Friday, August 14, 2009

Bully Beatdown: Disrupting the Natural Order

Bully Beatdown is coming back for a second season on August 27th, and last night MTV aired two new episodes. This is exciting news all the way around. I realize I have said this before on this blog, about other television shows, but this time I mean it:

“Bully Beatdown” is the greatest show of all time.

The premise is clearly stated in the title. People who have been victimized by bullies request the services of a professional MMA fighter to teach the bully a lesson. That is, to offer him a “beatdown,” as the kids say on the street.

The host of the show is an MMA fighter named Jason Miller, who calls himself “Mayhem.” It’s an apt code name for this show, as his job is to completely disrupt the natural order, by allowing the weaker to gain revenge over the stronger.

Jason "Mayhem" Miller. My hero.

In last night’s first episode we were introduced to Garret, who calls himself “The King of Tustin.” Having been to Tustin, I am inclined to say, “Well, he can have it.” That’s like claiming to be “The King of a suburb of Phoenix.” Seriously, where is his throne located? The Jewelry Exchange?

Two of “The King’s” victims, Robert and Kyle, sent in a tape explaining the crimes committed against them. And they are actual crimes. Robert explains that one night while having dinner with a woman who happened to be “the King’s” ex girlfriend (“the King” was stalking her), “the King” attacked and choked him. Then, for good measure, he threatened a senior citizen who tried to intervene.

Kyle was attacked while walking through the park, and footage is shown of the incident, in which “The King” jumped on his back and punched the back of his head, repeatedly. Spectators taped it, and when “the King” found out, he had the footage posted online.

Okay, I’m convinced, let’s beat him down!

Mayhem meets Kyle and Robert outside a bar, in the middle of the afternoon, and they walk inside to meet “the King.” He’s confused by the cameras and the presense of Mayhem, who mockingly declares, “All hail, the King of Tustin!” and laughs at him.

“What is all this sh*t, dude?”

Mayhem explains. Since “the King” likes to pick on people, he’ll be given the chance to “pick on someone your own size.” A professional MMA fighter.

The bully gets $10K to start. He fights in two three-minute rounds- in the first round it’s grappling only, and for each time the bully taps out, he loses $1K. If he taps out five times, the round is over and he loses $5K. The second round is kickboxing, and if he can make it through the three minutes without giving up or getting knocked out- or without having the fight called by the referee- he wins the second $5K.

Any money he loses goes to his victims.

“The King” of course agrees. “I’m so down… No chance I can lose. I’m gonna go balls-out…All the other people on this show are gonna look like bitches compared to me.”

The bullies always say that. All their lives they’ve lived by the rules of the world, in which the strong prey on the weak. Why should that change now? It’s the natural order.

Next, “the King” is given some training at the gym. Mayhem shows him how to tap out, even though “the King” insists his ground game is good, and he’s got skills, and no intention of tapping out. Mayhem watches him punch and kick, and comments that his kicks might serve him well on Broadway, but he’s skeptical as to their effectiveness in the ring.

But “the King” isn’t worried. He’s planning a strategy; when Mayhem asks what it is, he plays coy. “We’re gonna have to keep it elusive…Watch and see.”

“Why do you pick on Robert and Kyle? I don’t get it,” Mayhem says.

“Kyle and Robert are just bitches,” replies “the King.” He concedes that Kyle did try to fight back, as seen on the video posted online, but he still got beat.

Mayhem asks, reasonably, “Aren’t you a little worried that I’m gonna stick you on video?…Aren’t you a little nervous about gettin’ punked on national TV?”

Of course he isn’t. “That’s why I’m doing it. To show that I’m not gonna get punked.”

To that end, “the King” is left with the show’s bully trainer, Jeremy Williams. He is about twice the size of “the King,” and you start to feel a little sorry for him.

Trainer Jeremy Williams. Even in a big yellow muu-muu, he's still an imposing figure.

On fight day, Kyle and Robert are introduced to the MMA fighter who will beating down the bully- Jake Shields, who is currently one of the top five welterweights in the world and has won 22 cage fights.

For inspiration, Kyle and Robert tell Jake of the punishment “the King” has inflicted upon them. Jake of course seems to be taking it personally.

The crowd boos lustily as “the King” is introduced and makes his way to the cage. “The King,” shirtless, looks like not much at all, and he has a priceless deer-caught-in-the-headlights expression. You almost feel sorry for him- he just can’t back down, as much as it seems he wants to.

When Jake is introduced, the crowd cheers. “The King” does not look happy.

Jake Shields's sense of injustice was inflamed, and he took it out on "the King of Tustin."

Mayhem offers “the King” one last chance to back out. But he won’t.

First round, “the King” taps out about 2:29 in. Then he tapped out again a few seconds later. Another tap-out occurred at the 1:44 mark. Then again at the 1:20. At this point, Mayhem calls out from the sideline, encouraging Jake to stretch the match out. “Don’t tap him out yet!” But, with :59 left on the clock, “the King” taps out for the fifth time. Round over, no money for the bully.

Of course, “the King” assured us he wouldn’t tap out at all. He wasn’t going to be made to look like a punk.

In the second round, Jake Shields punishes “the King” with kicks to his stomach and chest, and punches to the face. “The King” drops to the ground at 2:39, and then gives up, losing all of the $10K.

Following this humiliating lesson, “the King” shakes the hands of his victims and assures us that “it sucks getting your ass kicked on TV. This is a wake-up call, I’m not gonna f*ck with people because karma comes around.”

While I would like to point out that there’s no such thing as “karma,” I do admire the sentiment. And that’s ultimately the best part of the show. The bullies, once beaten down, come to realize that getting beaten is embarrassing and painful.

They come away from the experience with empathy. And the victims come out of it with money. Maybe that’s why, by the end of every episode, my sympathies have changed- I’m now identifying with the bullies who learned something. Their characters have followed an arc.

The victims are largely unchanged.

In the second episode, the bully was James, “the boss’s son.” Victim Sean’s videotape details the odious twerp’s insults of his girlfriend and the throwing of a rock at his face, leaving a scar on his lip, and knocking out his front tooth. Every time he looks in the mirror, he’s reminded of the attack.

As Mayhem points out, because this is the boss’s son, victim Sean might have to start looking for another job. But Sean says that something has to change.

Mayhem and Sean meet James at a work site, where he’s made the offer of fighting an MMA fighter. We also meet an older man who appears to maybe be James’ father. If so, it’s not hard to understand why James is such a “tool.”

Mayhem also insists that, win or lose, Sean not be fired. I’m not sure how that could be an enforceable provision, but it’s a noble idea.

“So he’s behind this, then?” the older guy says, gesturing to Sean. “Okay, we’ll work it out.” There is a sinister tone to his voice.

“I’m not gonna lose,” James insists. As I’ve already said, the bullies always say this.

Mayhem then leaves Sean to finish out the rest of his day at the work site. Try to imagine the tension that day. Try to imagine all the accidentally dropped tools and wooden beams. All the errant nailgun strikes.

At the training center, when asked why he bullies his coworkers, James expresses the bully credo: “The deserve it. That’s just the way it falls.” He is the boss’s son. That’s just the way it falls.

“I take pride in what I do.”

He then states that the fact that Sean can’t do anything on his own, and needs someone to “have his back” just shows what a bitch he really is. Remember what the boss’s son just said. Needing someone to have your back makes you a bitch. That’s just the way it falls.

Cut to fight day.

James the boss’s son then interviews, “Having my dad there is gonna make me feel pretty good. He’s gonna be there to have my back.”

What a bitch.

Daddy is in the locker room with James as he’s preparing, and offers some nuggets of wisdom for his bitch of a son. “No matter what happens,” he says, “don’t let no one scare you.”

The bitch’s opponent is “Bad News” Ben Lagman, an undefeated fighter who’s never had a fight go past the first round. He’s also 6’2” tall, which is my height- so it would probably be difficult for people to tell us apart.

MMA fighter Ben Lagman is the same height as me. In all honesty, that's probably where our similarities end.

Bad News offers to beat up both the bully and the father. He looks very, very angry about James and his father. He clearly can’t wait to beat him down.

Both James and his daddy Ralph enter the ring. To his credit, when Bad News stares him down, James steps right up to him, almost nose-to-nose. I am happy to point out that James appears to be a couple of inches shorter than me. I mean, Bad News.

Mayhem gets Ralph to promise not to fire Sean. Ralph agrees. I’m not entirely sure at this point that getting fired would be such a bad thing.

First round, James puts a hold on Bad News’ neck and holds him for several seconds, but Bad News gets a tap out at 2:18. James gets another choke hold on him, but Bad News gets another tap out at 1:02. Another tap out at :17, and James lays on the floor of the ring, exhausted.

That’s not bad.

In the kickboxing round, James gets one kick in, but spends a lot of time spinning around, while Bad News punches and kicks him relentlessly. But James makes it to the full three minutes, and wins the last $5K.

After getting his $7K, James is asked if there’s anything he wants to say to Sean. “Man up,” Bad News says. “Group hug!” Ralph the daddy says, laughing.

James and Sean hug.

Ralph interviews that because he raised James, he’s at least partly responsible for James’ actions. In reference to the beatdown: “James might have needed it.” He hopes that “the monster has been tamed.” Yep, Ralph refers to his son as a “monster.”

But he’s wrong- James isn’t a monster. He’s a bitch.

And, again, our sympathies shift to the bully. But in this case, I think it’s less so, because poor Sean still has to work with these two men, every day. At construction sites.

There must be some female bullies out there who need to be taught a lesson. Hopefully this season "Bully Beatdown" will deal with this problem, and if so, why not get the most famous female MMA fighter, Gina Carano? After all, she was one of the latest "American Gladiators."

Jason Miller pic source.
Jeremy Williams pic source.
Jake Shields pic source.
Ben Lagman pic source.
Gina Carano pic source.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Too bad the show is fake.