Network: G4, airs Sundays/NBC, airs Mondays
Original Telecast: May 28, 2012

With a title like AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR, NBC is almost daring its viewers not to check it out, even though with a title like that — you have to check it out. And the biggest surprise – this is the fourth season of the series which originated on G4 and now airs different episodes of the same competition on both G4 and NBC and yes, it’s damn entertaining.

While you might be expecting Ninja warriors battling it out with weapons, this series champions the underdogs who want to showcase their amazing physical skills on high intensity obstacle courses. Yes, this is actually a competition series – think ABC’s WIPEOUT but without the laughs.

The contestants take this obstacle course quite serious and on the “MidWest Regionals” episode,  many contestants tried and failed to reach the end in hopes of going to Las Vegas to battle it out on the ultimate course — Mount Midoriyama. Some succeeded though, and the series does a bang-up job of building up those contestants who we should be paying attention to (the out-of-work twentysomething, the single dad cheerleader, etc.)

In Japan, Mount Midoriyama is the ultimate challenge – a four-stage obstacle course that only three have successfully finished in Japan out of 2700 competitors and Mount Midoriyama is recreated in Vegas for the final rounds.

And the “MidWest Regionals” is quite impressive – though, I have to admit, watching several weeks of contestants go through the same course in different regions might get old real quick. Only time will tell.

Keeping things moving are the show’s hosts and commentators Olympic Gold Medalist Jonny Moseley and comedian Matt Iseman.

I’m still not sure what compelled me to watch AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR, nor do I understand how I lasted a whole hour without turning it off, but, I have to admit it’s entertaining television. Will I still be there by the time it gets to the Vegas rounds? I’m not sure, but the series pulled me in so far, so, in a summer that’s filled with annoying reality shows, it’s nice that there’s at least one that doesn’t involve people living together in a house or looking for love.


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Article: TV Review of AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR – Season 4 – “MidWest Regionals”

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