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STUDIO: A&E Home Video
RUNNING TIME: 585 Minutes
• Confessions of a Rollergirl Bonus Episode
• Anatomy of a Bout Featurette
• Hellcats, Rhinestone Cowgirls, and Holy Rollers Team Profile Featurettes
• Venis Envy, Punky Bruiser, Miss Conduct, Cha Cha, Lux and Sister Mary Jane Player Profile Featurettes
• Casting Tapes
• "Learn the Lingo" Glossary
• Rollergirls biographies
It’s just like female jello wrestling…only on roller skates…and minus the jello…but with lots more violence.
Miss Conduct, I love you. And it’s not just a sticky, roll around in custard with you and lick you clean kind of love, it’s deeper than that…. Okay, it is a sticky, roll around in custard with you and lick you clean kind of love, but it’s love damnit…
Lux, Miss Conduct, Cha Cha, Chola, Venis Envy, Hades Lady, Catalac, Punky Bruiser, Sister Mary Jane.
Rollergirls is the A&E show that profiles a real-life roller derby league, TXRD, in Austin, Texas and the ladies that do battle on eight wheels. The teams that make up the league include the Las Putas del Fuego, the Holy Rollers, the Hellcats and the Rhinestone Cowgirls. Every episode tends to spotlight a different Rollergirl, showing a mix of their home lives and their lives on the rink. Some of the Rollergirls that are featured include Venis Envy, a rookie (The Rookie), Clownsnack, a former Hellcat team captain who has to fight to get back into the league after an extended absence (The Snack is Back), and Punky Bruiser, who is fighting depression about how her life is going (Punky Needs a Life). There’s plenty of fun to be had along the way, including toilet papering other teams houses, egging their cars, and going out drinking with teammates.
"And the Hellcats are really going to have to work harder tonight as half their team is on the DL."
This is the kind of reality TV that I can stand watching. Forget all of the bullshit of relationship shows like The Bachelor, Temptation Island or Joe Millionaire. I dig real stories about real people doing their real jobs and not something that requires a rose ceremony or canned mood music while contestants tell each other how much they love each other before one of them dumps the other. Here the producers do a good job of taking you into the girls’ lives and showing what it takes to do what they do and show you how they unwind. It also showcases Austin and the down home feel of the town. The production value of the show is good and they know how to cut it to keep your interest.
"Okay, so are we clear? When their jammer comes around, you create a diversion and I’ll whip out the crowbar and take her out at the knee."
"You really think that’s necessary, Tanya?"
All of the episodes are pretty good. Some that stand out include The Snack is Back where Clownsnack, a former captain, decides to come back after spending time away from the sport to deal with her sick mom (yeah, I know, whip out the violins). But rather than having a cake walk back into the league, she faces politics and resentment from people who used to be her subordinates who are now are her superiors. Her situation would have lingering issues throughout the season. Another is Searching for Ann Calvello, where the league tries to convince roller derby legend, Ann Calvello, to show up for the championship bout. Also during the season, there’s the expected drama as girls cat fight and politics abound, personal issues get in the way of skating, girl power is exercised, blah blah blah. Still it’s a pretty decent watch. Incidentally, my favorite Rollergirl is Miss Conduct.
"Ohmygod, where did you get that top?"
"Wal-Mart, isn’t it just adorable?"
The show is in widescreen, and the picture is usually pretty good, probably shot on digital. There’s the boilerplate Dolby Digital and the artwork nicely showcases Miss Conduct and the other girls. What really makes this package stand out, though are the special features, of which there are a lot more than one would immediately expect. There’s a bonus episode, Confessions of a Rollergirl, where the ladies sit around a bar and riff on the show, the season, each other, etc. There are also profiles of both the players and the teams, Rollergirl bios, a Learn the Lingo glossary of terms. The best feature is probably the casting tapes, which feature most of the notable girls in question and interview sessions. Finally, there’s Anatomy of a Bout, which explains in detail exactly what roller derby is all about (apparently it’s not just about random violence between smokin’ hot chicks and bull dikes).
Okay, the WNBA is just getting way too scary…