I was just sitting here thinking “wow. I would just so totally suck if I was ever on the American Ninja Challenge.” Have you ever watched that show? It’s all about momentum and control. And public embarrassment.
I remember this genre at its birth when it was all just about watching Japanese people getting hurt. That was the late 90’s and, at the time, the show was exclusive to Spike TV at the time. It was something like MXC. The show was nothing short of mesmerizing.
They put the show on at like 12:30am and people would roll in from the bars - find an unsuspecting bag of carbs and sit on their couches. Transfixed. They never even translated the show. Just herds of similarly sized Asian men and women - some in costume - running whole hog at a wall of doors, or a field of tipsy lilly pads over a creek that looks like straight up sewage. Or running from massive boulders. And they smiled through it all.
It's like there is only dirty water in Asia. I don't know why I was so struck by that. I found it so disgusting that they were knowingly falling into this questionable pool of muck.
Nowadays it’s all about fitness. Yawn. Damn US lawyers ruined it for everyone. I suppose we still have Wipeout… but it seems very tame in comparison.