So, ever since the Writer’s Strike ended, there’s been an American Gladiators-shaped hole in my life.
I mean, everybody was complaining about the Writer’s Strike. “Oh, boo hoo hoo,” they said. “Whatever will happen to our favorite scripted dramas?” they said. “But they’re bringing back American Gladiators!” I said. “So what?” they said. “American Gladiators!” I reiterated, because that was answer enough.
I loved American Gladiators, what with all the ridiculous challenges and the costumes and the superhero-esque names and the way my favorite living pro wrestler was a host!
And then: it was gone.
Sure, I managed to get along, but I always felt like something was missing.
(No, Mom, I’m pretty sure it’s not a husband.)
And then: American Ninja Warrior.
My parents saw commercials for it. “You like those,” they said to me.
“Meh,” I said. “Seeing the word ‘American’ before ‘Ninja’ leads me to believe they’ll screw it up somehow.”
Not to mention, after I saw a commercial for American Ninja Warrior, I was all like: “Where’s the warriors? Where’s the ninjary? This is just an obstacle course.“
But, barring anything better to do (hey, I’d already done the yard work, made dinner and baked some truffles. Would do you expect me to do, write a Pulitzer-prize winning novel or something?), I sat down to watch it.
And I fell. Hard.
First off, it’s an obstacle course, sure, but it’s an obstacle course for Parkour experts (“What is Parkour?” said my mom. “It’s like being Spiderman, except without the superpowers,” I told her), all of whom had to submit videos of themselves Parkouring along all awesome-like to be considered for the competition. (As a matter of fact, there was one video of a volunteer firefighter jumping over stuff while wearing a suit that leads me to believe he’d be perfect for the new screenplay I’m writing about a guy who wears a suit and jumps over stuff.) (Oh, and a thing that does annoy me about the show is that it’s really set up for guys, even though they allow women competitors. There was this one awesome lady whose audition video showed her balancing on her elbow and doing, like, midair calisthenics, and she didn’t even clear the second obstacle because of her wee little womanly arms, like it’s a requirement you have to be at least six feet tall to play this game.)
PLUS! Plus so hard, you guys! It had! Evan! “The Rocket!” Dollard!, winner of American Gladiators!
And these guys were trying so hard to defeat this crazy obstacle course and it was all like triumph of the spirit and Go America! and whoooooo!
So I guess what I’m saying is thank God for summer television programming. Thank God for American Ninja Warrior.