Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Ultimate Beastmaster US Season 1 Netflix Series Review

The Ultimate Beastmaster (2017-)
Season 1 - 10 episodes (2017) 
Watch The Ultimate Beastmaster Season 1 on Netflix
Created by: Dave Broome, Sylvester Stallone
Starring: Terry Crews, Charissa Thompson
Rated: TV-14

In this reality series produced by Sylvester Stallone, competitors attempt to conquer an obstacle course known as "The Beast."
From six different countries, 108 challengers compete to become the Ultimate Beastmaster.
Terry Crews will host the U.S. version along with television host and sportscaster Charissa Thompson. There will be six different country specific versions and local celebrity hosts. Competing countries include U.S., Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Germany and Japan.
Country specific variants focus on native competitors, though all competitors are shown albeit truncated.

This is a fun show that you can pick up and watch at any point of an episode. There is no winding story of which to keep track. These are athletes pulling off insane spectacles of strength, or in some cases spectacular failures.
The announcers are lackluster, you could watch this without sound and not miss much, but the final episode with all of the previous episode's champions competing is easily the best. This is great as background watching. You can jump right in at any point.
Watch it.

I've never seen American Ninja Warrior, but this seems a LOT like it.
Each episode starts with twelve competitors, two from each country, and concludes with the two highest scoring participants facing off for the Ultimate Beastmaster title at the end of the episode. In episode ten, the previous nine winners square off.
Sylvester Stallone, the man that had a crazy idea.
Each episode is composed of four rounds of obstacle courses with participants scoring points for completing segments of each course.
Six countries, twelve hosts.
While Netflix touts six different country specific shows, the only difference is the announcers backing the action and providing backstory on the country specific contenders. Rivalries between countries are somewhat forced which adds a bit to the competition though it often feels kind of hokey. The announcers frequently wander from their booth to a neighboring countries booth to congratulate or playfully taunt.

Many of the competitors are rock climbers or parkour enthusiasts. There are also a few former military members, a former football player, former Olympic swimmer, a few single moms, and even a male cheerleader. The show doesn't reveal how it picked contestants, and I would like to know.
I don't get why contestants are always exercising between rounds. Many of them complain about conserving energy, then you see them doing pull ups.
The fourth and final level of the beast. The two remaining competitors attempt it.
The obstacles are suspended in the air, including feats of climbing and jumping, mostly named spoofing parts of a monster's internal organs, digestive track, etc. In level one, participants quickly reach the energy coils, metal drums suspended in the air about nine feet apart. Many don't make it past this obstacle. If they do the climbing wall usually knocks them out of competition. If you fall, you land in red water, the beast's blood.

It's almost better to watch this without sound. The commentary is often bad. There really isn't much to say other than to state exactly what's happening on screen. It can be absurd when the announcers excitedly state this is the first time someone's done this. At three episodes in everything is a first. When the commentator try to speculate about anything, it gets even worse as they are usually wrong.
Episode ten featured 3 Americans, 1 Brazilian, 2 Germans, 1 Mexican, and 2 Koreans.
Episode ten is by far the best. We've seen these competitors before, so we're already pulling for our favorite. This is an all-star episode with the best competitors in the mix. I was rooting for Felipe Carmago. He's an insane athlete and the only competitor able to climb to the top of the obstacle in the final round from an earlier episode. The final episode even includes a tie breaker.

I would love to see a documentary on how they built this course, from generating ideas and concepts to testing it. Episode ten provides a quick time lapse of construction, but there has to be so much more that went into planning this.When is Netflix going to open a watered down Beastmaster theme park?

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