Monday, June 30, 2014

I Am A Couch Ninja

Some guy dressed as Batman failing on the Warped Wall.
Photo credit: blackfeathers

I haven't been posting because the dog ate my homework. And I signed up for a fiction workshop and needed to turn my novel from a stack of dusty papers into a work in progress. Which I did with 2 days to spare. And I had to take it easy because I haven't been up to doing anything for a full day in I don't know how long. Sometime before I was sick for the entire month of December.

This must be how a triathlete feels after they…I feel like there should be a verb meaning "to do a triathlon," something like "they triath."

Speaking of which, I've been watching American Ninja Warrior because G4 is gone and I can't watch the real Ninja Warrior anymore. It has all the goodness of watching people try to complete a ridiculously hard obstacle course. Sometimes they succeed and sometimes they wipe out spectacularly. But because it's on American TV, it also has these inspirational featurettes on contestants who got themselves in shape to compete in just a year. Who then fall on the second obstacle. 

Or someone who's older than other contestants, but is still way younger than the oldest contestants on the Japanese version of the show and oh, by the way age is irrelevant because there are eighteen year olds who could never get in that kind of shape. Some people are never going to be an elite athlete because, you know - elite. 

Plus, ninja warrior isn't only about athleticism  Former Olympians regularly fail on this thing. The fact that someone in their mid-50s is 2 years older than the oldest American guy to do the obstacle course before now is nowhere near as interesting as the announcers seem to think it is.

It's already impressive that people are attempting this ridiculous task. I don't need mini-features that highlight how disappointed people are in their pre-training bodies. We don't all have the same priorities, and our priorities change. Considering how many people wipe out on the first or second obstacle, training for Ninja Warrior may not be the best use of someone's time. Hell, there's only a cash prize for finishing the whole thing, which no one has done yet, so thus far it hasn't been a good use of anyone's time. 

I'm glad they do because it's fun to watch. But when they play the same music over the "I didn't really exercise" bit that they would play over an "I was in a debilitating car accident" part of the story, I start hate-watching the show.

The most insulting part? There are people who complete the obstacle course, but we don't get to watch their entire 3-minute run because their backstory didn't merit an inspirational featurette.

His Awesomeness and I have started fast forwarding over the little featurettes. We've even taken to muting the commentators some times. Or HA just talks over them, doing commentary in the style of the original show.

And these contestants? Professional break dancers and parkour do-ers. (I dunno - is there a noun for people who do parkour? I would care except that one of the parkour doing competitors has traveled internationally to teach parkour to orphans which seems really low on the list of orphan's priorities.) I miss the old guy with the octopus from the original Ninja Warrior. Where are the fishing boat captains? The gas station managers? When you have professional athletes wiping out on the course, you only underscore how ridiculously hard it is. And the whole thing starts to feel stupid.

Though when I think about it, Ninja Warrior makes most sports looks idiotic in comparison. Oh, you like watching large men slam into each other, causing traumatic brain injuries while trying to get an oblong ball to the end of the field? Wouldn't you rather watch a bunch of people try to get to the top of something called The Warped Wall?