Basically it’s a Summer special with a curious Battle of the Network Stars element and the only real connection to American Glads is that each team of celebs you’ve not heard of (and Mario Lopez) is coached by a Gladiator and it’s got the referee. There is some genuine athleticism in the Eliminator to be fair, although there is also finding a ball amongst 3,000 balloons.
Day two of what the nation is calling Hot Week At Bother’s Bar that we’ve just decided is A Thing, and thanks to Holger for bringing this up on the Discord yesterday, one of many American Gladiators knock-offs that were popular in US syndication in the early to mid-90s (to make, it sounds like nobody actually watched half of them), this one’s set on a Californian beach (and nails that aesthetic to be fair) and has a pretty great theme tune featuring a bit of Eurodance and a warbling woman (“Beach Claaaaash!”) you just don’t get nowadays.
The Glads in this case are called the Hardbodies, and it’s different to Glads in that a) they team up with the regular contestants and b) get a much easier ride than the regular contestants. The games start off mildly Run-the-Gauntlety but aren’t all that great really (and in the case of the jetski races completely unfollowable), becoming a bit sub-It’s a Knockout but they are at least quite quick. Here’s the first part of an episode (it cold opens into a game, don’t worry you haven’t missed the theme), the rest should be simple to find.
I hope you’re all enjoying HEATAGEDDON, you might be interested to note that Challenge TV (it will always be Challenge TV, even though it’s just been called Challenge for the best part of 20 years) is repeating Britain’s Favourite Strategic Quiz Cash Trapped weekdaily from 6pm tonight.
As it’s hot it’s time for our almost annual visit to the Desert Forges, or the Quebecioise Les Forges du Desert today, probably the most successful version of the format in that it got not one but TWO series. At least it’s much easier to empathise with doing stuff in those temperatures, although the heat in the desert would at least be dry so in many ways they’re better off.
Can’t be bothered to wait until 8:10-ish for your weekly dose of Fort Boyard and Toujours Plus Fort on a Saturday evening? The France 2 website uploads them from 6am on Saturday morning. You’ll still need a VPN though.
Bother’s Bar’s favourite 7/10 Saturday evening quiz The Hit List is back tonight, with civilian contestants to boot, 7:10pm (it’s like they know) on BBC One.
The latest chapter in the Bother’s Bar Film Club is Most Dangerous Game, which I had only recently discovered was a fifteen part Quibi series which has been omnibussed and can currently be seen on Amazon Prime as a two-hour film.
In it, Liam Hemsworth, loser, is persuaded by Damon Killian (played by Christoph Waltz) to go on the run in a deadly game of cat and mouse around Detroit. He earns increasing amounts of money for every hour he stays alive, mainly for his wife and unborn child who have no idea what’s going on, but he can escape the game if he can survive twenty-four hours. There are five stalkers hunters after him, each with extremely one-dimensional character traits.
To be honest most of the plot points you can see from miles away and the script and the acting is largely pretty ropey, but there is fun to be had here in some of the set-ups and ideas which I shan’t spoil. Quite impressively for something that’s been put together from fifteen episodes of A Thing the joins are pretty well hidden – certainly nothing wrong with the pacing, and it doesn’t just feel like 15 vignettes stitched together.
If you’ve got Prime I think many of you reading this will basically enjoy it if not be blown away by it. Perhaps you would be interested in the 1920 short story by Richard Cornell it is loosely based on, and indeed seems to be the genesis for a lot of fiction where people get hunted for sport.
Edit: Right, there’s a 2022 version of the 1934 film coming out next month and it stars CT off of The Challenge.