I'd like to offer not only a review, but also a description about what I consider to be an excellent and fun show.
The actual time of coverage for each episode's roller derby bout exceeds a quarter of the show (a bout, by the way, is 32 minutes long, four 8-minute quarters). Besides the bout itself, viewers can expect a great deal of pre-bout set-up, a brief but decent explanation of the rules of the game for new viewers, and brief clips of past derby action from previous bouts of that episode's teams and individual players. The announcers really help to understand the game and what's going on, play by play.
The rest of the show is all about the roller-derby's players and its league, each episode focusing on one or two players' out-of-ring lives. These are almost always entertaining, and moreso than the standard reality-show fare; it helps that the sport in which these women participate is a real labor of love, to which they're all very committed (all of the funding and organization comes from the Rollergirls themselves). Showing the contrast of their day-to-day lives and their derby lives (at least one of them compares it to "getting to be a superhero for a night") is interesting, letting the viewer get this sense of their normal lives being punctuated by this pretty extreme, unique extracurricular excitement. The women themselves are an interestingly varied bunch; everywhere from mature and dedicated, to bratty and melo-dramatic, to creative and anarchistic; and with the backdrop of the roller-derby, it all makes for some great entertainment.
The action on the ring is not only athletic, but passionate and theatrical: you'll see some serious action, some playfulness, some fights, some hammed-up faux-hostilities, some friendships, and grudges, all mixed together. It's fun stuff, and the people I've shown it to have usually become rather addicted to the show. As you can probably tell, I love Rollergirls, and have from the get-go. I don't watch a lot of TV, and when I do, it's usually the small number of series that I think are genuinely well-done (examples: Lost, The Office (UK & US), Battlestar Galactica, Arrested Development, The Daily Show, etc.). I completely recommend watching at least one episode.
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