Monday, January 07, 2008

American Gladiators Returns!

Sunday night I live blogged part of the premiere of the new American Gladiators because...well, because it was there. It was awesome and horrifying and fun but I couldn't believe I was watching it, even though I loved it. I'm watching it again tonight in its regular time slot (OK, on my DVR which caught it in its regular time slot) and I'm starting to feel dirty. Not dirty enough to stop my watching, though, so here are my thoughts:

A little presumptuous of them to say that part of the winnings for the champion will be a chance to be a gladiator next season. Next season? Really? You've already been picked up? Must be nice. I'm pretty sure even Grey's Anatomy can't say that.

The Gladiators names aren't quite as good. They re-used Siren, in the original show Siren was the hearing challenged one who kicked people's asses routinely and with extraordinary glee. The women's names are, I think, better than the men's. Venom and Stealth are good. Militia is not so good. I think Mayhem might be my favorite, though, and he's got awesome hair, too.

Scoring pods for Power Ball are wider and yet we've got one contender down already. So apparently it hasn't gotten any less hard core physically.

Used to be that they explained the games before we played. Now we've decided to do that during the game to leave time for the heart wrendingly scored Contender's Stories, replays of injuries and footage of medics attending to the injured. Used to be if you got injured you forfeited not only the competition but camera time. Now not so much.

Where's that scary blonde dude from the commercials? Was he just to spook us into watching?

FDNY in the house!

"Now we're gettin' serious 'cause next up are the guys." Um, Hulk, implying that the women, both competitors and gladiators, are less serious is both bad form and seriously wrong. Don't be a bitch.

Oh, blonde dude is on there. He's Titan. And Toa is competing in a shiny skirt. That's new.

My bad, I didn't properly brand the replays above. They're not just replays they're SUBWAY replays, like the sandwich.

From the competitor who went out with an injury in the first game we have the second mention of a second season. You'd never hear that shit from a fictional show.

Wow, they've hired a very theatrical ref. He's going all Ed McMahon on us.

I do kind of love that if you lose any of the high flying games you end up in the pool.

In order to watch this with Pony Express I'm watching it live instead of waiting and watching it from the DVR. Having to wait for the commercials is really disconcerting. I'm so spoiled.

I like Ms. Ali, she's a good personality for this.

Why are the contenders wearing back packs? Are there transmitters in there? Can't be since the gladiators don't have them too and we can see and hear them fine.

Wolf looks like Sebastian Bach after a rough tour. He gives good TV, though. Hanging off a guy until they both plunge into a pool is awesome.

Yeah, another female gladiator with another good name. Fury hearkens back to all the wacky Greek-esque names the original gladiators had.

OK, seems like if you're going to have a game that invites wrestling holds and throws you want a surface softer than plexiglass.

Heh, look at that, the contenders have time and assistance enough between events to blow dry hair and re-apply makeup if they get wet.

I don't remember men and women doing different events in the original incarnation but here we've got guys on the rings and girls on that plexi platform.

"It's both better...and worse all at once." - Me to Pony Express during a commercial.

It's really hard to look glamorous and tough while wearing a helmet and neck brace.

Wolf's makeup artist needs a stern talking to. As does Justice's hair stylist and Titan's plastic surgeon.

OK, this is going to sound really wrong and you're going to think I'm nuts for analyzing the whole thing this way but, for real, the games on this show require you to think a little. I know, I know, it seems like that's not the case but truly, you do. There's a reason that the skateboarder is being crushed by the Firefighter. The firefighter is analyzing on the go. As well as being able to take some fairly serious physical punishment.

It's confusing to have a contender named Venus, that's a gladiator name.

We think that the back packs are connected to the helmet cam or possibly they're extra padding in events where you can get hit squarely in the back.

Whose idea was it exactly to use a weapon that looks like enormous shiny silver testicles on rope?

So, we don't get that game where the gladiator fires tennis balls at you? That was my favorite! You can't have AG without that.

It's such a good thing that you aren't here in my living room because that means I don't have to tell you that I was screaming "Oh yeah go, go, go baby go!!!!!" during an event I've previously dubbed "not my favorite." You can imagine what would have happened if they'd had my favorite.

Does one actually prepare spiritually for this sort of competition? If one does, does one admit it?

Dude, they have to swim UNDER FIRE!

The cargo net is the true trial...wait, I may have spoken too soon, they make you roll over and over around a barrel suspended in air and THEN you've got to ride the hand bike. It's way too much upper body work in a row. And then too much lower body in a row. It's built for the set builders not for the competitors

The music of doom is killing me. I hate it. Especially since these women are so beaten by the Eliminator.

Oh god and now we have a crying winner. This is nuts! It's like Survivor meets AG. I'm horrified but I can't look away.

"The Toyota Sequoia Winning Moment" yes, branding, with branding you can afford anything, even a huge pool with a fire over it and enormous shiny silver dangling testicles and an on location shoot for your previews.

Apparently part of the contender training is to watch the clip from Bull Durham about how to talk to the press. Which is great actually, I prefer that to trash talk.

FDNY goes over the 8 foot wall without even using the rope. But the cargo net again is a sticky wicket.

Again I say, you're wet, you've just climbed a cargo net and you have to cling to a rolling barrel? Who thought this up?

Christ and the travelator (you have to see it to understand) is at least as bad as the cargo net if not worse.

FDNY, baby!

Assault! That's my favorite. I didn't realize that this was going on for 2 hours. I'm not going to subject anyone to my blow by blow of a second hour. If you're not watching this you really should be. Awesome little Asian dude contender. He's the size of Mayhem's thigh. We'll see how he does. I bet he's awesome in Assault.

No, wait, one more thing. You have to watch just to see the gladiator named Helga. She's a combination of Opera Diva and Field Hockey coach. No, that doesn't do her justice, you just have to see her.


  1. What would your Gladiator name be?

  2. P.S. I think I would just be "Chrome," which while not as cool as Fury or Valkarie or whatever is still way more badass than Lace form the original AG.

  3. (found your blog through mrs. chili and Happy B-day!)

    Onto Gladiator! I was so glad that the little Asian dude won against that other contender who had waited 14 yrs. to compete. He was just too arrogant for my taste.

    The battle between the two women (at the end) was really intense. I was rooting for the Marine and I think she would have won had it not been for that bar across the water that she whacked her head on. I think if anyone deserves to be back for a second try, it's her.

  4. Chrome, I'm having so much trouble with this one. Medea doesn't have the right ring to it but I'd love for it to be that. Athena! I'd be Athena! I might have to post this as a thing for everyone to play.

    Ms. Teacher, Amen about the Asian dude. I so wanted to like the other guy 'cause his story was so good but he was too much of an ass and too one note. The new version of the Eliminator is freaking painful to watch! It's so very hard, and yeah, the bleeding marine totally wins the "JUST KEEP RUNNING!" award.