Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Gladiators: UK Vs. US

So the first series of the renewed Gladiators finished on Sunday with a Legends Return special (old Gladiators vs. new Gladiators = FUN!). Now they've started showing the American version ("patriotically" named American Gladiators. Does everything need to be called American? Do the viewers not think it a little patronising that the networks think they might think the show wasn't made in America??).

What a difference. And not a good difference.

The new Gladiators on Sky1 is fifty times more exciting (and less annoying) than the American version.

Firstly... the dark studio on the American version with godawful lighting and too much smoke puts me in mind of a dirty back street club rather than a TV show studio where they actually want people to be able to see what is happening. They have set up about 5 billion (a conservative estimate) cameras around their arena (and on their contenders) and like to flick between them relentlessly so you never really get to see any of the "action"... which brings me on to my second problem with the show.

It's slow. Powerball has no power. They treat it like American Football rather than a bloody Gladiator event. It's soooo boring compared to the fast paced British version. They called Duel, "Joust" (not to be confused with the British Joust event) but they can use their sticks to POKE each other. Hardly a feat of strength. In Earthquake they are allowed to do WRESTLING moves on each other. What a cheat. I don't know why, I suspect the angle of the cargo net might have something to do with it, but by the time the contestants get to the cotton reel (which has a ROPE on it. Cheats.) on the Eliminator they are so tired that they then proceed to drag themselves slowly around the rest of the course. The Travelator is longer than the British version but...


Yes, a rope. Shockingly rubbish.

The Gladiators themselves? Useless. Absolutely useless. They are all muscle and no athletic ability. Can't catch the contenders on hang tough. Can't win at duel. They need better Gladiators. Also... our Gladiators are so much more attractive.

And the contenders. So arrogant. I couldn't even begin to feel sympathy for them.

And, let me just say, thank God for John Anderson as our ref....that man has more charisma in his little finger than the American ref.

Our Gladiators is a cross between exciting action, good athletic showmanship and a little bit of cheese. Their Gladiators crosses total cheese with terrible camera angles and not much else.

Go Sky1! The American version proves Sky1 has got things right.


  1. Anonymous4:50 pm

    i Completely agree with you what a bunch of whimps needing a rope for the travelator it made me laugh

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