Top on my DVR tonight was two hours of American Gladiators. This remake of the old TV show is glitzed up and ready to take on all comers. I like how they’ve kept some of the old favorite challenges such as Joust and the wall climb, but they’ve added a splash down element to almost all of the events. I was really surprised to see they kept the combat event where a Gladiator shoots tennis balls at the contestant — in this day and age I would have thought any event that allowed shooting at people would be banned! Luckily not. This time around none of the competitors were able to win at that round and I can’t wait to see it when it happens because a direct hit to the target sends the Gladiator exploding backwards!
I was a real fan of the original series and this new one had me cheering right along. There are some major WWE elements which add to the storytelling in the show, combined with crazy events Extreme Elimination Challenge style. Hulk Hogan is the perfect host, though I could do without Lala Ali as co-host.
But it’s really all about the contenders and the first five all had great stories to tell. Yes, FIVE, because one challenger was hurt in her very first match and had to be replaced. (A Gladiator was also injured and removed from the game). There was a spunky New York City Fireman, a female Marine, a hyperactive geek and a guy who missed his chance to be on the original show 14 years ago because he got stuck in traffic.
Seriously, it amazes me to see what people will put themselves through for the glory and a chance at 100,000 bucks!
American Gladiators moves to it’s regular time tonight on NBC.