Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Oh No, You Didn't - American Weird Warriors

by Kim D.

On Sunday I was at a kid's birthday party at a new trampoline jumpy place. It was the first time we had been there, and my son was super pumped that it had a ninja warrior obstacle section.  Yes, he loves to watch American Ninja Warrior; in fact, I commented to another parent that it was one of the few television shows we could watch with our son as a family.

That's exactly how both my husband and I felt until last night, when the fan favorite introduction duo of McCartney and Carver made a splash - literally. Who knows and, seriously, who cares, if these guys are or are not gay. They may simply be two goofs who use the American Ninja Warrior platform to promote their personalities and not their athletic skills. Both men did not fair well on the course and were eliminated quickly.

This is the first season that we have made it a point to DVR and watch the entire season of American Ninja Warrior so perhaps we have missed some controversial shows in the past, but in the ones we have seen the "warriors" are introduced and a small snippet of their lives is shown. For example, last night's finale show began with a fitness trainer who talked about past failures and his drive for success and a concrete worker who showed how his profession had helped train him to take on the challenge of the tough ninja warrior courses.

About a quarter of the way into the show the Rookie of the Year, an engineering student, talked about his motivation to succeed who was his first rock climbing coach who has a lung disease and would be watching via Facetime to cheer him on - he almost made it to the end, slipping and dropping into the water on the fifth section of the course.

Next up were McCartney and Carver hailed as the fan favorite duo. In their bio snippet, they only talked about their friendship and how they loved hanging with each other. McCartney (left) kept suggesting that his buddy Carver (right) should tell the audience how attractive and strong he thought McCartney was, which, I'm sorry, but doesn't sound like two macho dudes. Before giving Carver a big hug, McCartney shared his impression of his buddy - "he's precious," also not a masculine descriptor.

Now, again, these guys simply might have been goofing around but to young men watching to see inspirational stories and fantastic obstacle course runs from strong men and women, this portion of the show seemed just plain weird. The final jewel we see in the bio snippet is the two running up an outdoor stairway where at the top Carver intentionally bears his butt cheeks for viewers. 

It was at this point that my husband threw up his hands and said, "That's it - you can't escape this crap. There are no more family friendly shows on TV." Luckily, my son was distracted with a new Lego creation he had just finished and missed Carver's moon shot. To be clear, these guys were doing what they obviously love to do - being silly; however, the editors of American Ninja Warrior had the choice to show or not show a contestant's butt. Unfortunately they chose sensational ratings instead of considering the younger portion of the audience and parents who would consider this inappropriate for what they thought was G-rated television programming.

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