since she was the only panelist who was good at the game). Other memorable regular panelists included Michelle Trachtenberg (Gossip Girl’s Georgina), Carrot Top, and Steve Burns (of Blue’s Clues fame, still don’t know why he was on the show…).
Sadly, the new Figure It Out will likely not include any of these former panelists in regular roles. Jeff Sutphen, a fairly regular Nick contributor, will replace host Summer Sanders. This is probably for the best as all of the panelists have either moved on to bigger and better things, or low paying dead end nine to five jobs. Sanders was recently on The Celebrity Apprentice and after an unmemorable stint, it’s probably for the best that she stays off TV.
Nickelodeon purists will disapprove of the revival, but I’m glad that Figure it Out is being brought back. I will likely not watch the show except maybe for a few minutes with my sister, who is a fan of Nick and actually fits the age demographic of the network. But Figure It Out isn’t being brought back for it’s original audience. It’s being revived so that a new generation can experience what we loved in the 90s.
I don’t know who they’ll find to be panelists on the new Figure It Out. I hope that a few of the old timers come back for cameos, which certainly could happen. But above all else, I hope that it’s done right. I can’t hear “the secret slime action is” without smiling fondly. I hope a new generation can experience the television that we had in the 90s. I’m not exactly impressed with what they’ve been airing lately.