WWE star Chris Jericho is hosting Syfy's new show, Robot Combat League, which is so weirdly fun and playfully ridiculous that it begs to be watched.
The show is just what the title suggests, robots fighting each other.
Imagine the Robotech cartoons come to life or Real Steel on the small screen with actual robots. This is a show that feels like it belongs in the future, not the present. It's surreal watching the customized robots in action, a sci-fi movie transferred to real life.
Tuesday nights just got a little more exciting.
Syfy.com describes Robot Combat League as a weekly show that "will feature tournament-style battles between eight-feet tall, state-of-the-art humanoid robots controlled by human 'robo-jockeys.'"
Among these robo-jockeys is Amanda Lucas, George Lucas' daughter and MMA fighter. An Olympic runner, a personal trainer and a race driver are among the others controlling these giant Rock 'Em Sock 'Em robots.
The pilots are fitted with exosuits and the robots mimic their moves in the battle arena.
The fighting is not as coordinated as a Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker match, but the concept is undeniably cool.
Science meets violence in a bout of fun.
Take the show seriously or except grand theater and prepare for disappointment. That's probably what ruined the experience for Jim Vorel of Herald-Review.com. Vorel wrote a piece about "Why Robot Combat League might now be the dumbest show on TV."
Clearly, Vogel has never watched Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
Even in Vogel's rant about the show's ineptitude, he includes a telling fact; "ratings for the show set a two-year high for a new SyFy program."
People dig the show, and with good reason.
There are times to enjoy a Shakespeare production. There are times to enjoy a David Foster Wallace novel. There are also times though, that folks just want to watch robots bash into each other.
The technology behind all that robot fighting is impressive.
These aren't robots that have to look good enough to get filmed in a movie; they actually have to be able to fight. Some are more agile than others. Some are simply badass machines.
This merging of science and violence has to at least be a bit intriguing for most folks. For many others, it will be more than that. It will be a visual joyride.
Alex Davis of BuzzerBlog, writes "Robot Combat League is the most compelling, exciting, ass-kicking reality competition on television currently."
Along with the robots and the literal sparks flying, having Chris Jericho as host helps the show in a big way.
His rock-star and WWE experience help provide the show with great enthusiasm and showmanship. His excitement comes off as genuine and Jericho makes Robot Combat League feel like the place to be.
Byron Brewer of Cosmic Book News says that Jericho's energy "catches you upon the opening of the show and holds you firmly throughout the hour."
His energy and charisma never overshadow the real stars of the show though, the robots and their pilots.
The opening episode focuses quite a bit on the people controlling the machines as to give a face to all that steel bashing steel. It may irk the impatient among us, but it should pay off in the end.
When a team loses down the road, it will mean much more when the audience knows who they are. Like with WWE, things are far more interesting when you have someone to root for.
It's that drama that helps make Robot Combat League work so well. The show becomes a blend of personal stories, technological wizardry and sci-fi movie violence.
We haven't yet made it to the future of flying cars and hoverboards, but we have indeed made it to the future where giant robots fight on TV. It's best we enjoy it.
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