Like "Jackass" crossed with "America's Funniest Home Videos", "Mystery Science Theater 3000" and "Fear Factor", "Most Extreme Challenge" is a delightfully bizarre creation: the series (which airs on Spike TV) takes an older Japanese game show ("Takeshi's Castle", from the early 90's) that put constestants into insane (and often painful) stunts and dubs it all - in wickedly funny fashion - into English.
Hosts Kenny and Vic introduce both teams (both of which are made up of a particular group of people, such as hotel staff, reality stars or clerical workers), who face off in different challenges, each more painful than the next (and many of them featuring mud in some fashion.) Any particularly nasty falls (and there are some that will make most viewers cringe) are replayed again and again and followed up in the "Most Painful Eliminations" section at the end of the episode.
Some of the hilarious (and rather inspired) challenges in this volume include: Irritable Bowl Syndrome (contestants slide down a waterside in a giant bowl, trying to stay upright), the popular "Sinkers and Floaters" (contestants have to skip across stones in a disgusting pond, and most fall in), the "Rotating Surfboard of Death" (players have to stand on a rotating surfboard that passes obstacles), "Dirty Muddy Balls" (grab a flying ball without falling in disgusting sludge), the infamous "Log Drop" (cross over a series of spinning logs) and "Boulder Dash" (players run up a narrow path while trying to avoid giant boulders that are rolling down from the top.)
28 Republicans vs. Democrats vs. Third Party 4/29/2004
29 Unemployed vs. Enviromentalists 5/6/2004
30 Snack Food vs. Print Media 5/13/2004
31 Baby Products Industry vs. Paranormal 5/20/2004
32 Dentists vs. Explorers 5/27/2004
33 Country Kids vs. City Kids 6/3/2004
34 Organized Crime vs. Weight Loss Industry 6/10/2004
35 Novelty & Gift Industry vs. The Death Industry 6/17/2004
36 The Amusement Park Industry vs. The World's Oldest Profession 6/24/2004
37 CSI and Forensics vs. Children's Entertainment 9/2/2004
38 The Master Debaters 10/7/2004
39 Oil Industry vs. Make-Over Industry 12/2/2004
40 Film Industry vs. Phobias 12/9/2004
41 Romance Industry vs. Firearm Industry 12/16/2004
42 The Footwear Industry vs. The Electronic Gaming Industry 1/6/2005
VIDEO: "MXC" is presented by Magnolia Entertainment in the show's original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio. I'd guess that the image quality on this presentation is similar or equal to the original presentation. Sharpness and detail are still often quite good, although occasional scenes look a tad softer than the rest.
Aside from some slight artifacting and a couple of moments of shimmering on occasion, the presentations looked crisp and clear. Colors remained bright and nicely saturated, with no smearing or other concerns.
SOUND: The stereo soundtrack offers crisp music and presents the dubbed dialogue clearly.
EXTRAS: Included in the set are two original episodes of "Takeshi's Castle" and a roundup of "Kenny Blankenship's Most Painful Eliminations of the Season". It's especially fascinating to watch the original episode (which does offer subtitles) to see the original dialogue and humor (as well as the full credits sequence.)
Final Thoughts: "MXC" not only offers some incredibly hysterical dubbing, but the various challenges are great fun to watch. The DVD set offers fine audio/video quality, as well as a few minor supplements. Recommended.