"Hurl!," the reality contest that premieres tonight on guy-centric network G4, is exactly what you'd expect it to be: completely, totally gross.
How could it be anything but? After putting its contestants through an eating contest, this show sends them straight to an "extreme activity" designed to, um, shake up the stomach. If they survive the challenge without throwing up, they're sent off to eat some more.
The winner - of $1,000 and bragging rights - is the one who eats the most and pukes the least. The disclaimer comes up at the start: Don't try this at home. As if you'd want to.
On the other hand, the five guys who compete in the first episode, dubbed "Balls of Hurl," look perfectly happy with their lot. Even when they're eating unhealthy quantities of macaroni and cheese (the announcers make a point of saying it's organic). Even when they're strapped into giant hollow balls and rolled around by guys in hazmat suits. "That's victory swirling all around my stomach," one contender says proudly. "That's mac and victory." Later, he throws up.
Of course, we're going to see vomit here, though the bulk of it is covered up by pictures of buckets. (That's the measure here: The announcers tout a "two bucket hurl!") The graphics are cheerfully low-budget, as is everything else; this show doesn't look like it cost much more to produce than your next door neighbor's YouTube video. Tonight's contest takes place in an unnamed tunnel. The meager crowd of spectators is forced to stand.
Still, everyone's all in; the contestants trash-talk cheerfully and barely complain, even when they're about to gag. The announcers carry on as if they're doing commentary for a major sports event - a tongue-in-cheek style borrowed liberally from Spike's goofy cult hit "MXC."
If you like this sort of thing - and YouTube traffic suggests that someone out there does - you could do worse for entertainment. "Hurl!" doesn't take itself the least bit seriously and doesn't suggest that anyone ought to watch unless absolutely willing. It's less hazardous than "Jackass" and not much more disgusting than "Fear Factor," and if it finds a doofus audience, so be it.
But if you must watch, don't do it on a full stomach. There. You've been warned. Not that you needed to be.