One of the most deranged children’s programs you will ever see.
I have no idea what the creative dynamic was to hatch something as bizarre as Guardians of the Museum, but whatever it was I am confident that some manner of controlled substance was prominent in the process.
This is a kids game show, but the series if filmed in an odd cinematic way that makes it look almost like a scripted hourlong. Don’t be fooled. It may take you a while to get your bearings, but soon enough Guardians reveals that it deals in the core tenets of pre-adolescent TV competitions: dull history lessons, clumsy displays of fine motor skills and an impossible final challenge that awards, as far as I can tell, absolute bupkis for prizes.
Here’s the skinny: at night, a ghost-lady named “Agatha” summons three children at a time to compete in a series of challenges, all tied together with a specific historical theme, be it the Roman Empire or Egyptology. Each segment includes some poor dope roleplaying as a historical figure to give the kids context, followed by a vomitous mass of historical exposition that will come into play later.
It can be weird, like the episode when the kids were chained up in the cell of a medieval torturer, who then proceeds to throw ladlefuls of gruel in their faces for no real reason. Maybe this could be funny if Guardians of the Museum didn’t play it so straight, but without an affable Nick studios audience egging everybody on, this slapstick just comes across as mean (and a tad creepy).
This all continues until the end, when the three kids huddle with Agatha at the mouth of a museum to face The Dark Lord, a floating demon with a skull face, who threatens to imprison the kids in the museum forever if they can’t answer his stupid questions. Needless to say, the questions The Dark Lord spits out require photographic memories to answer; of the four episodes included on this disc, only one saw the kids emerge victorious. Besides a crummy plastic amulet, their actual rewards were never made clear.
Hard for me to recommend this to anyone, really. Maybe youngsters will dig the weirdo adventure feel and get a kick out of The Dark Lord’s proto-CGI, but the games the kids play aren’t very interesting (paling in comparison to the bad-assness that was Legends of the Hidden Temple) and Agatha is supremely annoying. That’s the only audience I can conjure for this ridiculous misfire.
Though there’s nothing quite like the threat of eternal damnation to get a kid to learn the dates of the Norman Conquest, this show remains terrible. Guilty.