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Full Metal Jousting


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#1

patroo

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Posted Feb 13, 2012 @ 2:10 AM

Watched the first episode tonight, and it's much better than I expected. The competitors are actually reasonably qualified, with at least one of them having genuine professional horse skills (Fairclough), and a few cowboys. I had expected that they would just get a batch of bullriders and let them all sort it out, but this show is actually making an attempt to teach instead of just playing survivor.

The armor is modernized for better protection, stylized for better TV, sort of Ninja Turtles on horseback. There is a gridded plate on the left shoulder which is the designated lance target. Hits outside of that general area do not count, but if you strike the opponent's lance while he's holding it in that area, that counts.

You get points for a hit (one point), for breaking the opponent's lance (5 points) and unhorsing your opponent (10 points).

The horses are pretty well turned out, though they're a little sweaty. A trace clip would have been a good idea to keep them cooler.

These competitors learn what it's like to get hit, using a battering ram, but it only gives a suggestion of what it's going to be like when you're lolloping down the lane at about 15 miles an hour. Maybe a hair faster, but these are draft type horses. They aren't going to make the 40 mph achieved by some racehorses. With each rider closing on the other, you have a net speed/impact speed of about 30 mph, and that's got major hurt potential. Combine that with the small pressure point from the lance that puts all the impact in one spot, and there are going to be some black and blue spots.

It will be interesting to see how this develops.

#2

linderhill

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Posted Feb 13, 2012 @ 10:12 AM

HISTORY is bringing back the most dangerous collision sport in history and transforming it into a 21st-century event.


Anyone watching this? Thought I'd give it a watch since there's nothing much that interests me on Sunday nights.

#3

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Posted Feb 13, 2012 @ 10:48 AM

I thought the armor looked strange and not substantial. I'm sure it was, it just looked too 'TV' for me. I thought the part where they were getting hit by the device was frightening. What a wallop!
I wanted to see them joust, but I switched channels for a second and forgot about it. I understand that the show would want to show all the prep before the jousting, but I just wanted to see the joust. I guess I couldn't wait.

#4

Stanley

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Posted Feb 13, 2012 @ 12:44 PM

I watched it. I'm surprised there's no discussion on it yet - it wasn't exactly a hidden premiere. There was an article in the NYT about it and a little blurb on TWOP, so I figured at least some people would be watching.

I like History's Top Shot, and this is a similar format. Plus, as a life-long horseperson, I am definitely interested in the content. I enjoyed the first episode, though I'm a little concerned about how they're going to keep it fresh. It's hard to see how they can come up with interesting, funky challenges like Top Shot - it looks like it's mostly just going to be joust after joust. Which could be fun, I guess. It's a pretty exciting thing to watch, after all.

The cast is interesting and mostly likeable so far, and one thing I find really refreshing is that they aren't going with the fiction that this is a contest to find America's Next Top Jouster. I never really liked that conceit in other shows; I just kept thinking, "what about that guy who's teaching them how to shoot? Isn't HE really Top Shot?" Instead, this is an admitted effort to get people interested in the sport and to train up some new recruits. I really like that the losing jouster is apparently going to stick around and keep training - so they're interested in creating more long-term participants outside the show, and that's kind of cool.

#5

GoMocs

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Posted Feb 13, 2012 @ 2:11 PM

Also a forum for this in competive reality...yall might wish to consolidate in whichever place it should be.

#6

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Posted Feb 13, 2012 @ 4:07 PM

I'm glad that Mike the Marine is sticking around too. Its not like he really got a chance to learn the sport unlike Mr. I-Do-this-for-a-living-at Medieval-Times-and-I'm-so-bad-ass-aren't-I. I was impressed that he was able to stayed mounted after so little training.

#7

TWoP Howard

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Posted Feb 13, 2012 @ 7:15 PM

Also a forum for this in competive reality...yall might wish to consolidate in whichever place it should be.

I merged the Candid Reality thread into this one.

#8

Stanley

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Posted Feb 14, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

Mr. I-Do-this-for-a-living-at Medieval-Times-and-I'm-so-bad-ass-aren't-I


I know, right? Does he really think that being a fake knight at Medieval Times is cool? Mister, I am telling you that it is not. I sort of tried not to hate him since it seemed like his reality-show-villain persona may have been a joke, but I obviously was not successful since I noticed in one of the "scenes from this season" at the end that at some point he gets knocked flat on his ass, which made me laugh and laugh. Whereas when my jousting boyfriend, wee Show Jumper Fairclough (James? maybe?), got knocked down I was all worried.

at least one of them having genuine professional horse skills (Fairclough)


I liked that he was picked early on in team-choosing, and the coach specifically noted that despite his smaller size, he probably had the best seat and would be a real contender. I though that was Mike's main issue - he said he'd ridden before, but his seat was very insecure. So it's not all about muscle, that's clear.

Some of the horses, like Navarro who was raring to go as soon as they turned into the lists, appeared to have some pep to them, but I kind of loved slow, steady Crispin. He could really hardly be bothered to break into a canter and even then looked like he was moving underwater, so he probably was a good choice for Mike. Not sure what it says about the cast, but I remember as much about the horses as I do about the people.

It does look quite hot wherever they filmed, and I agree the horses could have done with a clip - they may be some type of shaggy draft crosses, but some of them also looked they were still sporting winter coats. On the other hand, I guess it's not that much work for them if the practice sessions are pretty short.

And the show may end up having a pretty decent sense of humor. In the "upcoming scenes," if you watched those, it's all crash-boom-gallop-gallop-crash and then all of a sudden there's a five second insert of two of the guys playing chess in armor, in silence. Then back to the blood and the falling and the hitting. Hee.

And I giggled the host guy was like, "the hit is the combined force of mass x acceleration, which is...I'm not a math expert, so I don't have any fucking idea what it is, but it hurts."

#9

Melancholiac

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Posted Feb 14, 2012 @ 7:09 AM

I noticed at the beginning of the pilot, they identified the location as Jackson, Mississippi. Is Mississippi a secret hotbed of jousting? Is there even a "medieval times" restaurant there?

#10

Phane00

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Posted Feb 14, 2012 @ 12:41 PM

Looks like this could be a great show. It certainly has a Top Shot feel to it, which is a very good thing. I do like that half of the show was slated for the two jousts that took place.
I just wonder if the contestants are going to have to learn to care for their horses as well as jousting techniques.

#11

linderhill

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Posted Feb 14, 2012 @ 11:51 PM

I don't know that Mississippi is a hot bed of jousting but I remember back in college that jousting was very big in rural Maryland. Of course that was a while ago and it was jousting lances into progressively smaller rings. And then there's Ren. Faire jousting and they are all over the place.

#12

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Posted Feb 15, 2012 @ 1:12 AM

Once a year, toward the beginning of January, PBR comes to Madison Square Garden in NY, so once a year I actually do get to see bull riding live, even though it's kind of basically a PR stunt event with mostly B-team bulls. Imagine my surprise to find when I went online to order tickets that this jousting show was the major sponsor of the event (!??!) And although History Channel had a booth out by the merch tables, it was unmanned most of the time and so I went home not really knowing why they thought this show would appeal to rodeo fans.
And now having finally watched the first episode off the DVR, other than it being definitely an "extreme" (i.e., violent) kind of equestrian sport, I'm still not sure. The SCA Ren Faire lameness aspect seems to kind of outweigh the equestrian aspect - so far it seems like it ought to be down there on The Ocho along with dodgeball. Of course this is just episode one - maybe I'll find it more compelling if I give it time.

Edited by ratgirlagogo, Feb 15, 2012 @ 1:14 AM.


#13

Ailiana

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Posted Feb 16, 2012 @ 12:20 AM

I went home not really knowing why they thought this show would appeal to rodeo fans. And now having finally watched the first episode off the DVR, other than it being definitely an "extreme" (i.e., violent) kind of equestrian sport, I'm still not sure.

From the captions, it appears that a number of the competitors are rodeo riders of various types. Mike, the red rider in teh first joust competition, is a bull rider. Possibly some of them are people who may already have a rodeo following.

#14

Krilia

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Posted Feb 20, 2012 @ 12:40 PM

The SCA Ren Faire lameness aspect seems to kind of outweigh the equestrian aspect - so far it seems like it ought to be down there on The Ocho along with dodgeball.


Amusingtly, as a historical re-enactor, I'm worried the macho-ness of it will outweight the historical coolness. :) I think the modernized armor looks a little goofy, like they all want to be Iron Man, for example. The horses are beautiful specimens, and clearly know what they're doing, though.

#15

GinevradiBenci

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Posted Feb 20, 2012 @ 8:21 PM

I'd love for it to be a bit more historically cool, but I watched it for the first time last night and enjoyed it a lot, except for the part where I was clutching my own jaw in sympathetic pain.

#16

linderhill

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Posted Feb 20, 2012 @ 9:34 PM

I am so glad that the red team is going to be taking the lead for now. I was beginning to develop a real annoyance with the Australian team captain.

I think I would be happier with the program if they had concentrated on making sure everyone of the participants was fully trained. The theatrical jousters seem to have somewhat of an advantage in that they seem to be more familiar with the way the sport seems to work. Of course that didn't seem to help Jack (or was it Jake, I keep mixing the two up in my head) win the joust. I have to admit it was kind of cool to see the the theatrical jouster be de-horsed by the guy that his coach picked out. I'm terribly sorry that it hadn't happened to the egotistical winner from last week.

And Stanley, wee Show Jumper Fairclough is definitely someone I'm interested in seeing how he does.

#17

Stanley

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Posted Feb 21, 2012 @ 3:19 PM

I think I would be happier with the program if they had concentrated on making sure everyone of the participants was fully trained. The theatrical jousters seem to have somewhat of an advantage in that they seem to be more familiar with the way the sport seems to work.


I thought this initially, too, but it seems that at least in these early stages of the training that the advantage is going to the best horseman rather than the person with the most jousting knowledge or best upper body strength. In the latest episode, I think Jack-of-Medieval-Times (as opposed to Jake-the-trainer) lost because he did not have a solid seat, which allowed a lucky hit by Jake to unhorse him and popped him right off his own horse when he hit Jake. Jake's superior seat (and long legs) allowed him to maintain his seat even when he was hit. That will probably change when peoples' aim and technique improves, but for right now the better riders seem to have the advantage.

I'm also pleased red team will have the pick, as the Australian guy seems like an ass, screaming like a maniac at everyone to hoist Jack back on the horse within two minutes so he wouldn't be disqualified. I did love the half-ass medical check the second time:

Doctor: Do you know where you are?
Jack: Here?
Doctor: He's good to go.

Since I can only tell like three of the guys apart, I'm still rooting for Wee Show Jumper Fairclough. I liked Jake quite a bit, too. That army of interchangeable beefed-up "theatrical jousters" and whatnot is not too attractive, although that episode where the one guy ran over to the black team's side of the house to "call out" Rope the cowboy was pretty funny. The black team was utterly bemused, all "what are you talking about, crazy person?" and laughing at the weird testosterone-filled drama.

What I really am not understanding is the structure of the competition. I guess everyone goes once in this first round and then there's another round matching up the guys left, and so on? There are references to "quarter-finals" and people getting into them, but I'm not too sure how it works.

Edited by Stanley, Feb 21, 2012 @ 3:21 PM.


#18

linderhill

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Posted Feb 27, 2012 @ 9:57 AM

Last nights episode was especially good I thought. It seemed like there was actual training in jousting going on. More so than other episodes anyway. I thought that the two that competed were very well matched too. The Australian coach didn't seem nearly as much of a dick this time around either. The cheering didn't seem quite as forced or practiced as it has seemed other weeks either.

I'm hoping that the rest of the episodes live up to this one.

#19

Phane00

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Posted Mar 5, 2012 @ 9:34 AM

Last night's episode was crap. I can understand that the red team had to replace someone who was selected for the preliminary joust, but later fell in practice. But why on Earth would anyone select the one person who had yet to ride a joust horse? He never got in a groove and he lost control of his horse. It's like the production team wanted him to lose, but instead he lost huge.
The rider for the black team was impressive. At least 4 broken lances during the bout, and he would have had more if the other guy had more control over his mount.

This episode suffered from having to follow the awesome that was last week's episode. We go from having a well balanced bout with both riders scoring big, to a one-sided slaughter.

At least the losing riders have a reason to stay now.

#20

HiHorse

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Posted Mar 5, 2012 @ 1:58 PM

I love this show! Glad to see it has a thread here. I'm a horseperson, too and those horses desperately need a clip. Other than that, they seem happy and well-cared for.
My only issue is Praetorian (sp). They kept referring to him as a hot horse, but i wasn't seeing hot. I was seeing plain old anxiety. If he was hot, he would be hot when in the training ring, not just when competeing.
I literally called him blowing up a minute before it happened. I said, that horses mind is fried, he's about to lose it. The bits they are using are mild, but still can hurt when an unbalanced rider uses the reins to stay on, and that's what was going on last night. When i noticed him slinging his head at the moment of impact i knew he was done, possibly for that day or maybe forever... Or only with these inexperienced guys aboard.
It's not uncommon for horses that compete to blow up-especially when they do repetitive things: stand, lance, turn and GO, hit, stop, repeat. You horsepeople know what I'm saying.
Anyway, I want to steal little Crispin! He's adorable!!! Seems like a kind soul-a perfect horse for a non horsey husband to ride.

#21

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Posted Mar 5, 2012 @ 2:18 PM

Cool show. I had no idea jousting (at least, the modern version which I thought would be pansyfied) was so injurious. Neat to see the various interactions that lead to victory--lance control, horse control, body control, etc.

Couple other thoughts: I was pretty drunk last night but was there actually some guy who ranted at another and then physically seized him? And then the explanation that this is what he does with his pals all the time or something? Why is such a moron not kicked off the show immediately? I'm reminded of when several of the Top Chef cast assaulted/virtually raped werewolf boy.

Why does the host keep pronouncing it as "Johsting"? Is that how jousters pronounce it? I fear if I keep watching it's how I'll always pronounce it.

#22

HiHorse

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Posted Mar 5, 2012 @ 2:34 PM

I assumed it was just his accent... Does anyone know?

#23

Starrla

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Posted Mar 5, 2012 @ 3:06 PM

I am loving this show. Although now I'm worried about the promo for next week. If what they teased actually happens, then that person needs a swift kick in the groin.

Glad that James Fairclough was OK. He is a tough little dude.

Anyway, I want to steal little Crispin! He's adorable!!!


Me too!! I love him. :)

#24

HiHorse

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Posted Mar 5, 2012 @ 4:18 PM

I wonder if they're gonna show someone punching the horse? I'm right there with ya, Starria, i would wear my pointiest boots for the groin kick!

#25

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Posted Mar 5, 2012 @ 10:34 PM

Just caught this show last saturday. Luckily it was with episode 2 and we burned through all the previous episodes before last night's.

As a past SCA member and history buff, it's FANTASTIC! Although you can't replicate the full experience of a true medieval joust (all the bloodshed and...death...), this has enough of the tilting action (less the post-knockdown hand-to-hand combat) with enough modern elements to make this truly fun to watch.

I too am tired with boring reality shows that manufacture drama and get stuck with one more pagonging...

Is it too much to hope that they actually bootstrap a competitive league? The guy in charge claims to be a 'top tier' jouster. Are there MORE real jousters? (not Medieval Times/theatrical)

#26

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Posted Mar 6, 2012 @ 10:10 AM

Why does the host keep pronouncing it as "Johsting"?

I was curious about Shane after the show and googled jousting. Shane is originally from Canada so his pronunciation, I'm guessing is because of that. I recall Peter Jennings having some interesting pronunciations too (aboot instead of about, etc.).

In my google search I came across an article from a newspaper (possibly the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times, can't remember which) that talked about Shane, another jouster named Anderson and a third whose name escapes me. The article was from a couple of years ago and Shane and Anderson were putting on a jousting championship somewhere in Texas. The third fellow competes internationally which is different in that the lances are tipped with balsa wood and the armor has to be historically accurate. There seems to be a rivalry between the two camps. The European jousters (of the balsa wood and historically accurate armor) look down on the American jousters for the brutality and the Americans look down on the Europeans for the less brutal rules.

Interesting article. It had a photo of Shane and Anderson in their bright shiny armor that looked so odd compared to the black and red armor on the show. Apparently Shane has been trying to promote the sport for a while.

And yes, Sunday's episode was no where near as exciting as last weeks. What a let down.

#27

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Posted Mar 6, 2012 @ 1:41 PM

When exactly do the alternates go in (if needed)?

After Wee Jumper's injury, my husband and I were wondering. Since beloved Wee was only out of competition for a few days, it made sense that he remain in competition. But if he'd been injured so badly he had to withdraw entirely, one of the previously-defeated contestants would be brought in to replace him, yes?

And after all the preliminary bouts, if one of the winners later becomes unable to continue, an alternate could be brought in at that point too, right?

How about later? Preliminaries narrow the field to 8; next rounds will presumably take it to 4, then 2, then winner. As each contestant is defeated, do they continue to join the Reserves pool?

If one of the final four is unable to continue, who would replace him - the rider who lost to him in the previous round, or could it be any of the alternates?

#28

HiHorse

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Posted Mar 6, 2012 @ 7:49 PM

Maybe the remaining alternatives would have a joust off for the position?

#29

Stanley

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Posted Mar 6, 2012 @ 11:59 PM

The bits they are using are mild, but still can hurt when an unbalanced rider uses the reins to stay on, and that's what was going on last night.


Yep, I said the same thing. As soon as they showed him on Praetorian I exclaimed (out loud, to the dogs), "Get off that horse's mouth!" Any issues Praetorian had were caused by the poor riding. I don't know what the coach was thinking putting him on that horse. They seem to use the phrase "hot horse" to cover a lot of behavior, and I don't know that Praetorian has a problematic temperment per se, but he certainly is big, very fast, and difficult to hold back in competition. Not a horse for an uncertain or tense rider, particularly one who had never been on him before. Crispin can't be the only joust horse with a steady personality.

That Superman they had Wee Show Jumper on was no joke, either. Another ginormous horse with a lot of get-up to him. At least WSJ knows how to deal with a difficult horse. I could have done without seeing the staples actually applied, but the head wound did provide some very dramatic bleeding.

Despite that, it was a let-down after last week's awesome episode. I was concerned this formula would get old, but it's really exciting to watch the jousts as the guys get better at it.

Magpie mind, all excellent questions. I don't have the slightest idea what the plan is. It pretty much seems like they're making it up as they go along.

Shane is originally from Canada so his pronunciation, I'm guessing is because of that.


I'm sure that is right - I assumed he was Canadian based on his accent, especially on the word "joust."

I was pretty drunk last night but was there actually some guy who ranted at another and then physically seized him? And then the explanation that this is what he does with his pals all the time or something?


Yeah, that happened. I still can't tell most of them apart, but the guy who ended up in the headlock was the one who got eliminated, John. The other guy has enormous arms covered in tattoos and dark hair - Mike, maybe? Is there a Mike? I wondered too why there weren't repercussions for attacking another contestant, but maybe John said it was all joking or something and the producers let it go. It was a super-weird vibe so I never really got what was going on. It did seem like John was embarrassed afterwards, that the other guy had overwhelmed him physically, so maybe he wanted to minimize it. And Mike? came out the next morning all shame-faced and wrote "I'm sorry" on a piece of paper like a seven year old. Crazy.

The short answer, though, is in just the few episodes so far this is at least the second or third incident of testosterone-fuelled drama. Overgrown boys running around trying to start fights, preening and posturing and basically acting like arrogant d-bags. The Medieval Times Brigade seems to think they are actual knights or some shit, and the Roid Ragers seem desperate to prove what big men they are. Give me the horsemen any day: Jake, WSJ, and the hottie from last week...Something McKinley? I can't remember anyone's name.

#30

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Posted Mar 7, 2012 @ 12:23 AM

The giver of the headlock was David, who looks a lot like Mike, except I think he has more hair (on top of his head, at least). IIRC, Mike was one of the guys pulling him off when everyone went to break it up.