Re: Good News, Bad News... ANW 12 News Okay guys, sorry I haven't provided a review for episode 4 yet (not that many people seem to be missing it!), but I've been busy this week. Last night I did film a review of my thoughts on all of the Qualifying episodes. It's a lot of summarizing, probably not very coherent because I talk too fast and very long. But it took long enough that I didn't want to throw it away
Re: Good News, Bad News... ANW 12 News I have to catch up since people are clearly pining for my reviews..
Episode 4 is pretty vague in my memory and suffers from having a pretty vague lineup to begin with. Let's see my thoughts...
1. Shrinking Steps caused an epic wipeout from the one man, but I feel bad it was someone with cystic fibrosis
2. Off the Hook is one that always looks secretly tough to me. Actually, it was tough last year; they just didn't let us see it! Good little change in this position.
3. Beehive was good to see again as we didn't get much of it in episode 4 thanks to the Ledges. It still didn't turn out to be insanely deadly, but it caught-out a few!
4. Spinning Bridge seems to have aged better than many obstacles, but you still won't see me crying if we lose them next year.
5. Sideways is somewhat strangely-named and also a bit of a hodge-podge obstacle! The sideways lache movement is nice to see (if a bit tame), but then there's an awkward lache to a zipline of sorts, which doesn't look easy but generally seems out of place! Then three more panels to the end, but strangely there is a large wall in front of the landing platform that contestants must swing over. Even more strangely, this platform spins around when kicked, but we only saw that function once or twice and it had no effect. The whole obstacle feels a bit of a mess, especially as the only all-new fifth obstacle we're receiving this year.
6. Mega Wall has been slain again! I'm glad Joe was finally able to pass the Wall too; it was a good moment to see him overcome that barrier, especially with how few have done so this season.
While it's been awhile, I thought this was overall a ho-hum episode. Some really good stuff, but some mundane elements were definitely involved too.
One of the most interesting parts was seeing the kid from season 4 who convinced his Dad to compete for him now competing himself! I remembered him from 2012! Sucks that he failed the Beehive, but I actually appreciated his anger (albeit funny to watch) because it shows the passion he has for it. It's better than a bunch of people looking for participation-trophies. ..Although he is being saved by Joe winning the Power Tower, so I guess that it a bit of a consolation prize But I'll be glad to see him in the Final.
It's really strange when you look at how many of the Top 12 got skipped! Lucas Reale, The Kid, David Wright, Pekus, Bull, Kretsch and several others! What's up with that? I think The Kid may have had Drew on his "sideline", so that could've been part of the issue, but no idea on the others.
On the other hand, we saw full runs from a lot of women, including two clears! Good to see some unprecedented clears from Tiana and Mady, and also glad Meagan could sneak through.
Beyond that, I'm honestly struggling to remember much on this episode. My apologies, but at least it was fresh in my mind when I made the YouTube review, should you desire to watch it..
Re: Good News, Bad News... ANW 12 News Going right onto episode 5 now, and this one was a lot more exciting! Four new obstacles for the first time in a regional since... season Oklahoma last year (and they were fewer and farther between in the years before that). Also special is that this isn't a Qualifying episode. It's the fact that there aren't set regional courses this year that allowed for this to happen, and it's actually pretty cool. Of course, next week won't be quite so exciting! But stay focused here, we're talking about episode 5!
1. Shrinking Steps are first in that discussion, though there isn't much to say now!
2. Off the Hook was new to almost everyone in this round, which is an interesting dynamic. We saw that a bit with the obstacle swapping in 2018, but now this is on a much larger scale, which does keep you more on your toes throughout the run. Forget who it was that kicked the second hook, but that was dicey.
3. Clockwork was a neat idea! It has a similar element as Weight For It in transitioning to a moving bar, but the clock structure made it feel very unique at the same time. Looks like an obstacle where you can never be certain you'll grab the bar the right way!
4. Burn Rubber was a refreshing balance obstacle! While going fast was the strategy of the night, it gave competitors more leeway in how to approach it than Rib Run and the Spinning Bridge, and it just felt original. We've seen the tires before, but multiple in a row was a good idea. Also probably slightly harder being offset!
5. Sideways still has the same opinion from me as it did in my other review 45 minutes ago, but I approved of the middle part on the track having competitotrs grab the board itself rather than a handle. The obstacle felt more cohesive like that, since it keeps the theme of grabbing the boards. It's still not a very exciting fifth obstacle choice, though.
6. Warped Wall was pretty predictable, but Donovan's move lit it up! That's always a really impressive move.
7. Salmon Ladder definitely works more as a sidekick of the eighth obstacle these days, but it serves its purpose.
8. Cork Screw was a great new idea and very much deserving of winning the Obstacle Design Challenge. Watching competitors spin at that speed was really exciting, especially as you prepared for the impact to see if they could hold on. The upward swing seemed to be the harder part than the spinning, which seems strange, but upwards laches are pretty rare on ANW, so I appreciate it nonetheless!
9. The Dungeon is another really good concept. It put more concepts together than the Sideways did, but in a cleaner and more fluid way. Climbing up and then horizontally across the same panel gives the obstacle a unique sense of direction. Going from a normal grip to a vertical grip is also extremely tough considering your hand has already adapted to holding you up in the usual way. I'm surprised more people didn't fall on the "nunchuck" segment. The door at the end also worked as an ending.
10. Spider Trap is still a good ending.
I saw lots of safety concerns about Cork Screw and people getting whiplash from being twisted so fast, but I think it's fine. I like it enough that I'm not worried, anyway Also impressed with whatever system they have that quickly pulls the wheel up once the competitor is off of it, that must make things much safer!
There were some sad fails early on, but they served a purpose of demonstrating the first few obstacles. Beird looked alright on Clockwork, but I guess she just mistimed it. Sorry for Nick on Burn Rubber as he was at a height disadvantage.
Also sorry that Grant didn't move on, but it does teach the lesson not to spend so much time messing around. Of course, this time he wouldn't have moved on with any time, considering he failed Cork Screw. Still, I knew he was somehow in trouble when they started talking about time.
In the same way, when they started about the ninth obstacle possibly being the cut-off, you can be pretty certain it will be. When they don't mention it, you can usually expect it to be the eighth obstacle.
Anyway, onto some good news! Great to see people like Jake and Gil clear the course, though strange we didn't have a Power Tower this episode. I'm not complaining, and I know it's not needed in this stage, but it's awkward how we've had it so far in episodes 2-4 only!
Also relieving to see Rayl clear Finals after his Qualifying screw-up, even if we didn't get to see it!
Gillett's story was really sad, but brought down the mood a bit. Unfortunately, it sounds like his cousin has since died, so I'll be thinking of him. Still good to see him clear!
Lots of competitors got stuck on The Dungeon, including the star-crossed couple of ANW. I knew when they briefly showed DiGangi falling there, they were either leading up to Labreck beating him or (as always) perfectly matching him. I'm glad both of their efforts get them into Finals anyway!
Crazy though that The Kid is already out at this stage, but just goes to show how brutal the Cork Screw is.
All in all we had a really good episode here, mainly down to the new obstacles. Lots of interesting new obstacles, and curious if new obstacles in the first half of the course will live on after COVID.
Re: Good News, Bad News... ANW 12 News Sorry about the lack of posts. I know I always miss out the last few episodes so it doesn't mean much, but I feel like I checked out this season. Plus, there was actually no one responding here this time
BUT I have filmed a second review for episodes 5-8 that I'll post tomorrow in lieu of the usual reviews, to save some time.
One additional thing I noticed though: They keep referring to the Power Tower battle as the "FIRST Power Tower finale" (or something like that). I'm just nervous they're already planning on another season with this format. I'm sure they'll at least improve on some things if they have eto maintain this format, but i think it'd make for a better season (and probably pull up the ratings quite a bit) if they could have a much greater semblance of a normal series next year..
Re: Good News, Bad News... ANW 12 News Not going into huge detail for this one. Really liked a lot of the new obstacles - Clockwork and The Dungeon were my favorites but liked every new obstacle bar Sideways. Finals format this year clearly had nothing on Vegas but just happy to see a season at all tbh. The Finals tho do show how much better the regionals could be in future with better editing and no overlong unrelated fluff pieces - keep them short, focusing on the ninja, their previous performance and their thoughts on this course and how they think they'll do. I'd describe this season as a decent way to pass time but overall the episodes were forgettable. Hope we can get back to a 4-stage course in the future but who knows where the world will go or how consistently decreasing ratings (which took a BIG nosedive this year) will affect the show.
Re: Good News, Bad News... ANW 12 News Hey, we've missed you!
Yeah, I heard about the ratings I think it's a mix of this lower quality format, the Drew mess, and just the fact that ratings have been lowering for awhile. It's sad, and I hope they see it as motivation to go back to the old format and not motivation to keep production on the cheaper side Unfortunately, it's probably more motivation for the latter, but I still expect them to try a Vegas course ASAP - hopefully this Spring.
But yes, lots of good obstacles this year at least. The whole season did have a bit of a depressing vibe though (don't know how to explain it). I know it might be virus-related, but it's so much nicer outside IMO. I know they were planning a mostly indoor season even in January so it's concerning me
PS: I forgot to share the link earlier, so here you go!:
Re: Good News, Bad News... ANW 12 News I wouldn't worry too much about the ratings - this is considered a summer show so it'll get another chance in it's regular slot where it has done pretty well for years. Should also ensure the changes made do not remain part of the format moving forward.
--- "It's a bit like water boarding. It's got water in it... and I'm bored!" Charlie Brooker on Total Wipeout
Re: Good News, Bad News... ANW 12 News Yes, that's still my overall hope.
Also, season 13 will officially be taking place in Vegas in some capacity, so good news there I hope they do keep the Qualifying regionals (but maybe down to five of them and even if they must all be done inside with no one) so it can retain its original format. They should have the usual timeframe this year so I sure hope so