[BlogEntry] American Gladiators : Season Premiere

Man, I loved this show as a kid. As a lifelong pro-wrestling fan, this was the perfect Saturday morning show. Imagine all the playground games you played as a kid, turned into real competitive sports. King of the Mountain? Got it. Kill the Guy With The Ball? Got that too.

So I was excited to hear it's back. Not optimistic, for a number of reasons. It's on primetime, apparently at 9pm, and hosted by Hulk Hogan and Laila Ali. Let's see how it goes…

I'm happy to see that they actually kept most of the show the same. Most of the original events are still there, and even when they say something is a new event, it looks like just a reworked version of an older one. They added water to several of the "fall off" events, like Joust, so you get soaked if you fall. Nice, if unnecessary, touch. They did also take the Gladiator out of the final Eliminator station, which is a good idea – that final event should be all about the competitor.

The gladiators are the same sort of personalities you had in the old one – short names like "Titan" or "Fury" and some hint of the character behind them. Wolf, who howls a lot, seems to get lots of tv time. One guy appears to be named Toa, and has some Hawaiian gimmick going. Not sure where they got that idea, as it sticks out like a sore thumb. But you can expect them to all develop fan followings shortly.

Thus far, Hulk is a lousy host. He says "brother" and "dude" a lot, and spends too much time hogging the microphone. But, then, his purpose is to ask questions of people who just got their butts kicked, so they don't have much to say anyway. As a matter of fact, listening to the competitors talk might well be the worst part of the show. Much like typical game shows, some producer backstage tries to convince the competitors that they are as much a charcater as the professional actors, and they go in front of the cameras with all these catchphrases and speeches and just end up sounding stupid. Shut up, win your competition, collect your prize and go home.

I liked it. Looking forward to seeing more. I hope they keep it competitive and don't overproduce it.