Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The way of the worwyur

If you have nothing better to do at 10pm on a Tuesday evening you might well find yourself idly switching on the telly and turning to Bravo.
What you’ll find, depending on your outlook on life, will either amaze you or leave you completely cold.
Because the idea behind Deadliest Warrior is to pit against each other historical and modern-day soldiers, who never actually fought in real life, in a computerised face-off to see who’s the hardest. Spartan vs Ninja, Viking vs Samurai: you get the idea.
Bio-medic nerds and techno-geeks called Max and Geoff (and Armand, but let that pass) compare weapons, fighting techniques and military ethos, and at the end of the show a bunch of beefy-looking actors get to dress up as the opposing forces and pretend to duke it out to see who’s the deadliest.
Max and Geoff and Armand (snigger) have a staccato, shouty delivery that will give you a headache in no time flat.
Max and Geoff and Ar-“I’m changing my name to Kurt”-mand use the word “warrior” quite a lot. But they have a transatlantic way of enunciating it that makes it come out more like “worwyur”. Don’t try saying it at home: it’ll make your tongue feel like a cold wet towel that’s just lost a fight with a mangle.
Deadliest Warrior is rather like a cross between Gladiators, Horizon and a gory war movie. With extra testosterone. Testosterone by the bucketful. More testosterone than a lady South African athlete. And more fake blood than a Harlequins winger.
Deadliest Warrior smacks you in the face with the facts. Repeatedly and loudly. For. Viewers. With. Very. Short. ATTENTION! SPANS!
From that brief description you may get some idea of the sort of person Deadliest Warrior is aimed at, and you may even have the beginnings of a hint as to whether you are that sort of person.
But unless you’re a teenage lad who probably ought to be in bed at 10 o’clock on a Tuesday evening, the chances are that you aren’t.
Even if screaming Ninjas and grunting Vikings leave you cold, though, there’s something to be said for using the basic premise of Deadliest Warrior as part of your daily decision-making process.
Can’t decide between watching Star Trek or Doctor Who? It’s Klingon versus Dalek! Special weapons? Weird curvy knife, meet sink plunger. Secret powers? Mad staring eyes, say hello to grinding electronic voice. Weaknesses? Klingon has propensity to topple over backwards in the heat of battle, thanks to top-heavy skull. Dalek can’t go upstairs without cheating. Klingon wins by an edge.
Choosing a new pet? Cat takes on dog! For special weapons, both have a fearsome set of teeth and claws, but Moggy’s retractable kitchen knives are a strong point. Secret powers? Cat induces paranoia in intended victim with fixed stare, subtly conveying the suggestion that victim has no clue what he or she is doing and couldn’t run a whelk stall. Dog slobbers. Cat wins by a whisker.
Car insurance up for renewal? Here comes the series finale: a three-way face-off between a meerkat, a gurning cartoon bulldog and a sad Plymouth Argyle fan. Their weapons are their catchphrases: “Simples!” vs “Oh yes!” vs “Green Arrrrmy!”.
And is there a winner? Computer says no.

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