Tag Archives: wipeout

As American As Lychee Pie

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My first blog post garnered four (4!) views from Iceland, making it clear I’ve attained cult status among the raiders from the north. Góðan daginn, my friends! After years of detesting you for your treatment of the Mighty Ducks at the Junior Olympic Games, I’ve decided that you are the tops, or at least the tops at Googling ‘Sally Draper’s Period’. (No judgment — I did it too!)

I had big dreams when I started this blog — dreams to write about a fictional character’s entry into puberty. I made that dream come true, and not gonna lie, it was fun. But how long can I ride this wave? Was there ever a wave to begin with? Was it like when your mom tries to do the wave at a sporting event, and you get all embarrassed and go “Mo-om!” and roll your eyes because god, parents?

Probably the third one.

I just learned that NBC has started up American Ninja Warrior, filmed on these bountiful shores and joining the Olympics for NBC’s “Summer of Making You Think About Going to the Gym”. I did love to watch Sasuke and I’m a huge fan of obstacle course shows, but can American Ninja Warrior top it’s predecessor? (Or the reigning champ of my heart, Wipeout?)

Of course it can’t! Wipeout is amazing. But let’s bullet point this baby anyway.

  • Competitors compete in a Sasuke-esque qualifying round, complete with old faithfuls like the Bridge of Blades and the Warped Wall.
  • Not nearly as many novelty contestants in ridiculous costumes — does Wipeout have the market cornered on this? When it comes to spandex-clad comedians falling in the drink, Japan’s got us beat.
  • Sasuke has an unseen, fast-talking commentator distanced from the action and stone cold in his assessment of the competitors, we’ve got a couple of charisma-free white guys in suits telling us that “he’s really an inspiration” and “he’s having a lot of trouble with the salmon ladder”. Sorry my fine white bros, but Sasuke‘s mystery commentator is the real inspiration.
  • We have a pretty lady interviewing contestants course-side! Pretty ladies, they sure love to grab soundbites. Almost as much as shoes, amirite? In the category of equal opportunity reporting (or the illusion of) we have a tie!
  • We love cash and prizes and there’s $500k up for grabs in the U.S. I don’t remember any mention of prizes so I assume that on Sasuke they do it to literally win a spot at ninja college. Doing something just for the challenge? How thoroughly un-American! Gimme the $500K any day.
  • Wait, there’s a prize? That means there’s a winner! One of the best parts of Sasuke was that it could end in the second round with everyone solemnly hanging their heads, haunted by the dark specter of failure. Here, you don’t even have to finish the first course to qualify because 15 contestants are guaranteed to go to Vegas! Are they just going to give the cash to the person who tries the hardest, or who makes the most impressive diorama of Mount Midoryama?  Sasuke, I’ve got your back.
  • ANW has a new feature where the competitor with the lowest time goes to the ‘hot seat’ because they lose their spot if anyone beats them. A seat of shame?! How were you not on top of this, Japan? Isn’t shame your #1 favorite thing? I learned that from a movie where Tom Cruise turns Japanese and it is based on history, so anyway…for shame, Japan.
  • If you enjoy men whose shaved heads aren’t fooling anyone then: USA! USA! USA!

And the winner is. . .

What? I told you it would win.