If I were to say, "Do it Rockapella!" how many people in this generation would know what came next?
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego was perfect. Sure, it was educational, but what made this show so great was the fact that you learned facts while being entertained. It was silly and fun, and it didn't take itself seriously, but kids were learning. The show was more than just a game show. "Jeopardy!" is still "Jeopardy!" no matter how many times you watch it, but "WITIWCS" had its own world that we got to play in for half an hour, every Monday through Friday at 5. Kids got to travel the world, track down a "dangerous" criminal and restore something priceless and valuable to its rightful location, all to (almost) original music by Rockapella - most middle-school-age kids don't get to have that kind of important role in the real world. In fact, despite the fact that Carmen and her cadre of criminal cohorts (I learned the concept of alliteration and punning from Carmen Sandiego in addition to where the Prime Meridian is) wreaked misappropriatory havoc daily, the world of "WITIWCS" was safer than the real world. At least there terrorism doesn't exist and the bad guys always lose.
As a future teacher, it is becoming more and more apparent to me that students today are lacking in various subjects - math, science, grammar, and, for the purposes of this review, geography. Despite the fact that such countries as Iraq, North Korea, and Afghanistan pervade the nightly news, many people still cannot find them on a map. This show needs to be resurrected - not just in reruns, but to bring its tried-and-true teaching system to a new generation. Sure, it is impossible to capture lightning in a bottle - without such people as Lynne Thigpen (whom we fans still terribly miss), the show could only be, at best, a child of the original - but I believe that it is possible to recapture the spirit of "WITIWCS" - and as long as the spirit of the show is there, the interest - and the learning - will follow.
"Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" was able to masterfully combine education and entertainment, and it is this ability that makes it a rare gem, one that should be prized, cherished, and shared with the world.