Ultimate Tag

New reality show on FOX. They’ve had a fairly dismal track record with these as of late (Masked Singer…shudder) but maybe a renewed emphasis on the competition aspect can turn things around. I’ve decided to cover the first two episodes in depth, and then I’ll keep this thread going if there’s interest.

Be warned that we’re going to be hearing a whole bunch of extremely badly misused words here, so much so that I can’t help but draw comparisons to this weirdo. Because of this, I’ve decided to keep a Homsar Tally of said badly misused words. Y’know, to see if it’s worse than American Ninja Warrior Junior or anything.

All right. May 20 premiere. The runtime is 58 minutes, so you know what that means…minute timestamps! :slight_smile:

0 - “I’m J.J. Watt, and welcome to the fastest, craziest, and most intense game you’ve ever seen.” It’s a pretty tall order to outdo Battlebots, but good luck. An announcer gives the usual sales pitch while we see a few teaser snippets of the action. Okay, guys, full disclosure: It’s like flag football. The contestants wear vests with little strips of cloth, which the taggers…the athletes playing for the house, in other words…have to yank off. The announcers are a trio of brothers, so I’m not going to try to differentiate between them just yet.

1 - “Rocket”? “The Flow”? Oh, I see, it’s like American Gladiators, where the house players, known as “Taggers”, go by cheesy fake names so they can get real jobs once this goes belly-up. As an added bonus, this effectively prevents the announcers from saddling them with ridiculous nicknames which are sprouting like weeds on ANWJ. Big thumbs-up! :smiley:

Wait…“big dose of crazy?” Uhhh, I don’t think that’s a desirable quality for a professional athlete. Or a reality show contestant. Or anyone I have to listen to for any length of time.

2 - The first time we hear The Catchphrase, “Don’t…get…caught.” It will not be the last.

Our first shot of the announcers. “To play Ultimate Tag, you need to be more than just fast, you need to be strategic and willing to sacrifice your body.” :dubious: Um…wouldn’t severely injuring yourself on purpose make it hard to keep playing? Score one for the Homsar Tally! “Lucky, we have a group of lunatics here who are extremely willing to sacrifice your body.” Make it two! Along with our first repetition of The Catchphrase.

Shot of our first contestants, Charlie White, Na’eem Walton, and Juvie Gonzales. Profiles! Charlie is on the national beach handball team! Na’eem has two daughters! Juvie just screamed directly into the camera, because I totally need that! :mad: Hey, at least they’re short.

4 - A look at our first game, Chase Tag. Big symmetrical arena with a whole bunch of stuff in it and the corners cut off. All three players enter at the same time, and one Tagger goes in, and play proceeds until he’s Tagged one of them. Then the second Tagger goes in and tags one of the remaining two. Then the third Tagger goes in and has a limited time to nail the remaining contestant. Erm…I’m already having misgivings over this one, but let’s see how it goes.

Brief cornarama intros of the Taggers, which are all royally stupid and not worth wasting keystrokes on. The ones for this contest are The Flow, Geek, and The Kid.

5 - Announcer reminds the contestants that they’re not a team, which is exactly what you need to relentlessly drill into athletes who have spent no time together and are wearing different-colored jerseys. :rolleyes: The Flow will be doing the honors for the opening round.

Game on! Na’eem goes one way; Charlie and Juvie go another. At the 8 second mark…I have no idea how they set these things, sorry…The Flow makes his grand entrance. He heads right to the corner where Charlie and Juvie are. Juvie makes a break! The Flow gives chase! He chases him to the opposite end! He’s still chasing! Chase, chase, chase! All of which time Charlie and Na’eem are completely off-screen and presumably doing the male athlete equivalent of filing their nails! Whole bunch 'o jumps, rolls, and slides later, The Flow ends it with a diving catch. The pursuit took 20 seconds. (Each tag is accompanied with the word TAG filling the whole damn screen, which I definitely think is a bit much.) The announcers declare “Superman! Superman!” HT 3 now!

Geez… :(:smack: This was EXACTLY what I was afraid of. Three contestants in the arena, one of whom can and must be eliminated, meaning that the order of finish depends entirely on who the Tagger decides to go after. If you can’t envision how this could lead to fixes or even outright corruption, you haven’t followed sports lately.

Geek’s turn. He goes after Na’eem for whatever reason. Charlie scoots out of sight, which turns out to be a pointless measure as the pursuit doesn’t last 5 seconds. It looks like Na’eem just quietly accepted his fate.

Now it’s Charlie all alone against the Kid, who enters at 1:12. If he can survive to the two minute mark, he earns a BWWAAAHHHH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!! I’m sorry, that’s just…48 seconds? The other contestants combined lasted for about an NBA shot clock, any you expect that other pathetic amateur to outmaneuver an athlete who was actually trained for this for that long? American Gladiators at least had a variety of contests, so there was a chance of finding the house player’s weakness and scoring the upset. Charlie ain’t beatin’ The Kid at his own game. And he doesn’t, succumbing to defeat at 1:27, not even close.

7 - Standard ANW-style postmatch bull session, whereupon the announcer laments that “The Kid got you at the last second.” Uggggghhh. :smack: [And HT 4.]

8 - Shot of the leaderboard which has Charlie-3 Na’eem-2 and Juvie-1, which the narrator explains to a level normally associated with Mojo Jojo.

Now we get out first look at our female contestants, Sarah Hurley, Jessica Adams, and Lisa Parker. Sarah’s into MMA! Jessica is super competitive in basketball! Lisa is a former track star! Hey, that might actually be helpful! :slight_smile: Battling for the house’s honor are Flame, Beach Boy, and…Iron Giantess. Uhh. I don’t like five-syllable monikers in ANW and I don’t like them here. What’s wrong with just “Giantess”? Anyway, I’m calling her “IG” until I find a good reason not to.

All three contestants make a beeline for the same corner, which has a number of possible implications, but I’m going with “will make no freaking difference”. Flame trots in and stops to wave at the crowd, which I sincerely hope she had to do. She’s sizing up her targets, still bunched up. At the 0:28 she almost casually says “Let’s go, ladies” and makes her move. All three run for it…and Sarah, being the slowest, quickly becomes the first victim at the 0:34 mark. Sheesh, I know you’re just some hopeless weekend warrior, but that was pretty sad.

Beach Boy…yes, we have house men competing against female contestants here, which is both refreshingly egalitarian and a really bad idea…burst in, does a few perfunctory chest-taps, does a front flip, and gets to work. The announcers acknowledge the latter by saying he “secured the package” or whatever [HT 5]. Lisa runs past him on the right (0:58), so he has to decide whether to pursue or switch targets, which will of course decide the round right there. He chooses the latter, and Jessica can do nothing but seethe as the inevitable happens at 1:11.

So all Lisa needs to do is escape the HA HA HA HA HA HA HA dead at 1:41.

13 - Lisa says that she accidentally stepped on IG’s foot, whereupon the announcer says “Yeah, when I punch her it’s not intentional” :eek: [HT 6] and godDAMN, I don’t even want to know what cesspool he dragged that out of. And of course Sarah proclaims that if she met Flame in a fight she would have won. And if her aunt was here, you’d kick her testicles clear into orbit, am I right? :rolleyes: You know, it’s not a good sign when you’re a cipher on a reality show and I actively start rooting for you to lose. Lisa-3, Jessica-2, Sarah-1.

Off to commercial! It’s dynamic, traumatic, and downright dangerous! HT 7!

16 - After the second contest, the lowest-scoring contestants on the male and female side will be eliminated, thereby following in the proud Titan Games tradition of not waiting until the end of the episode to take a damn chainsaw to the roster. So, what bit of goldensnitchery do we have on tap to ensure that Juvie and Sarah have a prayer?

It’s Dodge Tag, which “can bring the toughest competitors to their knees”, which I think means there’s a high risk of ankle injury. All three contestants compete at once but have separate lanes to run. Two taggers, who must stay within certain zones, patrol all three lanes. The object is to run to the end and hit the button without being Tagged, each press being worth 1 point. They can make as many attempts as they want within the 2:00 time limit (replacing any lost strips) but must return to the start after each attempt. Guh…remember my previous concerns about potential match fixing? Throw unlimited scoring potential and the taggers having already seen the contestants in action. The Boss and La Flair do the honors for the men’s side.

17 - An extremely confusing melee with bodies flying in all directions and constant epilepsy-warning camera transitions where I have absolutely no freaking idea what’s going on at any time ever ensues.

19 - After some nonsense about scoring three touchdowns [HT 8]. The Boss calls the contestants the “boys”, which draws a chorus of ohhhs from the crowd for some weird reason. On to the scoreboard, and exit Mojo Jojo, enter Sesame Street. :smack: Juvie, with a paltry 2 points, is quietly knocked out.

21 - Women’s turn. IG steps up, accompanied by Atomic Ant, or “AA”, because why do you need four syllables, dangit.

23 - A whole bunch more incomprehensible action later, Sarah compares IG to King Kong, and add “doesn’t know any references from after the 30’s” to her ever-growing list of faults. She’s on the bottom with 4 points, and television audience everywhere rejoice to the fact that they’ll never have to listen to her again.

25 - Quickie preview of Dome Tag where “there’s nowhere to hide”, in stark contrast to the myriad of safe spots in the first two contests. :rolleyes:

29 - And here it is, a small jungle-gym style dome with a flat bottom suspended in midair. This is a one-on-one contest, one contestant and one Tagger. “WITH NO HARNESS”, which would be plenty terrifying were it not for the extremely thick mat immediately below. :rolleyes: The contestants face a total of three Taggers in turn, trying to last as long as possible before losing all three strips. An important note is that once a strip is removed, it stays off, meaning that defensive technique could come into play in the later rounds.

Charlie is up, the first round being against Caveman. They go in and out, around and around, but at the 0:36 mark Charlie just kind of loses a gear, and the left back strip is gone. The Boss is up next. She looks indecisive for a bit, but soon the chase is on. After a pretty good run, Charlie surrenders the front strip to an inside-to-out reach. The Kid is last, and Charlie hangs from the bottom of the dome…a questionable tactic given that the Taggers all have considerable upper-body training, and if you can’t pull yourself back up, you’re toast. All things considered Charlie doesn’t do too badly, but he still gives in to the inevitable at the 2:31 mark.

32 - Na’eem takes the dome along with adversary #1, Geek, and…unh. Bad. Very bad. Na’eem just kind of shuffles from side to side, allowing Geek to slide straight in and claim the first strip in just 7 seconds. “I think that was the fastest tag in the history of Ultimate Tag!” And in the very first episode, too! :smack::rolleyes::smack: Next is Banshee, who I will most definitely remember to mute the next time the camera is on her. :mad: (I hate this.) A little runaround on the upper layer later, Na’eem finds himself two down with just 30 seconds elapsed. It’s a good thing this announce crew doesn’t have a thing for soooo clooooose finishes, because there sure as hell isn’t going to be one here. :frowning: Big Deal steps in to close it out. Na’eem does the same bottom-hang Charlie did in his third round…doesn’t go much of anywhere, and goes down at 1:25.

34 - Interviewer asks Na’eem if he had a plan coming in, whereupon he responds with the familiar Mike Tyson quote about everyone having a plan until they get hit. And…ah…geez, I’ve never gotten this one. What was Iron Mike getting at? That you should just wing it? That you should have a bunch of plans? That you should use dependable algorhythms? What??

35 - Scoreboard up, and I’m not even going to try to make sense of this anymore. Charlie ahead, Na’eem behind.

39 - “While we were away??” WHILE WE… :mad::mad::mad::mad: Dammit! :mad: For those of you who don’t watch ANW, this is a feature by which whoever’s in charge of programming decisions deliberately makes the contest too long to fit into the time slot, and then reduces and entire freaking event to a bunch of highlights. Ridiculous under any circumstances, but in a contest as fast-paced as this, it’s…it’s just…aaaaaaggh! :mad: This is no way to make a reality show! Anyway, the eviscerated event in question was Revenge Tag, which has the women running around a maze, and someone or other wins more points or something. The series premiere, dammit. :mad:

40 - And just like that we’re at the final contest…excuse me, the ULTIMATE SHOWDOWN, which is appropriate as I’d rather listen to Homestar Runner or a wagon full of pancakes than some of these people. (Jessica actually says “go hard or go home”, apparently in the belief that sports cliches do so add legitimacy to a contest. :rolleyes:) Oh, and the grand prize is $10,000, which seems pretty meager for the amount of work done.

Lessee…run around the loopy course, try to avoid the Taggers, hit the plunger…one at a time, contestant ahead on points gets a time advantage. It’s just like the final contest in American Gladiators, minus the head to head. Or the props. Or the variety of tasks. But there is an intriguing twist…no timer! In fact, neither contestant will know his or her time until completing the course! I know exactly why they did this, to ensure that everyone will run hard all the way and we’ll get the same amount of action regardless of how big a mismatch it is…and…I like this! :slight_smile: Let’s do it! Defending the course are Spitfire and Banshee.

Lisa goes first. She lags badly on a ramp and meekly surrenders a strip to the pursuing Spitfire. Now she has to get past Banshee…pauses, stutter-steps, and goes right…which works! Finishes in 1:10, bumped up to 1:13 due to the point spread.

Now it’s just Jessica and the course…and a Tagger switch, which absolutely no one mentioned. Great production values, guys. :rolleyes: Flame is the pursuer. Jessica sets a good pace to start but slows down near the end of the floor, and Flame does her duty. The final section is guarded by AA, who quickly takes care of business as Jessica is on her last breath at this point. Final climb…and she loses a shoe. Consider the coffin nailed; even with no timer, anyone can see that she’s done for. (Lisa! You’ll find out when we find out, all right?) A bedraggled Jessica makes it official…1:43, and Lisa scores a blowout.

45 - No, there isn’t some greater prize at stake. Ten grand is all she gets.

49 - Prematch interviews! Na’eem mentions his daughters! Charlie is not going into cruise control, whatever that means! We hear The Catchphrase…wow, is it really just the third time tonight? I was kinda expecting much worse.

50 - Na’eem faces La Flair and Bulldog. Um…buddy, if you were shooting for “your worst nightmare”, I don’t think an animal which the University of Georgia regularly introduces little girls to was the best choice. Just sayin’. Na’eem runs with a sense of urgency…man, he’s determined! It’s almost a shame when La Flair does the inevitable just yards from safety. Bulldog has a simpler task, almost casually matching him step-for-step before reaching and getting. Na’eem, undaunted, powers the rest of the way up and finishes with an excellent 0:54, which becomes 0:59 after factoring points.

The Flow and Geek will be opposing Charlie…right after this last commercial break. :confused::mad:

55 - Game on! For real this time! Charlie isn’t setting a fast pace, and a strategic front flip by Flow nets him the first strip. Charlie picks up the pace…leaping up a step to get past Geek! A pair of lunges miss the mark, and Charlie is making the final ascent! He’s up! The plunger is down! Final time, 0:42! The announcer notes that this was a wire-to-wire victory, which is something I think we’d better get used to.

Well, that was…a bunch of things. Same time next episode.

I guessed what this would be about from the thread title, having seen a similar show before. Knew I wouldn’t enjoy the show. Clicked anyway because I thought I’d enjoy your write-up - was not disappointed. Kudos for that, and perhaps even more so for sticking with it for an hour!

Cool, thanks! :slight_smile: These writeups have kinda become my thing on the SDMB now, and I’m cool with it. Grumbling about politics or video games was fun for a while, but now it’s just old.

Out of curiosity, what was this similar show (I’ve seen nothing), and what don’t you like about this one? Y’know, besides the obvious. (“While we were away.” Good lord.)

DKW: Out of curiosity, did you catch the Titan Games? I watched some (on mute while playing a board game online) and some of the contests looked interesting.
(tug of war with a lot of extra rope and a weight in the middle – and the contestants are on platforms that can tip over)

Brian

I caught tonight’s episode. It almost seems like there could be an interesting game there, if they got rid of all the bullshit posturing and chest-thumping.

Have none of these people played Pac-Man? You wait until the ghosts are right on top of you before you eat the power pellet, that way they’re nearby when they become vulnerable. So why don’t the players in Revenge Tag do the same thing? Wait by the button and lure the tagger close, then press the button and tag him. In 1980, millions of twelve-year-olds mastered this strategy.

May 27 episode! The intro tries its darndest to portray the Taggers as these evil terrors. I remember the old Knights and Warriors show (probably my favorite of all the American Gladiators-style athletic cheesefests) and how no matter how hard I tried, I just never could buy the Warriors as villains. They struck me as wannabe goths who occasionally made stupid mistakes. Heck, nowadays a lot of popular jocks are far more evil in reality than any of the Warriors ever were. The highlight of the intro is Horse proudly proclaiming “You seal ow affie dag rai dao!” Grant McCartney couldn’t have put it any better. I’m really, really thinking that these shows need to start looking into subtitles…

1 - “I used to be bigger and stronger than my younger brothers but now…hey, I’m still bigger and stronger!” :rolleyes: And with that, I declare the announcers completely useless. (Anyone who wants to argue that with me, go right ahead. Don’t everyone get up at once.)

Our men’s contestants, Devon Drew in blue, Austin Santie in red, and Thurman Brown in green take the floor. Devon does prank videos with his brother. Austin is a washed-up quarterback. Thurman plays tag daily, which helps, and is known as the “Thurmanator”, which doesn’t. :rolleyes: Seriously, enough with just slapping “ator” on a random word and calling it a nickname. That’s even lazier than “Papal Ninja”.

3 - The opener is, as always, Chase Tag. Kicking things off is Bulldog, who assures us that he’s “your worst nightmare”. Chap, you’re maybe a hundredth as scary as John Rambo. Stop it. This is getting embarrassing. Second is La Flair, and third is newbie Horse, who proclaims “This isn’t my first rodeo…but it’ll be your last.” Given that one-third of the roster gets automatically eviscerated after two contests because Battle Royale has as much of an iron grip on this type of contest as anudda wun bi da dus has on more conventional reality shows, that doesn’t sound particularly menacing. Can’t kill what’s already dead, bucko!

All three runners head for the same corner, which is a…good tactic? Bad tactic? Whatever, it’s a tactic, stop being an ingrate! :wink: Bulldog makes a beeline for the trio and immediately keys in on Thurman, who’s standing in the front. Yeah, might want to rethink that in the future. But Bulldog spreads his arms and gives a brief reprieve, and Thruman makes a break for it. A little scrambling, and Bulldog switches targets to Austin. He’s got…no, swing and a miss! But a couple seconds later Austin falls, and his run is done. La Flair bounds in, giving the announcers the opportunity to tongue-bathe a grossly overrated basketball star whose last championship was 22 years ago! :mad: (Seriously, the world will not come to a freaking end if you acknowledge the existence of other megastar athletes.) He briefly goes after Thurman, but he twists away, and La Flair immediately turns his attention to Devon. Thurman rather unwisely moves toward Devon, but it makes no difference as La Flair stays focused and eventually claims a blue strip. (Someday I really want to see candid interviews of these house athletes just to know what the heck they’re thinking during this contest, as I certainly can’t tell.) Then Horse gallops in and does the inevitable.

6 - Huh. It really is harder to talk with a mouthguard. Absolutely no other useful insight came out of the grilling of Thurman, so I’ll take what I can get. Austin blathers about touchdowns. Bulldog reminds me of Good Janet trying to mimic Bad Janet on The Good Place. Just incredibly awkward.

7 - Women’s turn. Alikona Bradford in blue, Aisha “Zaza” Baum (not 100% sure of this) in red, and Erycka Fischer in green. Alikona got into physical stuff to cope with shyness. Aisha had to overcome a lot. Erycka is a track star who most definitely does not wear yoga pants. Also giving money to kids. :rolleyes: Taggers are IG, AA, and Big Deal. (I’m a bit iffy about the name “Atomic Ant”, and not just because of the length. She doesn’t look that tiny to me. Heck, if I’m being brutally honest, she looks like a perfectly average woman with a lot more muscle. “Hare” or “Ferret” would’ve been more appropriate.)

9 - Announcer helpfully informs the ladies that they are not a team, because that is something that definitely needed reiterating (:rolleyes:…probably :mad: too, but definitely :rolleyes:), and here we go.

Contestants are completely bunched up as IG hits the course. If this is some “I don’t have to be faster than the bear, I just have to be faster than you” thing, it strikes me as a roll of the dice, but let’s see. IG gets within a few yards…stops…taunts (uh oh…)…ponders…hey, I know you’re doing that WWE knockoff thing, but we’re on the clock here. Finally, the chase begins in earnest at the 22 second mark. Lots of scrambling and tumbling. Alikona stumbles, but IG can’t close the gap. Alikona leaps a barrier and stumbles again, but IG is out of position and switches targets to Erycka. She goes over a barrier and lands awkwardly; it looked like she tweaked something in her left leg. Uh oh. We’re past the 1:50 mark, and IG makes another bad leap over an obstacle. She’s clearly dragging now, all three targets well out of reach. Oh, look, bonus points for some reason! :rolleyes: IG is barely jogging now. I definitely heard “This is crap”…and…SHE QUITS! SHE JUST STEPS OVER THE BARRIER AND WALKS AWAY!

More on that later, but for now, Big Deal tries to salvage something out of this mess. He sensibly focuses on the weakest link, Alikona, and dispatches her in short order. Now Atomic Ant’s turn, who immediately targets Erycka. Nice maneuvering, but she’s not getting away, quickly hitting a dead end and surrendering a strip. Now the Taggers need a substitute, so Bulldog punches in for double duty, bringing this to a merciful end at 4:44.

13 - A much different attitude from IG, who, after her crushing humiliation, whimpers halfhearted congratulations to her conquerors. Hey, Lead Giantbutt, maybe next time actually practice the damn course so you don’t look like a dying fish out there and can actually do your damn job. You’re not a fitness camp counselor setting the bar and pushing kids to do their best, you represent THE HOUSE, and you are supposed to BEAT the contestants at YOUR GAME, something EVERY OTHER TAGGER has managed to do so far. Making dumb moves, getting hurt, and quitting is absolutely damning.

Skipping Dodge Tag because I still can’t follow it for crap, although Bulldog gets to use the word “dogpile” a bunch of times, which is always a plus. :rolleyes: Devon and XXXXX get shown the door.

30 - We get our first complete look at Revenge Tag. One Tagger and one contestant run through a tight, tricky maze. Under “normal” conditions, the contestant is vulnerable. At certain points there are towers, each with a button; when it starts glowing, the contestant can hit the button, whereupon the Tagger becomes vulnerable for 10 seconds, during which the contestant can claim his strip. More than any other contest, this one demands course awareness and the ability to think on the run (and yes, it is like Pac-Man and similar maze games).

31 - “I bet you can’t get him in less than 30 seconds.” Oh, of all the… :mad::mad::mad::mad: GET THIS CRAP OUT OF HERE. UNLESS YOU ARE ACTUALLY PUTTING MONEY ON IT, SHUT THE ************ UP!!! :smack: Haaahhhhh…

Thurman and The Flow hit the maze. Thurman is hustling to stay out of reach. The center tower lights up! Thurman goes for it…and The Flow backs off. Thurman hits the button, and geez, this is the house, 10 seconds is not going to be enough. The Flow toys with him a bit, and it’s back to the chase. Another tower lights! The Flow charges hard to beat him to it…not in time! Now Thurman is really close to victory…briefly. Thurman seems to be running out of gas, and The Flow ends it shortly afterward.

Now it’s Austin against Big Deal. The center tower lights up, and Big Deal backs off. Austin hits the buzzer…and nothing, the tower just shuts off! Was it an equipment malfunction? But another tower is soon up. Austin tries to reel in his foe…and overshoots the tower! “Are you nuts?” Yeah, insulting the contestants, just what a fledgling reality show needs. :mad: Austin goes after a third tower, and Big Deal makes a run for it…nothing doing. More mockery of Austin’s abilities. :smack: Austin’s on the run again while the revenge timer is still at 2. Center tower up! The Big Deal tries to get the tag first…and doesn’t! He gambled and lost! Austin is right on him and, despite a very pretty spin, he can’t escape. The contest doesn’t end until the contestant goes down, so The Kid takes the course. Two revenges pass without incident, and the contest passes the two minute mark, bringing in la Flair. Austin does a phenomenal job staying alive against two tenacious pursuers, lasting until 2:21 before giving in to the inevitable.

Both contingents only do one contest before the final, so the women have Dome Tag…which, naturally, got bumrushed to a lame highlight reel. :rolleyes:

42 - On to Ultimate Super Grand Run of Fateful Determination or whatever. Aisha succumbs to Beach Boy with little resistance and quietly succumbs to Banthisaggravaringloudmouthfromtelevisionplease. In an attempt at an adjustment or whatever, the running time is posted on the screen, but only for the first two thirds or so of the run. Not sure what this is supposed to accomplish and won’t bother doping it out. She punches in at 1:14. (Both point spreads were insignificant, so I’m not noting them.) Erycka does a very nice job evading The Geek, who comes up empty in finals for the second week in a row, then comes up short against Dynamite (another first-timer), but still hits the plunger at 1:00. Erycka wins, everyone gets ice cream, etc.

51 - Thurman gets really close to evading Big Deal but loses out literally on the final platform. Now Rocket (another first-timer), who de-strips him with zero resistance. 53 seconds, solid but far from unbeatable. Austin…

56 - …after yet another Most Stupidly Place Commercial Break Ever :mad: is ready to go. He gives up too much ground to The Kid, then takes a bad fall, and doesn’t even try to avoid Spitfire. Another stumble on the beam! He hits the plunger, the time…59 seconds. He looked like he had a real chance, but the two big mistakes were simply too much to overcome.

Aside: Is it just me, or are there too many house players here? On American Gladiators (and to a lesser extent Knights and Warriors), they needed a variety of skills…the big steel ball expert, the cannon expert, the jousting stick expert, etc. Even more so since the contest was rigidly divided among gender lines. Here…how many skills are there, really? Run, jump, climb, slide, grab? Wouldn’t, say, ten be plenty? I don’t think you want to be wasting money here.

Mostly I find this bare-bones. A bunch of stuff happens, someone wins a bit of money, rinse and repeat next week with a new crop of hopefuls. There’s nothing grand here, no way to develop any real superstars, and very few chances for surprises. This looks exactly like a low-budget filler that Fox will gladly drop in a heartbeat the moment the knives come out. I’ll do ONE more episode (not a full recap since I don’t care enough to put in the effort again), and then you all can do whatever you want with this thread.

What’s with these giant wall of text posts? Way way way TL;DR. They are way too long and disrupt the flow of the thread. We watched the show, we don’t need a transcript of it posted here.

In the UK, Channel 4 bought the rights to screen the World Tag Championships last year - here is one article on the subject: Tag escapes playground as Channel 4 pursues viewers with new show | Television | The Guardian. It seems this was a largely British endeavour, probably not screened in the US, the difference between the two being that there were no ‘house’ players, just contestants competing against each other. I didn’t watch much of it as it didn’t really hold my interest.

As for what I don’t like about it, my gut reaction is that “it’s silly” - but really, nearly all sports are “silly” when it comes down to it, and I enjoy watching nearly all other sports on TV, so why not this one? Thinking about it, I wonder if it’s the artificiality of it. I mean, with a sport like track and field, the objective is simple and ancient - you’re trying to run the fastest (objection: what about hurdles? Answer: that’s realistic, sometimes if you’re out running somewhere you might need to jump over stuff on the way). Or throw the thing the furthest. Or jump the highest (objection: what about pole vault? Answer: that’s fair, thousands of years ago someone must have worked out that you can jumo over a higher thing if you use a stick to help). Or jump the farthest (objection: what about triple jump? Answer: yeah OK, that one is a bit silly, too).

Similarly, in combat sports you are just trying to defeat your opponent - OK, they have all evolved (mainly to reduce the risk of serious injury/death) but fundamentally they are a basic animal instinct.

Ball sports are a bit more arcane but in most cases they started out as trying to get a ball from one end of a pitch to the other, again they have evolved massively but you can see where they came from. Plus you have the element of skilled manipulation of other implements (e.g. balls, bats, racquets, and in the case of contact sports, other humans).

Now, tag does come from a similar base of hunting instincts, but really, if you want a competition for who can catch and ‘kill’ someone the quickest, sports like rugby and gridiron already have that covered. If you remove the ball and tell people to chase each other, then you basically just have a running race, but that already exists, too. So you have to introduce all these artificial barriers into the arena in order to make it a sport, but basically it still comes down to who is the fittest. They’re just (presumably - and in one case, evidentially, according to episode 2) people who didn’t quite make it at established sports.

So anyway, I think that’s how I make sense of my objection on a fundamental level. Then once you add all the silliness that you have so wonderfully described, it becomes unwatchable, for me. And I say that as someone who enjoys shows like Gladiators and Ninja Warrior, but this difference with those, again, is with the fact the contestants are competing against the obstacles, and you can objectively determine who does that the best. Whereas in tag, as you have again described, the results seem too subjective to be called sport, but not entertaining enough to be called art.

No, we didn’t - I would 100x rather spend 5 minutes reading DKW’s write-up of the show than waste 60 minutes watching this drivel :).

Definitely disagree. I made it 15 minutes watching the first episode before I bailed to watch paint dry but I’ve read both of the summaries since they are at least entertaining unlike the show.

faync1, if you don’t want to read a post, then don’t read it. You don’t need to tell us about how you’re not reading it.

(I thought I had posted this before; apparently not)

You posted it in the other thread where faync1 complained about the same thing.

It’s not about wanting to read it or not, it’s about the shear length of it. Especially trying to read the thread on a phone, I have to scroll through screens and screens of these posts, trying to not miss the end of them, to find posts that I might want to read. It makes the entire thread very difficult to read and to find posts that I want to read, and ruins the whole thread.

You can’t exactly say it ruins/disrupts the threads when the walls-o-text come in the original post from tge original poster. They are the thread. I’d ask you to give him a little slack, since he is a fellow Son of Zorn fan.

Umm, oh. Your right. Sorry, I retract.

I like that the fluff to stuff ratio seems better than titan games, and it isn’t single elimination, but the point total bonus seems super inconsequential, and chase tag seems basically random. Also unfortunate is that dome tag and revenge tag seem like the best two games, and one of them seems to always get while we were away’d.

Dead Cat - I’ve become convinced that the American reality TV machine, on a fundamental level, just cannot skillfully adapt a quirky idea from an overseas market. There will always be that element which will warp it into the reality mold and just ruin it. Look at The Masked Singer, possibly the most unwatchable reality show in history due to its endlessly overbearing judges. Given that Ultimate Tag is such a simple concept, the only thing that would make it really work is we have a contrast of body types and styles…Does he like to do flashy jumps? Does he go for cover? Does he stick to straight lanes?..over a series of tasks. Instead it’s the top-level athletes who’ve trained for this vs. the non-top-level athletes who haven’t. Not much drama there.

I will say that one thing that would make Dodge Tag much better would be if we could see the whole field at once. Anyone who follows football will tell you that all the different matchups in the different parts of the field are the main reason football is such a great spectator sport. When there’s so much going on at once, it really helps to be able to see all the players, so the viewers can focus on what they want at any given time. It’d also help illustrate what the Taggers’ strategy is, when they decide to commit, who they target.

Darren Garrison - A fan? A fan??? Oh dear gods. Son of Zorn was an abomination. The reason I tried to get a discussion going was to see if anyone realized how royally messed up it was. Here.

Yup, I think this is it in a nutshell.

This, exactly. I’m reminded of Gordon Ramsay’s “Kitchen Nightmares,” which had both a UK and a US version.

The UK version came first. It was low-key, but entertaining. Ramsay (more likely, his producers) finds a UK restaurant that is in need of his help. Ramsay tries the food, finds it wanting, talks to the owner/manager/chef, who is invariably in over his/her/their head, and would appreciate Ramsay’s help. He talks with the staff, finds out what the restaurant is good at, what it is poor at, and proceeds to concentrate on the pluses, while getting rid of the minuses. He teaches the chef to cook dishes that are simple, tasty, fresh, and within the chef’s capabilities. The chef is happy to have Ramsay’s help, though there are a few mild bumps and arguments, but Ramsay eventually convinces the chef Iin a friendly, caring way) that his advice is good advice. He may remark upon the decor–could use a coat of paint, or maybe getting rid of the 1970s furniture–but he works with what he has. Overall, the important point to the UK version is the food, the cleanliness, and the service at the restaurant in question.

Then we got the US version. It was over the top. Ramsay’s producers found restaurants that could use his help, most times due to owners/managers/chefs that were dysfunctional somehow. Episodes focused on their alcoholism, or inability to handle money, or marital/family problems, or some other personal difficulty that prevented them from running a successful restaurant. In many cases, they didn’t really want Ramsay’s help, but were pushed into it by a spouse or staff member.

Ramsay did try the food, found it wanting, and demonstrated how to cook dishes that were fresh and flavorful to the chefs, but then “Ramsay’s Design Team” came in to do a total makeover of the decor. Once that was in place, some sort of community event–handing out food from the restaurant to people at a local festival or celebration, for example–took place. Overall, the important point to the US version is the conflicts that occur, over the food, the service, the cleanliness, and the decor, followed by some sort of big event to celebrate the reopening.

The end goal may have been the same, but the approaches were totally different. It was almost as if the US producers said, “Well, the UK version is fine, but we’ll need lots of conflict and rebuilding and community involvement for the US version.” My own feeling is that if the US producers had stuck to the UK formula, the show would have been far more entertaining. “Warping it into the US reality mold,” did indeed, ruin it.

Made a typo, but missed the edit window…

Good post, another good example.