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I don’t want to admit this sounds exciting to me, but what can I say, sometimes we’re all susceptible to reality TV. ABC is going to be airing a reality game show called Wipeout, in which 50 contestants have to navigate the “world’s largest obstacle course” in order to win a $50,000 prize. It’s produced by the same people who gave you television’s most revolting show, NBC’s Fear Factor, but in The Hollywood Reporter they describe this new one as “Fear Factor with none of the gross."
Yeah, sure, NBC is bringing back American Gladiators, which will not only have obstacle courses but DUELS with GLADIATORS, who will hopefully have awesome names like “Ice” and “Gemini” like they did on the original show. Still, doesn’t the phrase “world’s largest obstacle course” hold a little bit of appeal? It’s like the world’s largest banana split, or largest ball of twine—you want to see it, even if the real thing might be disappointing.
Of course, given the stunts they’ve been forced to do on Fear Factor-- walking on a giant beam rotating 100 feet in the air, riding on top of a semi truck going 70 miles an hour—this obstacle course probably won’t look anything like the ones on Double Dare (though if it ends with a giant pie full of whipped cream, I am so there). The contestants on this show will probably look a lot like the ones on American Gladiator, actually—hard, buff bodies whose only life ambition is to be on television. No matter. That is what these people are for: putting themselves in danger for our entertainment.
There’s no word on when Wipeout will start airing, but if the writers’ strike goes on much longer, we can probably count on seeing it pretty soon.