One of the greatest moments of my TV-watching life so far has been when lowly fisherman Nakota Nagano became the first (real) person to beat all four stages of the Ninja Warrior course in Japan. My roommate and I proceeded to then throw a party in his honor, as we had spent the last three months chronicling his journey toward victory.
So you can imagine that when I heard that Ninja Warrior was coming to America, I was understandably pumped. And after watching what is apparently half of the episodes of this season on Saturday, I have a few comments for those behind the show:
1. This should not be on G4. I know the original show was on G4, but with networks looking for cheap shows that are NOT shitty, Ninja Warrior would fit right at home on whatever parent network owns G4. If done correctly, they could turn the obstacle course into a national phenomenon, where twice a year competitors come from all around the country to try and figure out who is literally the most agile and strong person in the country.
2. Stop gloryifying Japan. Yes, we can pay homage to the original show, and even steal a lot of their obstacles, but the final “prize” of the American show should not be the “chance” to go to Japan to test themselves against the athletes over there. As I said, they should make this its own American thing, and if the winner wants to go to Japan regardless, I’m sure they’ll be happy to extend him an invite.
3. Put some goddamn effort into it. You can see the extreme lack of budget the G4 show has, because currently the second round is the first round course, plus three more obstacles. And one of them is a cargo net. How much can that cost, a $80? How much can any of this cost? You can assemble a challenging course with scrap metal if you wanted to, lord knows some of these competitors do just that to train for the real thing.
4. What the hell is up with all the parkour people? It seems that every freerunner in the country has shown up to this show, and they all have like the top twenty fastest times.
5. Really G4, this is the best original show you’ve ever had and you’re showing it in two, four episode blocks on Saturday night? What the hell else do you have to show during the week? Replays of X-Play? War Games for the fiftieth time? If this HAS to be on G4, build a bit of suspense and have it on every week for a while.
Al l this being said, even SOME American Ninja Warrior is better than NO American Ninja Warrior, and I am enjoying watching the parkour people post absolutely ridiculous times on the course. I couldn’t even run in a straight line as fast as some of these guys are completing the course.
I’m hoping for a fully-designed third course next week, and I will be super pumped to see these guys go up against Nagano at the real Mt. Midoriyama in Japan.