TL;DR – This is part Fast and the Furious, part Ninja Warrior, part tyre-screech aficionado
love letter. What a fantastic idea, however, to make an idea work you need execution
and here is where it falls down.
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
Rarely in my life have I heard an idea that clicked as much as I did today “Ninja Warrior but with cars?” I mean
just think of that and your mind is racing through all the possibilities.
Indeed, watching that first episode it all started to click and then as that
episode went on I started to notice things not quite coming together and as the
rest of the season went on it was only compounded by one odd moment after
another. So today we are going to have a look at a show where there is this
interesting divide between ambition and execution.
Hyperdrive is a show all about
putting the cars and the experts that drive them to the extremes. The drivers
come from America, Brazil, Japan, and Europe and are absolute experts in their fields.
Now before we move on I do want to say none of the critiques I have are for the
drivers who are clearly doing an amazing job with what they have been given and
are clearly skilled technicians and experts in their fields. Each round they go
through a set of challenges like doing a reverse 360° turn in-between tight
penalty pylons or drifting your car back and forth along the sides chicane
trying to hit targets with the back end of your vehicle. All while wanting to
be the fastest because if you are too slow you are eliminated. As far as a
concept goes you have a winner here and there are a lot of touches that help add
to this, like putting the commentary booth over the top of the finish line, or
having the targets full of balls that fly out when they are hit, or the
industrial setting that really gels with the aesthetic of the race. However,
while there are these small touches and some interesting challenges it is soon
clear that there are some things that just have not translated as well as they
TL;DR – This is a breath of
fresh air in a crowded market that shines by showing the strength of people and
not my trying to tear them down.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
In Australia, it feels like if you want to make any new content you have two
choices Sport or Reality TV. Everything has to be designed around “Event TV’
that is television that you have to watch live so that you can be part of the
conversation the next day in the office. This has been done in the response of
shifting viewing habits of people away from traditional timeslots and TV
stations not knowing how to respond. In Australia that has meant that we are
inundated with one reality show after another, each jostling to try and be that
next event, often by scraping through the bottom of the barrel to see what is
underneath. For a viewer, this means that they take a concept and try and
stretch as much out of it as possible so it can fill as much of the schedule as
possible, and for a consumer, this is a real drag (and I assume it is no joy
for the people making it either). However, every now and again something will
break through the noise, and today I get the chance to look at just one such
show, even though it is a reality TV show on three times a week.
So to set the scene, if you have seen a reality competition show before then
you probably know what to expect here. Eight teams enter into a warehouse where
they battle in the challenge after challenge where some of them will be
eliminated until there is only one team left. The big change this time around
is that the arena where they are battling is not food, or singing, or being
married, at first sight, no it is building Lego creations. It is a show that
celebrates creativity, working under pressure, but also being part of a team,
and supporting them at each step of the way.
TL;DR – Another iteration and they have refined the formula even more and it works really well … also Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
There are many reasons people watch Beastmaster, for some, it is the athleticism, for other, it is the face plants into the water, and for some, it is the unique format of the multi-country multi-format show that only Netflix could pull off. This is the third iteration of the series and this time the format has been changed up, and we have new contestants, new obstacles, new countries, new hosts, and still one angry beast.
TL;DR – The second outing is a much more streamlined production, learning from the mistakes from the first season, but falls a bit in its casting.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
So at the start of the year a small little gem dropped on Netflix called Ultimate Beastmaster, a show clearly inspired by Ninja Warrior but with a big twist. This time around it was a multi-national competition with competitors and hosts from six different countries, with each country getting a different final cut. Some hailed it as the beginning for a new age of global television, I wouldn’t go that far, but it was a nifty concept. Well, it is the end of the year and Netflix has given us a little end of year surprise with Season 2 dropping much earlier than I expected it to. So today we are going to take a look at the highs and lows of Season 2 of Ultimate Beastmaster.
TL;DR – This was a lovely bunch of fun zany episodes, which are wisely only 10 minutes long each, so they never really outstay their welcome
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
So what would you do if when you were young your parents left in the back of a burrito track in mysterious circumstances abandoning you in a playground … and they didn’t even like burritos, well it might be searching for them your whole life until you decide to find a detective agency to help you, a detective agency that deals with aliens and one of its members has their brain in a jar.