"Game of Arms is a raw, unfiltered look inside the world of professional arm wrestling. It is completely ridiculous—and so very fascinating.
“Arm wrestling is not a sport,” says one man, basically a talking bicep, in the premiere of AMC’s new docuseries, Game of Arms. “It’s a way of life.”
The man, a walking cloud of testosterone, says this with utmost sincerity. He is very serious about arm wrestling. And so are the other members of the New York Arms Control, a local New York City-based arm wrestling club that will compete against rival clubs from all over the country in the first season of Game of Arms. They are all so, so serious. About arm wrestling.
It’s all that seriousness that makes Game of Arms so fun.
The series, the first episode of which airs Tuesday night, fights its own wrestling match of sorts: how to present the outlandish earnestness of the excessive machismo and clichés of permeating this obscure sport with enough respect that we take these people as seriously as they take themselves while also sending up that self-importance so that the show is entertaining without being exploitative parody.
One of the first lines of the show strikes that balance perfectly, setting the tone for a full season of fascinating lunacy. “There’s nothing like the feeling 30 seconds before I put my arm on the table,” says one of the competitors. “When I tell people I’m a professional arm wrestler, they laugh. They give me a look and say, ‘Is that a real thing?’ I just say, ‘You’re goddamned right it is.’”
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