Friday, July 4, 2014
Red, white, blue and spandex
Truth be told, I was never much of a fan of American Gladiators. The story about its alleged greatness cautions that the show was not just a pro-wrestling "exhibition of phony athleticism." But sadly, that's what it often looked like to me. Everybody seemed more interested in showing off the buff products of steroids (okay, I don't know for sure) and gym rattiness than in actually competing.
But what the hey, the show was the ultimate muscular development of our little genre's stunt variety. It was pretty much Beat the Clock, except the stunts were more painful and less messy. Of course, you could argue that sports of all sorts are just an elaborate game show of jockiness. But I don't want to get into labored disputes over what is and what is not part of the game show kingdom.
The show's Wikipedia entry mildly surprised me. I didn't realize that the gladiators rumbled and tumbled for seven seasons. The 2008 revival only lasted a few months. Maybe spandex had gone out of style.
UPDATE: TV Guide reports that producer Arthur Smith is trying to sell a third version of the gladiators. "It's a little less red, white and blue. And there's no spandex. Spandex has left the building."