196 total views, 3 views today
Muscles & Mayhem: An Unauthorized Story of American Gladiators Review 2023 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online
As “Muscles & Mayhem: An Unauthorized Story of American Gladiators” (2023 release; 5 episodes ranging from 36 to 46 min each) opens, we are reminded that American Gladiators ran from 1989 to 1996, and that it was a different world then (no smart phones; no streaming, etc.). We then go to “1987” as Johnny Ferraro comes up with the idea, but the transition from idea to actual TV show is easier said than done, as the pilot show is borderline disastrous… At this point we are 10 minutes into Episode 1.
Couple of comments: the mini-series comes on the heels of ESPN’s The American Gladiators Documentary. “Muscles & Mayhem” is co-directed by Tony Vainuku (Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist) and Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite). Here they reassess the TV ratings success that was American Gladiators. Not that the early years made it inevitable. In fact, American Gladiators was an “overnight success 4 years in the making” (my own words). The film makers were able to get a lot of the gladiators to participate including Nitro, Blaze, Gemini, Laser, etc.
Ample attention is given to the many injuries the gladiators kept incurring. And then there are the steroids. And let’s certainly not forget the mayhem that was the American Gladiators live tour in 1991-92. As American Gladiators was filmed in Los Angeles, we get a lot of footage from the late 80-early 90s and I could not believe how sleepy and unbusy the city looked in those days (30+ years ago). Bottom line: the episodes are quite short and it all breezes by quickly. This mini-series was entertaining for sure, but it really doesn’t bother to dig to deep. So with this mini-series and the recent ESPN documentary, I>’m still not sure that we’ve heard the definitive American Gladiators account.
“Muscles & Mayhem” premiered on Netflix last week. I just caught up on it. If you were a fan of American Gladiators, I’d readily suggest you check this out, and draw your own conclusion.