Cam Newton has a new show on Nickelodeon — haven’t you heard? All In With Cam Newton, which debuted last Friday, is a branding exercise disguised as an educational resource in which Cam wields Jon Taffer–esque authority over small children. It is not good, but it is entertaining. In case you missed the premiere, we have you covered. Here are five key lessons we learned.
1. Every kid has a dream inside of them.
In lieu of theme music, All In begins with Cam reciting a platitudinous monologue about unlocking your dreams. “I believe every kid has a dream inside of them,” Cam proclaims, citing his own childhood ambition of “making it to the pros” as evidence of this apparently profound conviction. But, naturally, there’s a catch: Cam wouldn’t have been able to achieve his dreams without the help of “great mentors and coaches,” which is by far the nicest thing anyone has said about Gene Chizik in five years. I’m sure Nolan Nawrocki is enjoying this.
This realization serves as the basis for All In, which pairs big-dreaming youngsters with Cam, who vows to help them “tackle their goals and take their game to the next level.” Lamentably, there is no dabbing in the premiere.
2. You probably don’t need Cam Newton to achieve your dreams.
The first half of the premiere features Kaden, a 12-year-old BMX hopeful who aspires to become the youngest rider to ever complete a trick called the “bar-bar-tuck.” It’s an ambitious goal, but thankfully, Kaden doesn’t have to accomplish it alone. No, I’m not referring to Cam here — BMX all-stars Mat Hoffman and Daniel Sandoval (who is not wearing white Vans) show up to guide Kaden to biking glory. As such, Cam’s role is unclear; he mostly just stands off to the side and spouts motivational clichés about the importance of maintaining a positive mentality. Cam implores Kaden to “tell your mind every single thing that you can do,” but instead of inspiring Kaden to successfully pull off the bar-bar-tuck, this prompts him to careen off the side of the ramp and suffer a grisly elbow injury. Needless to say, we’re off to a rocky start.
3. OK, you DEFINITELY don’t need Cam Newton to achieve your dreams.
After All In returns from a commercial break and plays some dramatic background music, it seems like Kaden is bound to make history and complete the bar-bar-tuck. Kids’ programs are required to have happy endings, right? But after a litany of failed attempts, it’s time to call it a day. Mat and Daniel have places to be, and Kaden has a strict bedtime. Nevertheless, Cam assures Kaden that he has “the eye of the tiger,” and we’re promptly treated to a home video of Kaden pulling off the trick three weeks after Cam’s visit. It’s heartwarming stuff.
4. Cam Newton’s heartbeat sounds like smooth jazz.
The second half of the premiere focuses on an aspiring veterinarian named Soleil, and she is literally the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. Cam takes her to “one of the best veterinary hospitals I know,” sounding suspiciously like Donald Trump in his appraisal of the animal clinic. This raises a number of intriguing questions — How many veterinary hospitals does Cam know about? What makes this one the best? Does Cam write Yelp reviews about veterinary hospitals in his spare time? — but sadly, we’re given no answers.
Cam then introduces Soleil to the incredibly telegenic Dr. Evan Antin, a veterinarian who was named People magazine’s “Sexiest Beast Charmer” in 2015. (He also boasts 318,000 followers on Instagram.) Once again, Cam doesn’t really do anything to help Soleil realize her dream, but Dr. Antin is kind enough to give her a tour of the hospital and teach her how to properly sniff a dog’s ear when checking for an infection. Cam’s sole contribution is to note that the dog’s heartbeat resembles techno music, while his is more like “smooth jazz.”
5. Cam Newton is ophidiophobic.
When Dr. Antin brings a reticulated python into the room, Cam ducks for cover in a nearby hallway. He admits to a long-held fear of snakes, but in his defense, this python looks more vicious than Von Miller coming off the edge. I would be scared, too. Cam, after 20 minutes of uttering self-help gobbledygook, comes off as human for the first time.
Soleil, on the other hand, is goddamn fearless. She is more than happy to let the python slither around her shoulders, and Dr. Antin is impressed. “Without a doubt Soleil is going to be an amazing veterinarian one day,” he says, and I agree. (Can Nickelodeon give Dr. Antin his own show to assess the potential of wannabe vets? Please?) I do, however, have my doubts about the quality and sustainability of All In. Cam looked better in the Super Bowl, and that’s saying something.