A stylish reality series that follows the private lives, dramas and quirky personalities of the ladies of Texas Roller Derby. The first half of each episode focuses on their off-track lives... See full summary »
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2006  
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Stuart Thomajan ...
 Himself (6 episodes, 2006)
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A stylish reality series that follows the private lives, dramas and quirky personalities of the ladies of Texas Roller Derby. The first half of each episode focuses on their off-track lives in the days leading up to the roller derby competition, featured in the second half. Recurring themes touch on strength, individuality, rebellion, feminism and comraderie. Written by rooprect

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A new spin on drama

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Reality-TV | Sport

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It's all about the ANGST, Baby!!!
17 January 2006 | by (The Great Northwest) – See all my reviews

I assumed that a series like Rollergirls would contain some roller-derby...

Alas, so far only a little...

What IS the deal with this show? The director follows around a bunch of ordinary women who happen to skate in a (all women) roller-derby league in their spare time. The viewer is privy to the team members trials and tribulations including but not limited to: feelings of self doubt, physical weariness, group in-fighting, frustrations regarding each other's integrity (or lack of), friendships, rivalries and so on, ad nauseum. Why would we care? They are ROLLERGIRLS, Baby! Only you would hardly know it from watching...

Actual track time during a roller derby match is limited to a surreal video collage that lasts no more than 3 minutes (and seems like MUCH less) per episode. It is impossible to figure out what is happening during the match without the narration which is provided by editing the track announcer's comments. The cameras are NOT set up to really give the viewer a grasp of the action. Absolutely the opposite. Then there's the gaffs like the announcer talking about a 5 point lead while the scoreboard reads 16 to 22. Excuse me, TV is a VISUAL MEDIUM!!!! If you can not tell the story with pictures you should give up! Without the context of the actual match to ground it, the interaction of the characters is irrelevant.

Another really annoying thing about this show is the way that the director takes you to the curtain but does not really let you see behind it. What is the deal with roller derby? Is it fake? Is it real? Is it a show? What is it? Rollergirls is no help even though the director devotes a lot of air time to the team practices. Mostly you get to see skating, stretching and exercising. You do not get to see how to punch, how to fall and the various tricks (that the girls OBVIOUSLY know) for making fake violence look real.

Having said all that, the series has its moments. In 3 episodes that have been shown so far, a rollergirl's real first name is used exactly once. I understand the realities of a performer not wanting her real name used and would not have it any other way. But seeing "Lunatic" who only gets to skate on a "day pass" from the "State Mental Institution" at her day job in an office is hysterical. Then there is halftime at the Rollerderby where each team (of dedicated amateur athletes) goes outside and sits in the team school bus smoking cigarettes until the match starts again. Or anything that "Miss Conduct" does or says.

All in all, a mixed bag. Do not tune in if you are expecting to see roller-derby matches.


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