TUF 16: Another cookie cutter reality show

Dana White UFC

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Dynamic and interesting reality show premises are hard to come by. Producers know the entertainment value lies in the often contrived dramatic scenarios. I’m going to be honest; there isn’t anything really dynamic or interesting about the premise for The Ultimate Fighter. It’s simple; a group of young fighters compete for a chance to fight in the UFC. But does that mean the simplicity makes it any less entertaining? No. Look at the show Cops; just have a film crew follow a group of on duty police officers. The result, television gold and the same can be said for TUF. The simplicity of having young fighters compete for a chance in the UFC is reason enough to watch. The main attraction should be a group of fighters and their common quest for ultimate glory.

Yet this season of TUF has not been about that. It’s following the same formula that has made the show successful thus far. The only problem is that formula isn’t working this time because of this season’s fighters. It’s no secret; the fights this season are boring and lacking a competitive edge. For what I’m guessing is a number of reasons, this year’s crop of fighters don’t have much fight in them. The result is we have a show about fighting with boring fights. In the end, this depletes the entertainment value of the show.

Another key problem is a lack of respect between employer and employee. Dana White and Roy Nelson have different views of what makes the show successful. This lack of harmony between the two affects the show as a whole. Nelson and Dana’s general dislike for one another is a serious road block.

Last Friday’s episode was the pinnacle of BS reality drama. The episode was a drunken horror show of bottle breaking, wall smashing, crying, biting, and smashing heads into walls. I’m not saying any of that nonsense was planned, but with reality TV there’s no saying what’s genuine and what’s manipulated. But for the sake of this topic let’s say that nonsense happened organically. There’s dysfunction among the teams, coaches and there’s a lack of focus.

The focus should be about the fighting, then, fill whatever time is left over with convoluted drama. I’m not saying past seasons of TUF were absent of petty drama, but so much of the focus has been lost on the fighting this season. Sadly, this season of TUF is becoming another cookie cutter reality show.