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Gladiators are back, but are we ready?

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Gladiators

Firstly, I have to admit that when I watched the first episode of the classic UK family series Gladiators this weekend we fast-forwarded through everything apart from the actual games. From this abridged version of the show, the essence of the show though really, I could see why Gladiators is such a cult hit. It’s silly, violent, cheesy, competitive, not sure I’d say fun (the pyramid challenge posed major Health & Safety risks) and reminded me of the clips of ‘My Dad is better than Your Dad’ I’d seen on the American TV clip show The Soup, E! where Fathers throw their Velcro clad children against massive dart boards, amongst other things, to prove they’re the best. 

So who are the new Gladiators? Who cares! Apart from Spartan’s camp grin, Ice looking a bit deranged and Battleaxe coping stoically with the worst name for a Female Gladiator they haven’t shown much character to remark on. This includes Wolf-wannabe 21 year old Oblivion or Mr O as they’re trying to brand him. The act isn’t working yet, “I’ll leave nothing in my path” and “The Gladiators could eat them (the Apprentice contestants) for breakfast” making Mr O seem more try-hard than baddie. 

There’s a lot of talk about the arena and atmosphere being smaller but Sunday’s screening, after a heavy marketing campaign, attracted 1.5 million viewers so Sky are only a few weeks away from confirming they’ve got a hit. To the games! Brought up in Australia and New Zealand, I’d never seen Gladiators before, so I did actually find the games fun. I thought the Contenders were in with a chance when the first female contender lasted almost 30 seconds against Panther on the ‘whack them with giant cotton bud sticks’ game. But Carly the next contender was awful, diving off into the water within seconds and the two male contenders were even worse. So nil points to the Contenders so far.

The 2008 cast of Gladiators

Then came ‘run across a bridge over water, troubled by large lantern bean bags’ that the Gladiators swing at you whilst you run. Each complete run from side to side was worth 2 points. The male contenders had a variety of tactics, dancing on the spot with referee John Anderson yelling below, “You can’t stay still!”, whilst waiting for the demolition balls to pass or just speeding along the bridge, only to lose balance and fall onto mats next to the pool by hesitating. The contender that impressed the most though, was Carly, who ran off the bridge and into a demolition ball. This sounds really painful, I’m sure it was, but it was also hysterical. One the replay you could see Carly was caught by one of the balls which made her lose her footing, never mind, she’ll be finding fame if not fortune on You Tube.

It seems the biggest physical asset you can have as a Contender is speed, especially for Pyramid and Powerball . Finally in the Eliminator, complete with flames in the swimming pool, a massive cotton reel, flying fox and monkey bars it was the Travelator that caused the contenders problems, exhausting the male contenders so much that when they finished, and are meant to break through 30 soft cubes making up the Gladiator logo, the first simply fell on then through the screen shifting only two cubes, followed by the second male contender, almost swallowed by the Travelator who didn’t bother to go out with a bang, jumping through the small hole already in the wall! Not exactly a grand finale then.

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Written by Victoria

May 13, 2008 at 3:05 pm

Posted in TV

One Response

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