Sunday, July 24, 2011
American TV: Answering questions you never needed to know the answer to since 1952
Luckily for us, there are individuals who have. Strange, obsessed individuals with a lot of money at their disposal.
I've been watching and loving it for an age but feel that I need to mention one of the single greatest TV shows to be exported from the U.S. of States, namely Deadliest Warrior. For those of you who haven't been witness to this absolute delight of a show, it is - for all intents and purposes - the biggest and most expensive game of Top Trumps you'll ever see.
Under the guise of being documentary television, the show takes warriors from history and each episode pits like against (vague) like - I.e. warriors from the roughly the same point in history, if not the same continent.
The first half of the show is spent analysing each combatants weaponry in graphic detail. If they're not razing the fuck out of ballistics dummies, they're slicing through so many pig carcasses it's as though the hosts are trying to save us all from swine flu from pig at a time. Let's get this straight - the hosts must REALLY hate pigs. They use the excuse that they're almost identical to humans when it comes to skin and muscle for weapons testing, but I suspect they're stacking them all up for a huge end of season barbeque.
The show concludes, once all the relative advantages/disadvantages of the weaponry have been calculated, with the data being put through a computer (an Alienware laptop, which they point out every week) and run 1000 times. The end result is re-enacted on screen so you can see the overall winner. This footage is ridiculously over the top and more than likely spattered with incredible amounts of gore.
The hosts are all smart educated men who really should know better; Geoff Desmoulin (biomedical scientist), Dr. Arman Dorian (medical consultant) and show creator Max Geiger (amusing referred to as a 'Computer Whiz', which is an expression I haven't heard since the eighties. They might as well call him a 'Super ElectroBoffin'). They might all have various medical degrees and karate belts between them, but it doesn't stop them whooping like drunken idiots every time a sword is slashed through Porky Pigs dead face or a flamethrower is orgasmically spurted over some helpless vietcong soldier puppets. They're all having an absolute whale of a time, and frankly I don't blame them.
We've had an interesting selection of Deadliest Warriors so far; Green Beret versus Spetsnaz (in which - SPOILER - the Spetsnaz won, surprisingly for an American made show), Nazi Waffen versus Viet Cong, Viking versus Samurai, Ming Warrior versus French Musketeer, etc, (no Kramer versus Kramer or Godzilla versus Mecha-Godzilla yet - give it time though) but Season One ended up in an absolute cracker that was never shown on British television - possibly one of the most tasteless ideas in American television history since somebody decided to give Glenn Beck a job - in the form of The IRA (constantly referred to in the longhand "Irish Republican Army" throughout the show) versus The Taliban. Honestly, I'd strongly recommend you seek this episode out. It'll give you a great indication into how utterly preposterous the show is, but how stupidly addictive and watchable it is too.
I'd been watching it again because Season 3 is about to start, and looks like it might be taking an interesting twist for the season finale - Vampires versus Zombies. The first one to ever hit fictional entities, I'm surprised by how they'll achieve this one. No matter how they do it, it can't be any stupider than any episode of it I've seen so far.
But it's still awesome. Muzzle velocity, entry/exit wound gun porn and all.