Ultimate Beastmaster

The Feisty Indian Aunty Watches… Ultimate Beastmaster

Dept. of Aunty Analysis


Hello everyone, it is me, your Feisty Indian Aunty who is extremely pumped up after watching all three seasons of Ultimate Beastmaster on Netflix. Why, you may ask, would an elderly septuagenarian find this brilliantly crafted, utterly crazy, sports pursuit reality show worthy enough of a binge watch? Well, precisely because it’s brilliantly crafted and utterly crazy.

I was an incredibly active sportswoman for most of my life (I only stopped playing squash and tennis in my fifties when my elbows and knees started acting up), but never have I seen such determined and passionate athletes who come from all walks of life perform in this intricately plotted, well thought out, and seemingly impossible obstacle race called Beastmaster. If you don’t know it, the show is a little bit like American Gladiators, but without all of the theatrics. It’s a race in which the contestants have to move very quickly through a designated area, negotiating tough obstacles by running, jumping, climbing, and swinging.

Ultimate Beastmaster

All of this is based on the sport of “parkour,” a word that is derived from the French phrase “parcours du combatant” (I did some homework here). Inspired by a military training exercise first proposed by George Hebert, today many young athletes are seen to be trained in parkour. The young men and women who participate in this reality show, however, come from a wide variety of sport. You have gymnasts, athletes, rock climbers, and mountaineers. Very few of them have actually been trained in parkour.

Who then are these young men and women? The answer to that explains my fascination for this show. Watching them try and fail, only to get up and try again, over and over again, is nothing short of inspirational. Their determination is incredible. Their struggle to never give up is astounding. The obstacles they encounter may be nothing like what they’ve trained for, but they continue to persist, no matter what. If that isn’t a metaphor for how we should live our lives, I don’t know what is.

We have a father who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis but beat the onset of the disease by extreme exercise. There is the teenager who trained as a rock climber despite losing his hearing (not being able to hear affects your equilibrium) and still managed to get to the final round. There is real human drama here. And stories like these filled me with such awe and admiration. What courage to defeat poverty, parental pressure, physical and mental challenges – all of which are thrown to the wind as these individuals find a way to beat the Beast!

Ultimate Beastmaster

The other wonderful part of his reality show were the various hosts from the participating nations. It was great watching them playfully trade barbs with one another. They were funny. They were outrageous with their comments, gently mocking competing countries, pretending to put a jinx on a successful participant from winning, and yet rejoicing at the success of all the young men and women who were able to beat the Beast. Irrespective of where they were from. There is a real spirit to this show. One that reminded me of the Olympics, but only a little more lighthearted.

Ultimate Beastmaster is a great show to watch. You will marvel at what the “breakable human body” is capable of achieving when it is motivated by passion, determination, and practice. This isn’t just another reality TV show. With its humour, heart, and human drama, it is the perfect binge watch for the holiday season.

Ultimate Beastmaster is now streaming on Netflix.

You can read all The Feisty Indian Aunty’s previous columns here.

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