A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that reality competition show American Ninja Warrior, which is a spin-off of a Japanese series, features people attempting to complete one of the world's toughest obstacle courses for a major cash prize. It's pretty mild, but most challenges result in people falling (occasionally hitting the mats hard, but no blood), getting frustrated (the word "piss" is audible), or succeeding ... and ripping off their shirts to celebrate. Challengers' personal stories sometimes reference serious illnesses or feature guns. Folks should be reminded never to try any of these stunts at home.
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What's the story?
In AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR, contestants attempt to conquer one of the world's most grueling obstacle courses. Based on the Japanese hit series Sasuke, the stateside version features Warrior hopefuls from across the country competing for one of 100 open slots. Those who make the cut have a chance to vie for $500,000 by facing Mount Midoriyama, a grueling four-stage obstacle course in Las Vegas that requires challengers to be mentally and physically strong, quick, and acrobatic. Hosts Matt Iseman and Olympian Jonny Moseley offer their play-by-play commentary and, along with sideline reporter Angela Sun, give viewers a close-up look at the course and its challengers. Whoever completes the course in the shortest amount of time wins both the cash and the coveted title.
Is it any good?
American Ninja Warrior celebrates human strength and agility while entertaining viewers with larger-than-life obstacle courses that few will ever be able actually to complete. Some of the athletes' personal stories and training histories also add interest to the show.
Watching people go through the same obstacle course over and over again gets a little tedious. But folks who are interested in fitness and/or athletic-oriented competitions will definitely enjoy it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what motivates people to participate in extreme sport competitions. Is it just for the money? Or are there other things that inspire them? What motivates audiences to watch?
What do participants gain from being on TV? What do you think happens behind the scenes at shows like this? What's not seen?
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