Sometimes I find myself watching shows and I think to myself "Oh, dear lord, this show is so clearly aimed at dudes, why am I enjoying this?" And yet, Deadliest Warrior has totally sucked me in, because it's exactly the sort of stupid geeky debate that guys like me had when we were in our teens. Except that now they've got "experts" and a computer program (named Slytherin!) to try to determine the "real" winner. It's ridiculous and stupid, and yet I can't stop watching it if I come across it on the tv. I didn't even know I wanted to know who would win in a fight between the Green Barrets and the Spetsnaz, but once the show started, I had to find out.
It's like Mythbusters meets History Channel meets teen boy "who would win a fight" debates.
I want to see them pit Amazons against someone, though. I know that the Amazons are one of those groups where there's less fact than fiction to the myth, but, hell, they put ninjas vs. Spartans up, and ninjas are completely fictitious in the way they showed them, so why not pit the Amazons against someone?
I also find it interesting to note who I end up liking and disliking in this show. During the Green Barret vs. Spetsnaz episode, I ended up finding the Spetsnaz guy sort of humorous and likable, even though, you know, he's a trained killer. The Green Barret guys just came across as overly macho assholes, and I found myself rooting against them. Which is weird to me, because it's not like either group lacked testosterone. If there was any more chest beating or posturing, they'd have had to pull their dicks out to compare. Which I'm pretty sure would have made it no longer Spike TV material.
This fits into a larger conversation that I've been having and thinking about for a while, but I'm still sort of working out and fleshing out, about violence and the media. Here's a show that airs at 3 in the afternoon on Saturdays, where they spend the whole time talking about and demonstrating how deadly various weapons are. They test the weapons on pig corpses, impale test dummies, and then, at the end, they have a simulation of a battle, and one guy/team dies at the end. It's a pretty violent show (as if the title alone wasn't indication enough). On the one hand, as I've already stated, I find it fascinating. On the other, it does seem a little fucked up that it's presented as regular old Saturday afternoon entertainment. Like "Hey, let's watch dudes kill each other, and find out which of these two guys is the more deadly fighter!" And, honestly, I found a couple of the matchups a little... I don't know...
Taliban vs. IRA? Maybe not super cool. I don't think that many people have an actual investment in Spartan vs. Ninja or Pirate vs. Knight, but there are people alive today who've lost friends and relatives to the activities of the IRA and the Taliban. It just seems insensitive, at the very least.
Anyway, welcome to my new guilty pleasure: a show on Spike TV of all things.
And, since I finally watched Funny Games, I hope to eventually get a post up about the violence thing, in more depth. Eventually.