When I was a kid, I would have to stay home for several hours a day with a babysitter. My television options were quite limited, restricted to a range of educational television shows meant to improve my mind and to shield from all the horrors and drama of adolescence and adulthood. One day, I found an interesting show:
There were two teams at a structure called the “Temple of Fate” and three different cauldrons with fire, water, and wood were in front of the host. As I would eventually learn, this would be an elimination challenge; whomever would win two of three rounds would stay, while the other team went home.
Over time, I got so interested, I watched episodes when my parents weren’t around, and it extended to following an entire season. It was filled with challenges and teenage drama, and only one team rose above in the end.
Amidst the reality TV craze in the 2000s, this was a show similar to those, but different, and it was called Endurance.
Endurance posed some similarities to Survivor: several contestants, albeit between 12 and 15 years old, would be sent to an abandoned location. Once there, six players would be eliminated in a challenge called the “Right to Stay.” The survivors would then pick partners in a challenge. They would then have to work together in challenges, strategize off the games, and collect Pyramid Pieces. The Pyramid Pieces would represent traits needed not only to win, but also to do well in life. Whomever got the most pieces at the end would win a grand prize trip.
The show made for some interesting television: there were contestants who ruthlessly strategized and those who stood in the background. There was one girl who beat out all the guys in a mission and another finishing before the other team could start. However, there were also teams that started out mismatched, only to rise up and make it further than everybody else would expect.
Recently, all my fangirling resides on an online forum that started when the show was airing, declined several years after it ended, and slowly started to pick up again. A treasure trove of nostalgia, voting, and hypothetical scenarios.
Most of the bonding comes in the form of re-watching episodes, which have been carefully coordinated over a time period after they were taken down. It brings new perspectives with every time I watch an episode again, and reaffirms why I loved this show in the first place.
Because new episodes are now a fantasy, having a fandom that’s had its heyday is a little bit more relaxing. Likewise, it revels on what a great show it became and promotes it for the rest of the world.