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"Full Metal Jousting" Episode 2 Review

This week's episode of "Full Metal Jousting" pitted Jake, a horse trainer, against Jack, an experienced theatrical jouster. In training, Jake appeared to be the obvious underdog, but he ended up unhorsing Jack in the first tilt.


Episode 2: "Unhorsed" did provide a tiny reminder of the danger inherent in the sport of jousting when Jack broke a molar after being lanced in the helmet. Still, the show presents a very (necessarily) tamed version of the sport as compared to when it emerged in the eleventh century or so, and Jack's injury could probably have been prevented with a mouth guard.


I want to like "Full Metal Jousting." I really do. And I have a hard time putting my finger on why it's not exactly "doing it" for me. I suppose I am a person who very much loves ceremony and pomp and circumstance and tradition - not to mention the whole idea of chivalry - and all of that has been stripped from the show. As we discussed before, the jousters have their names printed on their backs, creating an obvious parallel between their armor and jerseys. There are no fans gathered to watch the jousters compete for honor and recognition - there is not even a stadium. There are no heraldry-bearing shields hanging from a tree by which the jousters could challenge one another by striking a given shield. (I mean, seriously - how hard would that have been?) So, I miss all of that. And I'm sure this is not helped by the fact that I am accustomed to seeing jousting after it's been given the full cinematic treatment, or by my deep love of works like "The Once And Future King." When I watch jousting, I want it to be a grand affair, so shoot me.

If you disagree, and are, on the contrary, enjoying following History channel's new show, please comment and win me over, if you can.


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