Ultimate Beastmaster: Season 1 – Review

You can find the full season of Ultimate Beastmaster February 24th, on Netflix.

Netflix is promoting Ultimate Beastmaster as the first reality competition series of its kind. The show features contestants from six countries, who compete in intense obstacle courses, designed only for the world’s toughest athletes. Viewers watching in the United States will have a pair of American hosts (Terry Crews and Charissa Thompson), while those watching in Germany will receive commentary from two German celebrities. With Netflix recently expanding its service around the globe, this idea makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, it’s Ultimate Beastmaster‘s repetitive formula that makes this show unenjoyable.

I’d describe the show as Wipeout on steroids. Even at the ‘basic’ Level 1, the course is intense. Just one small misstep will leave hopefuls in the water below. The problem is, we see the same exact courses for the first nine episodes. Each installment features 12 new players, two representing each country. At the end of the hour, the person with the most points wins, and moves on to the season finale, where he or she will compete against the other eight episode winners. Only one will be crowned champion. Herein lies the program’s fatal flaw. Why would I want to watch the exact same thing over and over? Perhaps mixing up the challenges the athletes face would keep viewers invested. Instead, even those interested in the genre will watch the premiere then skip straight to the finale (if they’re smart).

The commentary also detracted from my enjoyment. In Wipeout, the tone was more comedic and the hosts would joke around. In Ultimate Beastmaster, Crews and Thompson have nothing to add. “Oh no! He fell.” “Looks like he’ll make that jump.” The repetitive chants of “USA!” got annoying quickly.

In typical reality competition fashion, each contestant gets a short segment to tell their story and voice their inspirations for being here. The standout story was from Taeyoung Lee. He is blind in one eye but still made it pretty far in the course!

If you’re a fan of similar shows, I’d recommend checking Ultimate Beastmaster out just for the international scope. Otherwise, it’s a hard pass.

I give Ultimate Beastmaster a C.