G4: (July - September 2008)
Oh, G4. Remember back in 2002 when it launched and it was a gamers paradise? Cool original programming such as a weekly news show in Pulse, a live debate show in G4TV.com, and an actual game competition show in Arena, mixed with an imported review show in Judgment day and old episodes of Starcade made it appointment watching while waiting to see what E3 would deliver. But then it all went downhill so fast.
Sometime in the mid 2000s, they decided that they didn't want to be the destination for gamers and instead decided to focus more on sophomoric comedy and reruns of much better shows such as The Man Show, Cops, Cheaters among others. The lone bright spot was the rerunning of Ninja Warrior (Sasuke) and making that appointment viewing. What wasn't appointment viewing was a new game show that combined the thrill and excitement of the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating contest, and the stupidity of 3rd rate wannabe's of Jackass that somehow go viral on YouTube. What we got on our screens was easily one of the worst game shows of the 2000s and what Game Show News Net called The Worst of 2008.
I present to you, Hurl!
The voiceover guys or the hosts of this show were also the shows producers in Tom Crehan and Dale Ray Robinson. These two guys come from various paths in life. Tom was a writer on Undressed and then did this show with little else to go on. Dale was a producer from Undressed, but did more afterwards. *checks imdb* Wait, he did Dog Park Superstars? Oh dear god. One of GSN's worst specials was produced by one of the producers of this show. This isn't looking good for Hurl! Not only that, these guys were terrible too. Basically all they did was read cringe-worthy lines, annoyingly vamp about stupid stuff and just make everyone watching wishing they were seeing the same 59 episodes of Ninja Warrior all over again.
The game is simple enough: Five contestants compete in an eating contest + stunt show and become the last one standing or as they put it, "the one that eats the most and hurls the least wins." That in itself is a fallacy because it should read that "the one that eats the most and doesn't hurl AT ALL, wins." Yes, I just critiqued someone on their grammar when I'm usually one of the worst offenders.
Anyway, to the game itself. Round 1 has the contestants pigging out on an humongous amount of food in five minutes. The rules are basically you have to be one of the top three eaters in order to move on to round two. In short: meh. In long terms: boring beyond belief. The only reason why the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest is such a spectacle is because it's only once a year and it has professionals doing the eating instead of rank amateurs who got on this show because they couldn't get on the previous season of The Real World or Road Rules or some other stupid MTV reality show. Unfortunately, this also gives us ample Tom and Dale filler that makes everyone's eyes roll.
So after all of that, we get to the physical challenge part of the show. Now, these are usually something in the dizzying sense so that you'd throw up anything and everything you digested 5 minutes prior. Most of these are mundane, such as swimming laps and riding a mechanical bull to being thrown around by a sumo wrestler and riding a rip-off of the Tea Cup ride from Disneyland. They have to spend at least 5 minutes doing the physical challenge to survive round 2. Same rules apply, if you hurl, you're out or if you don't complete the physical challenge, you're out. I know this is supposed to be funny to watch, but this is just sad and boring at the same time. The advertisements basically glorified that a lot of people hurl. I guess this wasn't the case since most people either didn't qualify, or didn't eat enough and was spared the humiliation of being on this show any longer. Also again, more Tom and Dale filler that goes absolutely nowhere fast. I feel they could have edited the show down more, but were told by G4 to stretch the show to a half hour because they needed something else to clog up their network with besides reruns of Cheaters and X Play.
So round 3 has more eating, but this time something more along the lines of dessert and only 4 minutes. Same rules apply as before with the person who eats the least going home of nobody hurls. I think I also found another reason not to watch the show, besides the obvious of not wanting to see other people throw up. That being nobody wants to watch people eat massive amounts of food week in and week out. It's different with a show called Man Vs. Food because the challenges varied from either eating something super hot, eating a meal in x amount of time among other things. Not only that, the travelogue parts were fun to watch too. Hurl has no charm at all.
If we have two people left, then Round 4 is one more physical challenge, in Sudden Barf form, that's the same as round 2 except with a little less to do and a little less time. This goes on until both people complete the task or one hurls. If nobody throws up, then they have another quick 3 minute feeding frenzy to determine who gets the advantage in the last sudden death round, which is a variant on the physical challenge, usually with a blindfold or something else to disorient the contestants. After all of this nonsense, last man standing wins the grand prize of $1,000.
Before I wrap it all up, let me give some more critiques on the show and that's in its own name. In certain episodes, there is no hurling at all. I recall one episode having to go all the way to six rounds before the producers decided, "screw it, nobody will hurl, let's give this guy the money since he ate the most in a tiebreak". The main draw of your show is contestants hurling. If you can't get that right, there's a problem.
One last critique is the audacity the producers have by saying on the website that, "Sure, sure, sure...you'll publically criticize it and out loud you'll deny watching it...but privately, you'll be watching every minute. So just relax, let go and hurl!" Oh, I'll relax and let go and hurl. Mainly because the crap you have on the air makes me want to. There is no good in this show whatsoever. Your writing sucks, your show sucks, your entire careers are worthless and have brought nothing worthwhile to the table whatsoever.
The show was only on for the summer of 2008 before deciding that they're better off getting more reruns of Cheaters and Cops before deciding to do another new show. That's the smartest decision G4 had made in a long time.
Dear god, was this show a chore to sit through. The commentary was atrocious, the challenges are insipid and tired, and it looks horrible when you watch it back. This is a show that wouldn't have even made it on MTV with all of their pointless dating shows and physical challenge efforts. Yet, this should give budding producers hope. Just know that there will always be a cable channel out there that will be stupid enough to put a show on air that is worse than yours as this show proves.
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