Dalton Ross
September 29, 2006 AT 04:00 AM EDT

MXC: Most Extreme Elimination Challenge

Current Status
In Season
Christopher Darga, Mary Scheer
Spike TV

We gave it an A-

It’s a fact: People falling off of something called the Rotating Surfboard of Death face-first into muddy water is just plain funny. And it’s made even funnier when said people happen to be competing on a crazy old Japanese game show that has been dubbed (not translated, mind you, but dubbed willy-nilly) for American audiences. You see, MXC: Most Extreme Elimination Challenge (Unrated, 262 mins., 2003) isn’t just about people bashing their heads into rolling logs and jumping crotch-first onto rocks…well, okay, it is mostly about that. But the Americanized personalities of Vic Romano, Captain Tenneal, and Co. make the play-by-play commentary as entertaining as the actual challenges themselves. The reason it works is because the actors stay away from making fun of — or even acknowledging — Japanese culture or contestants. ”That is our one rule,” says a producer on a commentary track. ”We do not ever make any Asian references — ever.” Of course, one of the great mysteries has always been, What are the hosts and contestants on that old Japanese game show really saying? Which is why the inclusion of a subtitled episode of the original series, Takeshi’s Castle, is such a tasty treat.

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