EXTREME mastery of crotch shots!
Wrecked airs at various times on ESPN and ESPN2. Check your local listings.
Blooper shows have always been a staple of American television; all the way from the early days of Candid Camera with Allen Funt and TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes with Dick Clark and Ed "The Perpetual Sidekick" McMahon, to the more recent America's Funniest Home Videos with Bob "The Anti-Christ" Saget and America's Funniest People with Dave "Shameless" Coulier and Daisy "Talentless" Fuentes. But it's not Saget's rapier wit or Coulier's mastery of Donald Duck impressions that have the viewers coming back for more; it's our fascination with seeing other people make complete asses of themselves.
Nobody likes to be the fool, but everybody likes to see others look foolish. For one thing, it reassures us that we are not the only imperfect beings on the planet. For another, we always enjoy a good laugh at a fellow human's expense. That, and apparently, the majority of the viewing audience love to see men take a shot to the crotch. I shamefully admit, I have seen more than my fair share of America's Funniest Home Videos, and I cannot recall a single show that didn't feature at least one poor schmuck catching a foreign object to the family jewels. Now, I'm not the authority on what is or is not funny, but being a normal male, I can assure you: Being hit in the unmentionables is not the least bit humorous. Nor is there a vicarious thrill in seeing one of my fellow males get whacked there. Like a disturbance in the Force, I too can feel their pain.
But nowadays, singing navels and crotch-shots are not enough. Today, we want everything to be louder, higher, stronger and faster; so, we take normal activities, multiply the danger variable by ten, then label it as "EXTREME" -- EXTREME water-sports, EXTREME bungee-jumping, EXTREME skydiving -- just take any mundane recreational hobby, add a healthy dose of peril, and it too can be EXTREME. Like Ping-Pong? Well, if you douse the playing table in gasoline, blindfold both competitors, then set the ball on fire -- you now have EXTREME Ping-Pong! Heck, almost anything can become EXTREME -- except for, perhaps, rice.
And with that EXTREME mindset, we come to Wrecked: EXTREME Bloopers. Basically, take all the sports you normally see on ESPN2 -- snowboarding, wakeboarding, skateboarding, rollerblading, etc -- edit out all the crashes, flips and splats, carefully piece them together, set it to a raucous soundtrack, and add a dabble of voice-over commentary along the lines of, "Whoa! He did a face-plant in the cold powder, dude!" and you get a pretty accurate feel for an episode of Wrecked.
I'm not a sports aficionado, but on the rare occasion that I sit through an entire athletic event, I have always enjoyed the occasional three to five minute montage of sports outtakes they show during half-time. A short segment of bloopers is entertaining, but a full half-hour proves to be a bit much. Not only is Wrecked too lengthy, but most of the footage isn't even that memorable. A far shot of someone slipping on a ski slope and sliding on their butt, a water-skier letting go of the rope and diving into the ocean -- for blooper highlights, this stuff is pretty tame, and after five minutes, it gets to be redundant as well. But on the other hand, I don't want to see someone falling off their BMX and wrapping their knees around their shoulders, either. Watching compound fractures and neck sprains is not how I would like to spend an afternoon in front of the box.
Either way, an entire show dedicated to bloopers is a waste. If it's nothing but common trips and stumbles, the doze-off factor becomes a problem. But if you have a half-hour of folks who end up in traction, then you're indulging a morbid part of your personality that should probably not be encouraged. Stick to the three to five minute highlight reels on your favorite sport news program. They're just short enough to keep your attention, and in a genre dominated with crotch-shots, a little goes a long way.
Joe Bannerman isn't just a columnist for Tuber, he's also the man behind Opposable Thumb Films!
Copyright © 2000 by Joe Bannerman
Home Archive Stomp Tokyo Message Board Contact