Monday, April 16, 2018

'Nick Arcade' is Streaming on Amazon - and the Episode Descriptions Are Hilarious

For the most part, episode descriptions offer a vague synopsis of what you're going to be watching, and thus, can be a bit boring. But every now and then, there are magical episode descriptions written by someone who really cares. Which brings me to Amazon Video and the service's synopses for Nick Arcade, Nickelodeon's cult favorite game-centric show from the '90s.

Hosted by Phil Moore, Nick Arcade was part game show, part tournament, pitting two teams of two kids against each other through two initial trivia rounds, with the winner advancing to the "Video Zone" to play against the virtual "Video Game Wizard" of the day via green scene magic. Filmed at Nickelodeon Studios at Universal Studios Florida, the series ran for 84 episodes over two seasons in 1992.

The series has become a cult favorite amongst '90s Nick Kids, including with someone working behind-the-scenes at Amazon, who knows each episode well enough to have some fun with the synopses! As pointed out by freelancer writer Heidi Kemps on her Twitter account, the Nick Arcade descriptions are pure gold.

"A contestant named Nicole goes inside of a video game and has to jump over virtual rats in an attempt to win a set of encyclopedias. Host Phil Moore makes no attempt to convince her that it isn't worth the trouble," reads the synopsis of the first episode.

Each description gets steadily gets weirder and weirder, as the writer’s attention is quickly hijacked by Moore’s wardrobe choices:

“This does not necessarily speak to the content of this episode, but host Phil Moore wears a tremendous sweater in this episode. The pattern is mesmerizing and the cut is ahead of its time,” reads the description for episode four from season one.

"Host Phil Moore wears a shirt so baggy that a sharp gust would send him sailing into the sky. The contestants go inside a video game, where they are required to put on helmets and kneepads so they can safely steal digital bananas from virtual monkeys," says the description for episode seven of the first season.

Things go even further off the rails for the show’s second season, where the descriptions are entirely dedicated to Moore’s shirts and jeans, to the point where the episodes now carry Comedy Bang Bang-esque titles like, “Phil Moore Wears A Gold Shirt” and “Phil Moore Won’t Take Off The Gold Shirt.” All references to the actual show, or the kids ostensibly playing it, are gone; just demands that Moore bring back particular Hawaiian shirts that the writer liked. They are equally hilarious, however.

You wear that shirt, Phil.

"Phil? Phil, what happened? The Hawaiian shirt is gone. You've got on this shiny gold number that isn't even tucked in, like you just rolled off your waterbed and onto the Nick Arcade set. Was it something we did? Please bring back the Hawaiian shirt," reads the synopsis for episode four of Season 2.

Each and every one of these is art - a micro-poem - and it would be brilliant to see this person, whether they work for Nickelodeon or Amazon, to write episode descriptions for more things. The anonymous writer’s descriptions/clothing reviews also appear on the show’s iTunes offerings, which suggests that these write-ups came from someone in the Nickelodeon/Viacom corporate structure.

Its also great to see Moore—who’s currently working on a modern revival of the show, titled Battle Arcade—is being good sport about it all:

Others have pointed out that similar synopses were written for Super Sloppy Double Dare, but sadly, Legends of the Hidden Temple didn't get the same treatment. Missed opportunities.

Click here to stream episodes of Nick Arcade on!

Watch all your '90s Nickelodeon favorites on NickSplat, your late-night destination for your favorite childhood Nickelodeon cartoons and live-action shows! NickSplat doesn't question football-shaped heads, but embrace them - along with Reptar bars, a Big Ear of Corn, orange soda, and even slime for Pete (and Pete's) sake. Make your slime-covered Nickelodeon childhood dreams come true every night at 11 PM ET/PT, only on TeenNick USA! #NickSplat!

More Nick: SDCC 'Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling' Sneak Peek | Rocko's Modern Life | Nickelodeon!

Original sources: USgamer, The A.V. Club; Additional source: Wikipedia.
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