Monday, January 7, 2008

There's No Accounting for Taste - American Gladiators Edition

I had every intention of watching the return of American Gladiators last night, but I forgot it was on. Luckily for everyone, Trebor did not forget. Here's what transpired...

Though it wasn’t assigned or maybe the boss gave it to someone else, last night I watched the greatest sporting event of 2008BROTHER.

If that doesn’t bring a smile to your face then… well you probably were never part of Hulkamania. Anyway last night I watched the return of American Gladiators. Warning: parts of this [post] not affecting the [message] have been edited. That was something that came up at the end of the show … to which I said… QUE ??? What is there to edit… 4 rounds and the Eliminator… simple to me.

So I’m fairly sure I’m not alone in saying I watched American Gladiators growing up… I always liked Nitro and Gemini and then Hawk, with his military hair cut… then the girls… oh the girls. When your like 12 and you have these women in spandex in front of you… Anyways there was Sky, so tall could climb her like a tree. Then Ice (who I think dated Nitro), Diamond and Elektra.

The idea of two regular every day people going against the big, tough gladiators was awesome. Sitting there thinking that would be so much fun to be there to take a Joust to the back of the head or running through the Gauntlet. Even though hearing the phrase “this really is David vs Goliath” every show was tiresome, it was still a good time.

Now some of us may have grown out of that stage, along with watching wrestling. Me on the other hand… I’ve been known to watch classic ESPN and reruns of American Gladiators. It’s still a good time… even better seeing that early 90’s hairstyles and the cardboard fans… all that old stuff. And the announcers were always a hoot.

Anyways the Hulkster came out along with Ali (forget her first name but you now who I’m talking about) Ed. Note: It’s Laila. Blah Blah Blah… here are your American Gladiators… they come out to flashy lights. There was another female Siren… couldn’t think of any more original names I guess?? The guys had names like Wolf (who howled) he had the big sideburns like I used to have. Then there were: Justice, Mayhem and Militia... not bad. The girls names: Crush, Fury, Venom… meh. But again there were some good looking ones. Oh yeah and Helga… who in the one event sucked but anyway she’s huge. I don’t know her measurements but over 6 ft and 200 lb probably. I don’t think we’ll see her in Hang Tough anytime soon.

It was different and even watching the classics I get that sense… when I was a tike the gladiators were these huge guys… all muscle and you were like wow. Now the gladiators would still break me in half yes, but they aren’t as impressive anymore. Not sure why, something to do with steroids in sports I think.

Then we meet the contestants: a toilet paper saleswoman with 3 kids and husband who ran off on her or something. The other was a life coach, so positive and happy…damn I hate that. They start off with Power Ball, one of my favorites. In case you want to watch tonight I won't give away results but the TP ladies knee goes out within 30 sec so her day is done.

So with the Power Ball, it’s not as good as the original. The course seems smaller and the cylinders are like 3 times as big. Before you had to lunge and slam it in to have any chance for it to go. In the ladies event the one girl was doing jump shots like 10 ft away… what the hell is up with that? Also another thing to note… multiple cameras. It was very hard watching at first cause they kept going back and forth.

Then the men get introduced: a professional skateboarded and a NY firefighter. You had to root for the skateboarder but you knew who was going to win…or did you. Almost spoiled the show.
Before they go on, Hulk said something that raised an eyebrow “now it’s time to get serious, it’s time for the men”… Really, Ali is going to let you say that no matter how true it may be.

Another event they changed, the Breakthrough and Conquer, I think now is just wrestling, though you are on a platform that moves and shifts… not bad but I liked the football part.

Then before the commercial… “This bone crushing action brought to you by Subway” - it just seemed so out of place. Later there was a Toyota one as well and they even had a Toyota parked beside the Eliminator course. I wasn’t too happy at this point with what I was seeing, a little tear came to my eye. I wanted to get into the show but if it was going to continue like this then I couldn’t.

Luckily it did get better, they did something not seen in the earlier shows - girls one competition, guys another. So round 2 for the girls was Joust and for the guys Hang Tough (the event I think I hate the most). Then they did pyramid one not often done in the early shows but I can see this one being an every week event. The contenders get throw around body slammed and tackled and fall down 15-20 feet. Oh yes and 2 girls wrestling and rolling down a pyramid in each others arms surprisingly hot… no wait, that’s not surprising at all.

Other things that were different… water. Anything where a contestant could get knocked off, there was water for them to fall in. Also when they did fall the song Another One Bites the Dust played or that Na Na Na Na song. The other notable change was the talking between gladiator and contestant… seemed a bit scripted. Some of it was good and added some get up to it. Other times it seemed pointless.

Then the Eliminator, which was sometimes good but usually a let down. Someone either had a huge lead and would finish before the other got to the cargo net, or it would be close to the cargo net then a blowout. I’m not sure why but that cargo net always got people.

So in this one there was a .5 sec difference and a 16.5 sec difference. In the end both were really close.

In point form this is what the Eliminator course is like: 8 ft wall, jump in water and swim under water 20 ft, climb 30 ft cargo net, barrel roll (hold to barrel then it rolls down), hand bike, balance beam, pyramid climb (30 ft ), zip line, tread mill then break through.

I loved it. The best time I saw last night was 2:13. In the classic episodes guys would get through in like 40 sec. I love the hand bike and where it is - after they do the cargo net and swimming so arms already have had a workout… it looks so hard. Then the pyramid climb looks easy but every contender last night was panting as they went up. Then the inclined treadmill, though they do have a rope that they use to help themselves up, is the best. Especially right at the end.

One contestant was at the treadmill and the other was just getting to the hand bike. It was a close finish, I won’t say who won but of the 8 contestants I saw last night only 1 made it up the treadmill on the first try. At the Breakthrough they seemed to be almost passing out.

Another contestant was a former sergeant in the marines. She hit her head in the swim part so she was bleeding and even when she finished she was exhausted. Just wanted to throw that out for people who like to see blood with their sporting events

So I enjoyed it and will probably watch again. I hope to see some other events but some I hope I never see again.

I think they are replaying it tonight and if you liked the original you should check it out - tough it out through the scripted lines and the cheesy light show and music. Just hearing Hulk say brother is almost enough for myself.


Luke said...

But my question is this, was Wesley "Two Scoops" Berry anywhere to be seen?

I always liked that female gladiator who became a man and then was in Napoleon Dynamite. Oh, she's still a woman you say?

Luke said...

Also, Hulkster... as a child I always took my vitamins and said my prayers, like you told me too. Now I'm prone to sudden, violent outburts, my testicles have shrunk, and my voice is higher than Barry Gibb's. What kind of vitamins were those anyway?

trebor said...

I also forgot to mention one other thing that may findme on google later this evening. Neck braces.

For most of the events along with the helmet they had a protector over their neck. I dont remember that from the classics, so i'm wondering if neck problems became well a problem for gladiators. It does make sense but takes time getting used to it.

Jeff K said...

I could honestly write a post twice as long as this on why they should ban American Gladiator from ever being aried again. I lasted all the way to the joust before (and I am telling you the truth) I actually shut off my TV. Not change the channel, but shut off my TV. My wife and I finsished our supper to a blank screen. I actually tried to remember the specific moment where I said "that is enough of that"...but I must have blocked it out. All I remember is something happened that made me realize I shouldn't have even bothered trying to watch the show.

I would actually rate American Gladiator below The Biggest Loser - Couples Edition....which is saying a lot.

Trebor said...

I would agree that this show is nowhere near what it was...too much work going into the script and music and camera...

but there looks to be another great show coming, they showed high/lowlights of it during a commercial break.

I dont know what it's called or what the point is. but I think it's were going to expose your deepest secret to everyone on national tv via lie dector.

they showed the clip and the one that i remember most was this girl is hooked up to it and the host says "have you ever been paid for sex?" So then they go to her boyfriend who is shocked and well i'm assuming the answer is going to be yes, but i think the point is will she tell the truth. if you tell the truth throughout then you can win money ??? Why would you lie, cause obviously the machine will say so and then everyone knows anyway.

but yeah this show i may not watch...well i probably will. flashes of george giving jerry advice on how to beat the machine came to mind...

It's not a lie if you believe it.

Luke said...

I am watching Gladiators as I speak - and I gotta say the camera work is more nauseating than in the Borne Supremacy. It's a good thing I haven't eaten yet, otherwise I think I'd be sick.

The show definitely needs more lame, overly-scripted dialogue.

Anonymous said...

The only 5 minutes I could handle last night was during the eliminator. Wow, that show is lame. How can every single girl they interview before the eliminator say that they're going to give 110%. You can't tell me that garbage was scripted. And on that treadmill thing at the end - do the guys have a rope that hangs down halfway? I only saw a girl use it. Seems kinda lame. It's like girl goals counting for two or something ludicrous like that. Couldn't they just slow it down a fraction. I will never watch another second.


Trebor said...

The elimantor is the best part. Last night I only wathced the last 5 min so I missed all the glamour of the rounds, shucks.

was watching orlando bloom give a spectacular performance in kingdom of heaven .... "Rise a knight, Rise a knight" Gold Jerry Gold.

Anyway the rope is there for both men and women. last night it took the one guy like 1 1/2 min to get up the tread. He got to the rope and was trying to pull himself up but just couldn't. Near the end neither could barely reach the rope. The other guy only took 1 min so he ended up winning.

It seems hard and not fair and all, but it's the eliminator I want to see people actually get elimated.

and for the new topic...bad TV. I did watch about 5 min..maybe 3 of XXX vs bruno: Dance Wars. I forget the chikcs name but I couldnt watch it so either it was way over my head which is possible or it was that bad.

MAYO said...

With all the writers on strike we are going to get alot more reality TV but I'm very happy to see American Gladiators back. All this other reality TV is about nothing, just trying to win money by doing stupid things like choosing a suitcase. American Gladiators always kicked ass and even though we're all grown up now I still want to be on that show more than ever. There seems to be a good spirit of competition that isn't all about smashing the other guys face in or anything and it's more about doing well yourself. The cheezy stuff isn't some of the best stuff but hearing the Hulk say "Brother!" is and that makes up for people comparing themselves to spidermonkeys. I'm sure it was like that when we were kid's too but we never really noticed or we just didn't care and I don't think that I care now either. I can see a plan already forming for an American Gladiators backyard styles.
American Gladiators I'll still be watching.


Anonymous said...

If they bring back the mullets that those steroid monkeys had then I will watch...did they? If not then no dice. I would rather flush my sense of right and wrong down the toilet and join some kind of hill-billy band that gets paid in broke down cars and NASCAR tickets. Yee-Haw!!!


You will have to excuse me I am on pain killers right now.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clarification Trebor. I still stand by my feelings of total contempt and disbelief that anyone enjoyed this remake. Seriously Mayo?

It's one thing to dream of having a huge nerf playground to beat up your friends in - that would be awesome. It's another thing completely to watch America's dumbest and most enthusiastic losers in prime time. Put this debacle on saturday mornings if you must, not during the week when real tv should be on. There are dozens of solid scripted shows that have never seen the light of day in America that could be put on instead of this. I dislike reality tv, but this is worse. It's not even so much the content as it is the execution. The hulkster has to pause between each word just to breathe. It's really sad to watch. It's kind of like watching the Osbourne's, which was cruel and painful.

Gotta run, but i could rant forever on this topic.


Mayo said...

The Hulk is not breathing during those pauses, he is reading his cue cards.

Jeff K said...

I thought this was a pretty interesting take on the new American Gladiator. I don't know if I agree with it or not...but it is funny. The person who posted this clip is clearly bitter with the new AG.

And is this really the Hulk? or someone doing a Hulk impression?

Same goes for this clip

After watching this clip ( of the American Gladiator Women, I was going to say it was a step backward for women everywhere...but then I saw this clip of the men of American Gladiator (

Wow....I don't even know what to say. These people are clearly from the shallow end of the gene pool.

Mayo said...

There's one gladiator who's named Toaha or something like that and he's actually "The Rock's" brother. That's one guy who's trying to catapult his career along in his more successful brother's shadow.

And earlier when I said "the Hulk" I should've said the Hulkster or simply Hulk, because Bruce Banner doesn't have anything to do with this competition, and what was he so angry about anyways?

Luke said...

He was deaf - you'd be angry too if you were never able to hear the sad walking away music.

- David "Bruce" Banner

(Lou Ferrigno joke)