By Joseph Walter
The effects of this drinking game may be fatal.
Trials have yet to be performed. Any volunteers?
In fact, the obstacle courses are so difficult, that there hasn't been a single winner on the final course in its entire run. Because of this, there's a very satisfying element to seeing how far someone will push themselves to make as much progress as possible, and that lingering hope that maybe, some how, some way, they'll beat this seemingly impossible challenge.
Aside from that good, old-fashioned, under-dog fun, there's the usual spattering of sob stories, and uplifting tales to help the viewer relate with the various competitors. But there's another element that sticks out like a sore thumb (and if you're a fan, you've probably guessed what I'm getting to already): The utterly banal commentators, Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila. They're an obnoxious force to be reckoned with, saying the dumbest possible things as often as they repeat themselves with their needless commentary.
When all's said and done, though, those two dinguses and the rest of the show's oddities somehow work together to make a very compelling and thrilling program to get invested in.
That said, like all good things, a drinking game had to be forged out of it and, while I camped on the beautiful islands in the pristine Lake George, I compiled the following list:
- Anytime Akbar curses a contestant,* take a shot.
- Anytime Akbar says "L Shape," or "I Shape," sip your drink.
- Anytime Akbar says "90 degrees," sip your drink.
- Anytime a contestant loses on the same obstacle they lost at last time, finish your drink.
- Anytime the hosts hype up a player, only for them to lose unexpectedly fast, take a shot.
- Anytime Kacy Catanzaro shows up randomly, take a shot.
- Anytime someone is trained in Sam Sann's gym, sip your drink.
- Anytime someone builds a Ninja course in their backyard, finish your drink.
- Anytime an awful/tasteless pun is made, sip your drink.
- Anytime a contestant takes their shirt off, take a shot.
- Anytime someone says "I wish the commentators would shut up," they finish their drink.
- Anytime a commentator says "[their] [limb] is burning!" take a shot, straight.
- Anytime a commentator or contestant says "[I/They] dig deep!" take a shot, straight.
- Anytime Akbar uses the scientific term for a muscle or muscle group, take a shot.
- Everytime a contestant unleashes a guttural roar, take a shot, straight.
- Everytime the mysterious towel tosser throws a towel at a newly-dunked loser, finish your drink.
- When Mark Iseman uses the "Ninja Voice," take a moment to reflect upon your life, and then consume the nearest alcoholic beverage.
* = "Cursing" a player refers to the oddly common event of Akbar praising a contestant or their form, only for them to be disqualified moments later. Studies conducted by myself and my mother have concluded that Akbar is directly responsible for this, using some form of arcane magicks.
What do you think? Did I miss any of the idiosyncrasies from the Ninja Culture that'd be a great fit for the list? Let me know in the comments below!