|Wildboyz - The Complete First Season|
|DVD TV Shows|
|Written by Bryan Dailey|
|Monday, 25 October 2004|
When the “Jackass” movie took theaters by storm and grossed over $64 million in its first weekend, the religious right was appalled. They said the movie and the TV show that spawned the feature film had no redeeming qualities. While I personally enjoyed the show and movie, both filled with over-the-top, goofball humor and lunatic stunts that should never be attempted at home, I can see why the critics might not like the show and its subject matter. Well, all of those conservatives who wanted “Jackass” banned from our TVs and movie theaters can now rest easy. The latest spin-off of “Jackass,” called “Wildboyz,” is actually one of the most educational shows to ever grace the screen on MTV.
I know what you are probably asking yourself right now. A show starring Steve-0 and Party Boy Chris Pontius is educational? Yes, the show’s creators have combined the outrageous yet educational animal stunts of the Crocodile Hunter with the death-defying antics that we have come to know and love from these “Jackass” regulars. The premise of the show is that Steve-O and Party Boy Chris Pontius travel around the world to exotic locations and are introduced to the native wildlife, people and culture. From racing each other on the backs of giant ostriches to getting up on stilts to try to make out with a giraffe, these Wildboyz will stop at nothing to really become one with nature. Dressing up in zebra suits to run across the South African brush in front of lions (think of the cow suit from the movie “Top Secret”), the Wildboyz try to “blend in” with the wildlife. When their travels take them to Alaska, they don tuxedos to learn about penguins, but normally their favorite attire is nothing more than small loincloths or Speedos.
Some people take souvenirs when they travel to foreign places and the Wildboyz are no exception, except trinkets and native coins are not the kind of keepsakes these boys are looking for. They prefer to keep a running tally of all the animals that they have been bitten by. As Pontius says, you really don’t understand an animal until you have been bitten by it. A feature on the disc actually gives a complete list of each of the animal bites that each of them have suffered and what location they were in when it happened. Steve-O has a knack for getting bitten on the ass while Pontius seems to get chomped more often on his face.
Disc Two begins with a short “making of” featurette that isn’t too different than an actual episode of the show, except that we get to see more of the camera crew in the shots. Steve-O and Pontius pile on the praise for their resident animal expert and show co-star Manny Puig. Manny is the quintessential nature dude with his long hair, camouflage pants and vast knowledge of everything in the jungle, desert and tundra. As dumb as the Wildboyz seem when it comes to their choices of stunts, they refer to Puig for expert advice on the level of danger involved in a stunt. If Puig says it’s too dangerous, the Wildboyz actually take his warning seriously. The most dangerous stunt of the entire show features Steve-O swimming in open water with a school of hungry Great White sharks in the waters of South Africa. Fortunately for Steve-O, he was actually safe on the boat while an inflatable love doll decked out with Steve-O’s patented Speedos and a picture of his face on it was the one doing the swimming. In what seems like literally seconds, the sharks spot the virtual Steve-O floating in the water and proceed to decapitate it. This happens in the first episode of the show and lets the boys know that there are times when a stunt is just too dangerous for a human to try. The moral of this story is to leave the truly dangerous stuff for inflatable love dolls.
Included with this two-DVD set is a long series of outtakes from the show, some of which are so repulsive that I can hardly begin to describe them. When Steve-O decides that he is going to help further the world’s salmon population by using his mouth as a surrogate womb, you might find yourself reaching for a barf bag. It’s no wonder that much of this scene hit the cutting room floor. Yes, the show is crude sometimes and is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. However, compared to other nature shows, this one is just as impressive (if not more incredible) as shows like “The Crocodile Hunter.” It’s unbelievable that these guys have the balls to do things like pick up snakes while blindfolded, play football with a pack of wild hyenas or climb up in a tree with a jaguar. They not only warn the audience not to try any of these stunts, but they also are quick to point out that they absolutely love animals and are very careful not to harm them in any way. You might be skeptical but pick any of the eight episodes from this first season DVD set and you’ll see the enthusiasm and love for animals that these two goofball guys have. If you love animals and wacky comedies, then you are going to love all 172 minutes of “Wildboyz” Season One on DVD.