Tuesday, May 13, 2008

American Blogiators: Season two premiere impressions

When the weather turns warm, the flowers start blooming and the ides of March turn into the rites of spring, many sports fans think of the baseball season hitting its stride or the NBA ready to crown a champion.

But those of us who know better know - it's Gladiator time.

New Gladiators: people are actually paid to come up with this?

There are a crapload of new Gladiators this season. We have not only the winners from season one, but like five more. So we have to kiss Fury, Stealth (thank God) and Mayhem goodbye.

Do I feel creepy looking at Phoenix's gallery? You betcha.

Phoenix has one of the worst Gladiator gimmicks ever. Those fake wings? Really? And I only got this far on her bio before puking: "Soaring into the sky like a spirit from the flames who has been kissed by the sun..." Some NBC intern is a budding poet!

She made up (somewhat) for her crappy persona by punking kids on the new event Vertigo (more on that later) and is obviously more capable than Stealth ever was. So there's that.

Last seasons winners have taken their spot as new Gladiators and look way more jacked/oiled up than they did as humans. Their names - Rocket and Jet - are uncreative as all hell. Will the next winner be Speedy or Lightning? But I guess when you have fairly average sized people as Gladiators, they can't be called Hulk or Shiva or something. Although Shiva would be a pretty sick idea for a Gladiator. You can never have enough stereotypes. NBC, call me up!

Shiva hails from the mysterious Far East and will
make you a believer ... in domination-ism!

Rocket, the men's winner who smoked Wolf on Wall about five times last season, continued to dominate that event. It's pretty unfair and he looks unbeatable there. If he's so good at climbing why not call him Spider or Mountain Goat? Jet was...meh and probably will be all season.

There is apparently some 7-foot guy from the WWE named Beast who will "be released from a cage" for his entrance according to wikipedia. Awesome.

New events, same ownage

Season two debuted some new events last night, including Rocketball and Vertigo. Rocketball looked pretty sweet, and reminded me of an event on GUTS, which is always good. It's a combo of Powerball and...rockets and features of lot of rejections and mid-air collisions. Solid new event.

Vertigo is weird. There are these little discs on thin bars up really high that sway with the weight of the person on them. The point is to race across them to the end (or the scoring zone, for wimps) before the Gladiator does.

It's not very exciting, but it's funny to see people try and do it for the first time and get obliterated by some bodybuilder who practices five hours a day. Phoenix killed the people she went against - she could have had done it twice before one lady finished.

There is also yet-to-be-shown Tilt (tug of war, from what I gather), which should be like Joust - complete Gladiator domination, and Skytrack, which is from the old show and sucks. Other events have been upgraded, such as more huger Wall/Hang Tough courses, slightly easier Assault (no more impossible-to-find crossbow/arrow combo) and de-wussified Powerball. I believe someone suggested that...

"Speaking of Powerball, what the hell is up with these new goals? ... In the old Powerball you practically had to have your arm elbow deep in the goal to insure a point – that’s the way it should be."

NBC, I expect credit where credit is due.


The power rankings should be out next week - there wasn't quite enough info to do a good one after only two episodes. But I can say Crush literally snapped people's necks on Joust (I think one girl's eyes rolled back in her head), Justice dominated on Hang Tough, Hellga wasn't very good on Assault (surprise!) and Jet is off to a great start, getting beat on Wall.

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