Now, I may have grown up without cable, but if you were a kid in the 1990s, it was incredibly hard to not be aware of Nickelodeon game show Double Dare, which made every kid think that they were just dip in a puddle of goo away from winning all the prizes any kid would desire. And therefore one thing stood out to me — there was no gak in the Double Dare Reunion Special! Okay, that's not quite true, because you could see a quick shot of two production assistants getting hit with a shot of the slimy, disgusting goo in the opening shot, a meandering trip around the whole obstacle course that the special's two teams will be competing at in the last few moments.
But personally, I was expecting a little bit more gak, especially once the actual gameplay was over and the host, Marc Summers, and tag team of announcer and former onscreen production assistant John Harvey and Robin Russo, were wishing one another and their fans a happy thirtieth anniversary. Maybe "gak" didn't make the cut because, as Marc Summers spilled in an interview back in 2013, he claimed that the term originated from local slang for heroin.
However, the reunion has replaced the presence of gak with the "Double Dare Challenge" of throwing a whipped cream pie in your face in order to tribute the show's long legacy of making kids dive through a pile of slop in order to win a VCR or CD player. As one fan pointed out on Twitter that's not totally faithful to the show, where pies in the face were never a huge, iconic part of the game the way gak or slime were.
But the real point of the Double Dare Challenge is, of course, in order to see celebrities doing it, and it is fun to see 1990s celebrities like Mario Lopez, Joey Fatone, and Lance Bass smashing whipped cream on themselves.
And while there's no problem with the Double Dare Challenge or the Double Dare Reunion Special as is, the only way to make this charming, quick nostalgia exercise any better would be for the competition to get just as wacky, sloppy, and, yes, filled with gak as the original series.