TV these days is all about ‘prestige’. People love nuanced, cinematic sagas that explore identity, morality, and the depth of human experience. Frankly? That shit sucks. I don’t watch TV to think about or feel things. I watch TV because I want to be entertained, and there is nothing more entertaining than a bunch of ridiculously muscular people in leotards smacking the tar out of each other with padded sticks.
While we might deny it, we all understand on some level that American Gladiators and its Australian spin-off, Gladiators, were the pinnacle of television. Drama and intrigue make for captivating television, sure, but watching a man with the personality of a bulldozer and 10,000 distinctly visible individual muscles climb up a pyramid or whatever makes for just plain good television.
Ninja Warrior might show-off similar feats of human strength but it lacks the magic that made Gladiators so special. Ninja Warrior is about finesse, agility, dexterity, balance. Gladiators is about being a huge fucking unit. Ninja Warrior tries to makes the challenge seem cool and edgy. Gladiators was all about completely unselfconscious pizzazz, as if a 9-year-old boy had designed his ideal TV show.
Revivals have been tried in the past. Two seasons of American Gladiators were made in 2008, but they fizzled out. Gladiators had a run of 15 episodes in Australia in the same year and but was not renewed. They were missing one key ingredient: Seth Rogen as executive producer.
While this might seem like a completely random proposition, it’s one we’re facing, as yet another revival is being shopped around. As Deadline is reporting, MGM is shopping a reboot of the show around, with Seth Rogen and writing partner Evan Goldberg as executive producers and John Ferraro, who created the original series, involved in some capacity.
It’s difficult to imagine what specific flavour Seth Rogen would bring to an American Gladiators series that isn’t ‘all the competitors have to smoke weed now’, but let’s be honest here: that would rule.Image: YouTube