‘American Ninja Warrior’ review: The challenge goes south

This time, we head to Texas.

For our second edition of “American Ninja Warrior” on NBC, the attention moved from California to the midwest, as we saw a new group of competitors take part in the competition in Dallas, Texas. From a competitive standpoint, there were some strong athletes who took to the course — but at the same time, was it really different enough from the premiere to keep people tuned in?

While the first episode (which was our first since watching the original Japanese “Sasuke”) felt like a bit of a fresh air, we saw some of the series’ long-term flaws shine through this week. While the intensity was still there from the contestants, we found ourselves missing some of the manic energy of the original version of the show when it comes to both the narrators and broadcasters. Despite it being only an hour long compared to the two-hour premiere, it also felt slower.

It’s a bit interesting in a way how similar “Ninja Warrior” is to another NBC show in “The Voice” when it comes to its biggest flaw — it has a great premise, but after you watch the same thing over and over again, it starts to feel less exciting. There are so many competitors here it is difficult to get attached to any individual one, and we’ve also yet to see any more of the road of Mt. Midoriyama beyond the stages shown in the past two weeks.

We will still say that this is a competition that is far more engaging than anything else on TV — however, we also need a bit more variety (or at least energy among the announcers) in order for this “Ninja” to justify the hour-long run time.

Did you enjoy this episode as much this week as the premiere?

Photo: NBC

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