Nitro Circus: Season 1

Nitro Circus: Season 1
The gist of Nitro Circus is that Motocross champion and stunt performer Travis Pastrana and his merry team of monosyllabic cohorts run around the world performing reckless stunts involving dirt bikes, monster trucks, base jumping, parasailing and so on just to say they did it, we assume. It's an MTV reality show, so we can be assured that while the boys jump of cliffs and play on ramps a variety of innocuous "rock" music plays in the background to make it "extreme" ― does anyone remember the marketing episode of The Simpsons with Poochie the Dog? Aside from the occasional injury, each episode goes about finding different ways to get Travis, Andy Bell, Jolene Van Vugt, Streetbike Tommy, Jim DeChamp and Eric Roner to jump off things, which is much like watching the Weather Network, only without the soothing music. The cover of the two-disc, 12-episode first season DVD points out that the series is "From the Creators of Jackass," suggesting a similarity in programming, which obliquely there may be, but none of the irony, irreverence or randomness that Johnny Knoxville and company are known for show up here. Instead, these folks comment on how gnarly everything is, when not calling anyone that doesn't look like an AIDS patient fat. In fact, one of the only inspired moments of the season comes when Mr. Knoxville shows up, taking the gang to play croquet in a bullpen while wearing red outfits. This lack of charisma is what makes Nitro Circus little more than a montage of slightly off-kilter extreme sports stunts, as listening to these people speak is painful. They're much better at slamming into things and twirling around on machinery, entertaining a demographic unconcerned with things like personality or intelligence, which is why cutting out the testimonials and interview segments altogether might benefit the series. Then again, perhaps there is an upside to hearing someone say, "Oh, man, it was so awesome. I was, like, up there and then the thing went and I was like, 'Ohhhhh!'" Special features include additional interviews, outtakes and stunts that didn't make the cut. (Paramount)