Reviews: Deadliest Warrior
Spartan vs. Ninja: Look Past The Controversy
The most controversial episode of the show is arguably Spartan vs. Ninja. I, however, found no problem with the result. For all the people who say Spartans fight as a unit or that ninjas would never fight in the open, the point of the show is straight-forward Mano-a-Mano combat. Just think about it: how many times have both combatants had identities as people who favored single combat? Almost everybody on the show is outside their comfort zone (people like Napoleon and Vlad would have a lot more than a four guys guarding them, and the IRA and Taliban rarely fight their opponents head-on). Even though putting an unarmored man with little throwing stars and a lonely sword against a B.C.-Era Terminator seems like an odd choice, I just saw the fight as a simple Mighty Glacier vs. Fragile Speedster setup, and thought the result was completely justified. The fight was one of the first of the show, and it was pretty cool. I can say it was the episode that got me to become a regular viewer. I found the tests to be boring, but the fight blew me away. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. I liked it, even if it was only something new. However, the show missed a huge opportunity here: do a pirate instead of the spartan. Ride the hype of the meme and settle the debate soundly. A good episode overall. Don't let the hatred and complaints ruin it for you.
Just Here For Godzilla
When the show first came out, I was always excited about new episodes, but then as I watched on, I resigned myself to only the last 5-10 minutes to see just the fights, because most of the rest of the show was very boring. A guy slicing a ballistics gel dummy in half with a sword might sound cool, but it gets boring around the 30th time. The fights themselves are kind of cool, but waiting once a week for only a few minutes of excitement is definitely not cool. Had the rest of the episodes other than the fight been interesting, I might have watched. I was also a little uncomfortable with the huge focus on weapon lethality (as opposed to things like skill, tactics, etc.), as well as the fact that they were pitting together two kinds (as opposed to individuals) of warriors which all had variations of quality in their ranks. However, I accepted these flaws; you can't bring back a specific Spartan to test their skills, and things like skill aren't easily programmed into the algorithm they use. In addition, for as cool as the matchups and fights were, some of them were just plain illogical. To this day I am still pondering the mystery of who suggested "Spetsnaz vs. IRA" and why the creators of the show decided to go through with that. I mean really, it boils down to "Let's take terrorists and put them in a direct confrontation with one of the finest spec-ops/counterterrorist units in the world." My mind be baffled, good sir. I was also uncomfortable with the show constantly changing itself. Season 1 was mostly mano-a-mano brawls, season 2 was squad battles, and season 3 was about historical figures. The shows kind of struggled, always altering itself, before officially Jumping the Shark with Vampires vs. Zombies. The show had always been about real life warriors; pitting two fictional creatures (who might not even be considered warriors) against each other is just idiotic for a show that had sold itself as a science-based showdown of "who is deadliest?". While I am a Death Battle fan, Deadliest Warrior was about real life combatants from the very beginning. Only then stepping on the foot of YouTube series, forums, and websites who A) beat them to it and B) do it better (at least some of the time) was just poor form. Overall, the show is passable. Also, they didn't do "Pirate vs. Ninja".
A Tragic Failure.
This is one of those shows that had a pretty good premise, but it isn't sure what it wants to be. When I first saw it, I thought it was trying to play on those stupid arguments, "Ninjas vs. Pirates, who would win?" It wasn't. The idea is to pit two warriors from different time periods against one another using some kind of stupid computer program that calculated everything out. The only two episodes I ever really enjoyed were The russian special forces verses the Green Berets, and the Yajuza verses the Mob. Otherwise, it always felt unbalanced and wonky and just stupid. Most of the time I could tell you who was going to win, and I call 'The Computer is a cheating bastard." It always seemed the current fighter was destined to win. "Oh, 300's out? Well then, let's pit the Spartan verses the Ninja. Who's going to win?" I stopped watching after the first season, and from what I've heard, I'm not missing anything now. Apparently the newer seasons decided to avoid races and cultures and instead focus on pitting Iconic/faded Historical figures against one another. Not worth your time.
Season 3 and How it Stands Out
In this troper's mind, since I have seen the series from season 1 to 3, I noticed that out of the three, it is the third season where the quality of the show that is so far the best. While I would consider myself to be a casual fan, there are a few scenes I couldn't stomach in seasons 1-2 because they were so... well dubious. The most prominent examples of the episode would be Alexander the Great vs Atilla the Hun, and Centurion vs Rajput. They not only used a siege weapon against a more conventional weapon (Ballista vs Ax, Scorpion vs the Chakram seriously?), but also failed to account the psychology of each different warrior. But with season 3, I noticed I enjoyed it far more than previous seasons, to the point I only watch episodes from season 3. The inclusion of Mack from Future Weapons replacing Geiger in the show made it more enjoyable 'cuz he ain't simply the computer drone given a rather lame justification, he's an actual SEAL and actually gives opinions on weapons and psychology that are at least a little bit more believable. Along with the fact that they are now categorizing weapons with each other better (especially siege weapons), it greatly improved how much I am able to enjoy the show. In short, I believe while it is a better idea to see all the way from seasons 1 - 3, I believe it maybe a good idea to skip to season 3 for other viewers due to the immense reworking that the series gone through, since its that much better. Keep in mind though, you may be a little irked that again, American warriors seem to be on a winning streak, but that alone should not hinder your ability to enjoy the show.
The Good, the Bad, and the Deadliest.
Deadliest Warrior truely is the first show of its ilk. As such a trailblazer it is frought with stumblings and weaknesses, but is also ever changing, ever evolving, taking input and criticism alike in an effort to improve upon itself. With in each season always there are episodes which push the the series to become more than it was before, and between seasons it takes the input of the fans and the critics into consideration in order to plan how to push the improvement of the next season. In the first season it had many historical inaccuracies and missmatches, but even here the show pushed to be more than it was, as it wore on it added modern matches to the mix, and famous individuals as well as the warrior classes of various cultures and times. In the second season, they expanded on the coverage of these factors, and also introduced still more new elements for now they introduced warriors who rode on horseback in battle, with data collected to reflect that, and less effectively those who fought in chariots, and also they introduced the use of seige weaponry, though handled with even less care than the chariot. Historical inaccuries persisted, such as the butted chain, and new ones arose stemming from the new additions, but they were learning. When the third season came along they made even more drastic changes, changes aimed at addressing the problems of the previous seasons. Max left for other tasks, the brought a new programmer and a new sim with him, reducing his role and adding x-factors to the sim in great numbers, with a new host in the third slot as well to give a "warriors" perspective. Now seige weapons would face only other seige weapons, the warriors mental abilities were to be considered, but also would it feature far more named individuals than others, and bearly any ancient warriors, as well as far fewer weapons for each warrior, which was fine for some matches but not others. Though it did bring many other new additions as well, such as testing the weapons in the armour of the warrior, and tesing multiple weapons in combination together. Then of course there is the most controversial episode of the season, vampires vs. zombies. So the show continues to push the envelope, and has improved much, but lost a few things along the way. Still I look forward to seeing what it still has yet to become.
There's a harsh divide between people who love Deadliest Warrior and those who hate it like it killed their puppy. I, admittedly, fall into the former category What I find odd is that I'm a total history buff, and history buffs make up a decent part of the Hatedom because of the inaccuracies. I set fuck-ups aside and love the Rule Of Cool, and I understand that that makes me a complete idiot.