Saturday, June 27, 2015

Mixed Martial Arts in Television: Volume 1

Criminal Minds - The Bittersweet Science

Be His Father (Season 7, Episode 10) 

This clip is a few years old, but is in my opinion is representative of a current leaning in television to base a plot around something that has recently risen in popularity, in our case Mixed Martial Arts competition, but without doing adequate research.  The result is a product that is enough to get the attention of casual viewers and fight fans alike.  However, the lack of basic research can destroy the credibility of the plot line, thus bringing viewers with any knowledge of the subject matter out of the story.  Most of which could be easily alleviated with a simple internet search, or consulting with an authority on the subject. The one thing that Criminal Minds gets right from a mixed martial artist's perspective is the attitude of the boxing community toward the mixed martial arts.  Where they fail, as is typical, is in the actual portrayal of the competition.  The fans are crowded up to the cage, which looks more like chain link than an MMA cage, there's no referee rules prior to the fight, and the referee even halts the fight for no apparent reason after a knockdown.  After the downed fighter returning to his feet, instead of restarting the action the ref allows him to wander around the cage looking for his 'son' until he decides to continue fighting.  Even if you could suspend your disbelief this long, moments after stopping the action for a knockdown the same referee ignores nearly half a minute of ground and pound with no intelligent defense.  

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