The CW took viewers back to the 1990s with its reboot of Legends of the Hidden Temple, which debuted on Sunday night. Unlike the original Nickelodeon show, the contestants are adult teams, competing in the challenges for $25,000. Comedian Cristela Alonzo serves as the host for the show, which is also not shot inside a studio. The episode had longtime fans of the original show buzzing on social media, with some welcoming the new version. Others found it “goofy” and lacking the charm of the original.
Legends of the Hidden Temple debuted on Nickelodeon in 1993, with three seasons airing until November 1995. Although only 120 episodes were produced, the show was constantly airing on Nick GAS to keep the show alive. Created by David G. Stanley, Scott A. Stone, and Stephen Brown, the show is centered around Olmec (Dee Bradley Baker), who shared the rules for each challenge. The original show was filmed before a live studio audience, unlike the reboot. The new series also features animation explaining the background of each challenge.
In the new series, teams of two adults compete. They were picked out of over 48,000 applications, Stone told Entertainment Weekly. One reason they took the show outdoors was to wear out the contestants as quickly as possible. “It’s a little bigger than the 2-foot-deep bathtub we had in studio,” Stone said of the 8-foot-deep course. “The first challenge is just swimming across it, and they’re all just exhausted. I would be too!”
Stone also wanted to bring an authentic representation of Mayan culture to the screen in the new show. The original run was made without a consultant, so Stone said that simply went through an encyclopedia for ideas. “I mean, that’s where it all came from. So it’s now, you know, how many years later, and we actually hired a Mayanist expert to make sure that everything we did with our show was more authentic,” he told EW.
In its review of the reboot, Variety suggested that the show was only made for people who remember the original show. After all, by focusing on adults, the series now seems like a highly themed version of Wipeout and Survivor. The longtime fans who tuned in still loved it though, with many joking about being Green Monkeys, Orange Iguanas, Red Jaguars, Blue Barracudas, Orange Iguanas, Purple Parrots and Silver Snakes forever. New episodes air Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. Scroll on for a look at how fans reacted to the new show.
‘Legends of the Hidden Temple met Amazing Race’
The Legends of the Hidden Temple remake is such low production quality it’s sad
— Bishop Sycamore Alumni Association President (@phathead) October 11, 2021
“Legends of the Hidden Temple met Amazing Race,” one viewer wrote.
‘Getting a chance to relive it’
I know the “interview in the middle of the show” cutaway thing is very, very modern but I just don’t love it. #LegendsOfTheHiddenTemple
— ⚡ Thandrie 🌒🌕🌘 (@TheyAreThandrie) October 11, 2021
“Legends of the Hidden Temple was my favorite show as a kid. Getting a chance to relive it tonight on CW,” one fan wrote.
‘This is goofy’
I’m actually glad the players aren’t forced to wear mouthpieces in this version so we can hear the teams communicate with each other during the challenges. #LegendsOfTheHiddenTemple
— Nate Weeks (@NateWeeks1) October 11, 2021
“Honestly the original Legends had a dark, creepy, tense feel to it with little technology… This is goofy, too light with too much technology,” one viewer wrote.
‘Not even sure what they’re trying to do with it’
Omg they rebooted legends of the hidden temple but for adults. You bet your sweet ass I am watching this
— Elissa Rose (@ChattyCabi) October 11, 2021
Not all the responses to the show were positive. “I dunno. Maybe I’ve aged. But this new Legends of the Hidden Temple show is not great. I can watch the old one over & over. But this? Why did they make this for adults? Not even sure what they’re trying to do with it,” one viewer wrote.
‘Really good revision’
Uh… I’m going to have words about the new Legends of the Hidden Temple.
— Emily McAwesome (@ouranemily) October 11, 2021
“Watching the new Legends of the Hidden Temple. It’s a really good revision of the original show so far. I still expect to swear at the screen when nobody can put a 3-piece monkey together,” one viewer wrote.