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1999   Unknown  

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 Ring Girl (12 episodes, 1999)
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 Kenneth Loge III (12 episodes, 1999)
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This ain't your parent's Roller Derby

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Action | Sport

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15 January 1999 (USA)  »

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Inspired by the classic 1975 film "Rollerball". See more »

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Version of Roller Derby Girl (1949) See more »

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Rendering an 'Old Thing' New, without Changing It Too Much So As To Make It Too Modern.....See why it failed?
26 June 2010 | by (Chicago, Illinois, United States) – See all my reviews

THE ALL-American marriage of skating athleticism and showmanship known as the ROLLER DERBY has been with us for about 80 years or so. It proudly claims names such as Damon Runyan as contributers to its family tree and has proved to be very durable, indestructible even.

A GOLDEN AGE* existed for ROLLER DERBY** in the 1950's; a time of high ratings on TV and a good boost in the box office appeal, leading to a very active life for the turn-styles at the various stadiums throughout the land. Virtually everyone was familiar with the ROLLER GAME; whether or not they went out to see the spectacles with the naked eye.

POPULARITY OF A SPORTS spectacle leads us to Hollywood's getting its two cents into the discussion. Over the years we've seen movies such as THE FIREBALL (Thor Prod., 20th Century-Fox, 1950) with Mickey Rooney; THE KANSAS CITY BOMBER (1972) with Raquel Welch. These are designed not to promote the 'Sport'; but rather to ca$h in on it$ popularity and promote Hollywood's own well being.

WE CAN RECALL a great resurgence of the exhibition/competitions took place in the 1970's; then being syndicated to the emerging UHF Stations, instead of live on single stations or networks.

THIS ALL BRINGS us down to the late 1990's and the proliferation of channels available via Cable Systems and Satellite Dish providers; all clamoring for programming, programming and more programming! It was at this time that the CBS subsidiary, THE NASHVILLE NETWORK, gave a shot to an updated, 'hip' and 'urbane' incarnation of the old ROLLER DERBY; being 'modernized' via the use of In-Line Skates (often called "Roller-Blades).

THE IMPLEMENTATION OF new equipment with bright, new uniforms and augmenting them attractive, young participants was a start; but needed more. Biographies of "Stars" could be easily 'embelished'; leading to some great amount of fan interest. No matter that the League was only in operation for three weeks, the commentators reported a serious feud between 2 of the Stars, from different teams, of course. We wondered about just what and just where such a rivalry would have germinated in such a quick manner? Would it be in AMATEUR ROLLER DERBY.

ANOTHER TEAM'S FEMALE contingency declared 4 or 5 of them would be referred to as "the Bod Squad"; once again, when did this name and notion become a reality? ANSWER: Well, Schultz, it's quite simple. The series has a writer, just like any adventure or sitcom show!

AS FOR ANY comparison, the old ROLLER DERBY/ROLLER GAMES looked pretty much the same to this writer. I mean Blockers, Jammers and those hot-shot Point Guys. Put 'em all on a banked track and whatta ya got? Well, quite frankly, it has been referred to as "Wrestling on Roller Skates." WE SEE NO reason to change it now! (Oh, by the way; ROLLER JAM didn't make it into a second season. Such a pity!)

NOTE * The Golden Age for this skaters game roughly corresponded with the great Golden Age of Pro Wrestling. The common denominator? Television!

NOTE: ** The name 'ROLLER DERBY' was a copyright term; although it was commonly tossed about in similar fashion as calling all cellophane tape as "Scotch", any cola as "Coke" or any similar situations.

NOTE While the 'League' was one of the 'modern', in-line skates; they did have one, grizzled veteran from prior leagues who used conventional skates. His name escapes us at the moment!


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