American Gladiators used to be one of my very favorite TV shows when I was a kid, so the commercial I saw a few weeks ago stating AG's return started my little heart going pitter-patter in anticipation.

Back then, American Gladiators had several things going for it. For one, it's spot on Saturday mornings started late enough that I could sleep in and still be up in time for the show. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for Air Wolf whose theme song always woke me up from the living room where my brothers and sisters were watching it, but it just could not entice me out of bed. Many mornings, I listened to the entire show before dragging myself out of bed and into the shower. I would then fix myself some breakfast/lunch and sit down to enjoy American Gladiators. Oh yeah, and to drool over Turbo, who I had a significant crush on.

My brothers and sisters and I would choose our player and then cheer them on throughout the show with shouts of "Duck!" "Go NOW!" "Hit him harder!" "Run!" At the end of the Eliminator Challenge, we would fall back onto the couch cushions just as exhausted as the contenders. And often, we would then use those couch cushions to immitate the pugilist Joust or to climb the Pyramid.

So it was with great anticipation that I tuned in last Monday to the new American Gladiators show. And married and grownup though I am, I still checked to see if Turbo was there. He was not.

It took about five minutes for me to wonder what else was on. This realization saddened me, and I determined to watch until the end without switching channels. By the end of the show, I was relieved, and I analyzed in my mind why this was the case.

There were no significant differences between this episode and any of the old episodes. The challenges were the same as I remembered, and I was glad that they had not been changed. I had to pick Kimmie up from cheerleading in the beginning of the show, so I only got to see the last thirty minutes. Maybe that was the problem.

But in my heart, I know the difference. It's just not the same without Nate, Hannah, Charity, Joe, Zach, Faith and Pete all yelling at the screen with me.
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