Never In My Wildest Dreams Did I Think I'd Get Bored Watching Robots Fight

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Disney Unveils First Virgin Princess

LOS ANGELES—In an effort to better reflect the diverse backgrounds and experiences of their audience, Disney officials this week introduced Lily of Hazelberry, the company’s first virgin princess.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 23, 2015

ARIES: The universe, in all its wisdom, has a plan for everyone. Strangely, you’re supposed to be the nun who holds up a distributor cap and winks while the Nazis try to start their car.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 9, 2015

ARIES: Your death next week will seem in­explicable until people remember the ill-advised 1985 “cross your heart and hope to die” pledge you made to be best friends with Jenny Bosben.

New Music Festival Just Large Empty Field To Do Drugs In

Declaring the event a rousing success so far, organizers confirmed more than 45,000 people turned out Wednesday for the first annual Cavalcade Folk and Roots Festival, a four-day gathering that consists solely of a big empty field to do drugs in.

Director Seeking Relatively Unknown Actress For Next Affair

LOS ANGELES—Saying that he’s going for a certain look and will know it when he sees it, feature film director Peter Hastings, 52, confirmed to reporters Wednesday that he hopes to find a relatively unknown actress for his next extramarital affair.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of May 26, 2015

ARIES: You’re not sure if your new mousetrap is better, but due to its horrifying use of liquefying blades, the world will beat a path to your door out of sheer morbid curiosity.

Famous Television Finales

The award-winning AMC series Mad Men ended its seven-season run on Sunday night and drew critical acclaim for its final episode, a conclusion that many felt was poignant and satisfying. Here are some other memorable TV finales across the years

Plan For Future Still Involves Drumming For Lifehouse

SOUTH BEND, IN—Fifteen years after first envisioning the path he hoped his professional life would take, local man Brent Gibbs is still planning his future around being the drummer for Los Angeles-based alternative rock band Lifehouse, sources confi...

Fox Revives ‘X-Files’: What To Expect

After months of speculation, Fox has announced that it is bringing back its hit ’90s TV show The X-Files, about a team of FBI special agents investigating unsolved cases about strange and paranormal phenomena, for at least six new episodes...

Your Horoscopes — Week Of March 24, 2015

ARIES: Your belief that everything happens for a reason may remain unshaken in the face of personal tragedy, but you'll certainly be upset when you find out the reason is "to get the Zodiac some chicks." 

Your Horoscopes — Week Of March 10, 2015

ARIES: As long as people don't look too long and the lights aren't too bright, no one will be able to see where they tried to fix your face from what will happen to it this coming Thursday. 

Nation Delighted As Many Famous People In Same Room Together

HOLLYWOOD—Expressing their immense personal satisfaction at the gathering appearing on their television screens, millions of Americans across the country were reportedly delighted Sunday night upon seeing many famous people in the same room together...

Half Of Hollywood Test Group Screened Placebo Film

LOS ANGELES—Saying the methodology helps them ensure unbiased results in their marketing research, studio executives at Paramount Pictures confirmed that during a Hollywood test screening this week they showed half of all theatergoers a placebo film...

Your Horoscopes — Week Of January 6, 2015

ARIES: One of the worst moments of a person's life is when they finally realize that they're mortal and are going to die, especially when it's a person like you who only sees the cement truck at the last second.

A Timeline Of Upcoming Superhero Movies

Following the massive successes of the Spider-Man, Batman, Avengers, and X-Men franchises, studios Marvel and DC Entertainment have announced as many as 40 upcoming superhero movies to be released over the next six years ...

Sesame Street’s 45th Anniversary: A Look Back

Sesame Street, the long-running PBS children’s television show starring a cast of Jim Henson muppets who teach children basic learning concepts and introduce them to difficult issues, turns 45 this week.

TV Show Under Fire For Depicting Murder

LOS ANGELES—In what is being described as perhaps the most shocking and distasteful moment in broadcast history, the popular primetime television show Criminal Minds is facing heavy criticism today for airing an episode that depicted the act ...
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Coworkers Pull Off Daring One-Hour Lunch Break

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Never In My Wildest Dreams Did I Think I'd Get Bored Watching Robots Fight

Who doesn't love robots? They're scary, they're powerful, and they're intelligent. They're frickin' cool, is the long and short of it. And robots fighting?! That's off the charts, as they say.

Or so I thought. Lo and behold, last night, as I was watching the Eviscerator's rusty-steel jaws demolish Dr. Clomp's titanium shell on Battlebots, I dozed off.

Roy F. Mason? Dozing off during a flurry of sparks and shrieking metal as robots used their mechanized strength to pulverize each other? What's wrong with this picture?

Could I be the same person who once came to blows with Steve Olsen during a late-night debate over who'd triumph in a battle between Tornado and Gort? (My position, of course: Gort in a walk.) Well, I can only say that I saw a 30-pound, two-part robot armed with only a circular saw stave off relentless attacks from a pit of MIT AI robots and it left me cold. Some things cannot be explained.

If you had told me when I was 8 years old that there would one day be TV shows featuring nothing but robots fighting each other, I probably would have flipped out. I would have counted down the days to that glorious, unimaginable future. But now, watching those little toaster ovens roll around and bump into each other just makes me want to change the channel.

When I first heard about Battlebots and Robot Wars, I was ecstatic. I stayed up all night for weeks imagining my own attack robot, "The Cybernihilator." He had whirling tentacles with electrodes and spot welders on alternating ends, giving him the ability to short-circuit robot opponents and weld them to the floor. But now, the sight of dueling robots—not fake cartoon robots, not guys in robot costumes, but actual robots in an actual Robot War!—makes me sleepy.

Maybe the producers of these shows are at fault. I mean, how about giving these robots a little personality? You can't just slap a remote device on a lawn mower and call it a robot. Give it a synthesized voice, something deep and sinister. A woman's voice might be a nice touch, too. Add some motorized eyes, or make them sexy, like in I, Robot... Aw, will you listen to me? What am I saying? I'm talking about an arena battle of fighting robots, for Pete's sake. Who am I to look that kind of gift horse in the mouth?

How about this: Let's eliminate the featherweight-bots category. I'm sorry, but watching a slightly modified dustbuster fight for its existence is about as interesting as a walk in the park. How about pitting two mechanized tanks against each other for a change?! It would be like "MrooooooooW! Pow pow pow! Ker-BLOOM!"

Also, maybe it's that these contests lack a human element. No humans are ever in danger. How about upping the ante for the robot teams, maybe strap the programmers' infant children onto the robots so each battle has some real stakes? Now, that's a Robot War!

In fact, why are these robots being contained at all? They should loom over our streets and our homes, hunting down hobos, sick children, and the elderly. That way, we could all be part of the action...

Oh, who'm I kidding? It's not the show's fault, it's mine. The whole sky could be black with invading flying robot drones, and I'd slip into a nap. Something's seriously wrong with me.

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