Spike TV has really picked up steam in recent years, and this momentum is nowhere more apparent than in their staple show MXC – Most Extreme Elimination Challenge. Now on DVD with the complete first season, fans of the show and adventurous new viewers are sure to enjoy the antics and wisecracks of hosts “Kenny” and “Vic,” who provide commentary on each episode of insane Asian people sacrificing their bodies for the thrill of being on television. Of course, the American voiceovers of MXC are all added …ost-facto. But the original show – “Takeshi’s Castle” – is not short on the crazies itself, as we see from this collection’s bonus materials.
I’m not sure how necessary owning these 13 episodes on DVD is, but to each his own. I am content to watch on Spike TV late night, but I will admit, some of Kenny’s most painful eliminations are worth multiple viewings. If you like to see people in pain but not to the point of death, then this What’s Up, Tiger Lily game-show knock off is for you. Just be careful, and, above all, “Don’t Get Eliminated!”
The series’ visuals are, of course, in no-frills video full frame, looking just as good on digital cable as they do here. But the show is more about crazy stunts, under-the-radar, off-color commentary, and grimace-inducing wipeouts, so there is little obligation to shine. I’ve always found the show’s presentation on TV, and now DVD, to be washed-out anyway, and, as a fan, I’m fine with that.
This set offers a standard Dolby Digital Stereo presentation – not bad, not great. Again, if you’ve ever caught an episode of this on digital cable, you’ll know exactly what to expect with these DVD’s. It’s loud and clear, but like the video presentation, very no-frills in its overall demeanor.
Okay, here is where I feel Magnolia really picked up their efforts. While the bonus materials won’t keep you busy for days, the few choice portions are nice add-ons to an already hilarious series. First off, there are the select episode commentaries featuring Victor Wilson, Christopher Darga, John Cervenka, Mary Scheer, Paul Abeyta, Peter Kaikko, and Larry Strawther. These commentaries are not quite as funny as the episodes themselves, but they do offer some laughs, as well as insight into the show’s development. Secondly, there is original episode #93 of “Takeshi’s Castle”. This provides viewers with a neat comparison to MXC episodes. Thirdly, and perhaps the most unique inclusion, is the MXC Original Sales Presentation, which shows viewers the creativity involved in selling this concept to Spike. Last but not least are Kenny Blankenship’s Most Painful Eliminations of the Season.
As one who deems himself a fan of this show, I’m not sure as to the sensibility in owning it. With a series like this, you’ll always find it on Spike around ten or eleven each night, so it shouldn’t be hard to satiate the craving for some funny crash-and-burns. Then again, I do own all the Seinfeld episodes on DVD, and that series will not be leaving TV for a long time – so what do I know? If you do wish to pick this up, rest assured that it’s a straight-forward presentation with very worthwhile extras.
Special Features List
- Select Audio Commentaries with Series Creators and Personnel
- Original Episode of “Takeshi’s Castle” #93
- MXC Original Sales Presentation
- Kenny Blankenship’s Most Painful Eliminations of the Season