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Fuel TV is Getting Tough

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

We caught wind that Fuel TV in Australia is now featuring an hour and a half of UFC fighting every Sunday night. We’ve already written about the lame Affliction ads that are gracing Surfing Mag every month. Now it looks like Fuel TV is doing us the wonderful disservice of bringing the tough guy brands into our sphere.

say not to affliction

Two dudes beating the shit out of each other isn’t an action sport. And if you want to watch it, you already have Spike TV and 20 other channels playing it every night that you can turn to. When I tune into Fuel TV it’s because I’m looking for surfing, skating, or snowboarding. Lets keep it that way. Here’s to hoping UFC fights don’t find their way onto Fuel TV in the US.

Posted in Brands | 8 Comments »

Drive Thru: New Zealand Series Premiere

Monday, May 19th, 2008

drive thru new zealandLast night, Fuel TV aired the opening episode of the immensely popular “Drive Thru” surf adventure series, “Drive Thru: New Zealand”. The debut episode kicked off the sixth installment of the series that is based around a two-week trip to a specific surf region with a small group of pro surfers. With the combination of characters and personalities as well as the likelihood of world-class surf at one of the truly beautiful countries in the world, the heads at Fuel have very high hopes for Drive Thru: New Zealand and think this one will top the previous five. If last nights opener was any indication of things to come, they may be right.

To be honest, the actual surf footage in the opening episode was less than spectacular. The weather and swell simply weren’t cooperating at Raglan and the boys were stuck with surfing cold, two-foot mush. But what makes this show fun to watch and my personal favorite on Fuel is the cast of characters they put together and the fact that they spend a lot of time crammed together in accommodations that in no way can be considered “rock-star”.

Continuity is kept from the previous shows with the return of Pat O’Connell, Donavon Frankenreiter, and Benji Weatherly. The chemistry that these three have is very evident and will make it fun to watch the integration of Alex Gray, Mark Occhilupo and Oscar “Ozzie” Wright as they search for perfect waves across the pristine coastline of New Zealand.

Watching Benji and Donavon be rolled down a hill in a Zorb(giant bubble) was one of the highlights of last nights show and almost had me in tears. These two feed off of each other and keep things fresh throughout. Adding Occy into the mix is only going to be a recipe for more pure comedy.

For Fuel’s and the rest of the 14 Day Productions crew, thank god you have Pat O’ there to keep things in line. Drive Thru: New Zealand looks like it’s going to be one helluva ride.

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

The 808… Action Sports Reality At Its Finest

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

the 808After watching a re-run of Fuel TV’s “The 808″ again for the first time in months last night, I was left with the same embarrassment and sickening feeling that I had the first time I saw the original episodes that began airing last summer.The 808 sends the wrong message in so many ways. Kala Alexander tries to paint himself as the peace-keeping Sheriff of Pipe, but the reality is that he is a whistle-toting thug dispensing vigilante justice. And the execs at Fuel are knowing accomplices.

How many 16 year olds out there, surfers, skaters, snowboarders, motocrossers, watch this show and think “we need to protect our turf by any means necessary, too.” Makua Rothman, who recently just signed a deal with RVCA, punching out someone for dropping in on him shows a lack of discipline and self control that will likely end up causing him difficulty in the future (i.e. Sunny Garcia). Not only that, but had the submissive body-boarder he was kneeing and punching decided to press assault charges he would simply need to show tape of this assault to any police officer and Rothman would be in a world of trouble.

For Fuel to air this episode and all of the others that include this type of gangster mentality is irresponsible programming and is the same as condoning it. For example, viewers know that the violence on a show like The Sopranos was a scripted drama. We all new they didn’t really kill anybody. The 808 is the worst sort of reality show, because the violence is real.

The scene that included a whacked out Buttons Kaluhiokalani (who also made an appearance on “Dog The Bounty Hunter) at the Turtle Bay restaurant meeting of “Da Hui” hierarchy really left me scratching my head. Bug eyed, whacked out, and unintelligible. How did that sequence end up in the final cut? When you cut out all of the fluff this show did nothing more than glorify drug use, violence, scamming chicks, and drinking.

Fuel likes to portray itself as a hip, clean cut messenger for the world of action sports and, for the most part, they are right on. However, by putting the 808 on air for every 14 year old wanna-be to watch and learn from they are inspiring a whole new generation in the wrong way and teaching them that this is the way you need to carry yourself to make it to the next level.

And what about the other message. The one that says “We own this spot, keep out.” Hawaii has a bad enough rap for localism without this. This message is intentional on Kala’s part, I believe, in an effort to keep his own slice of the pie. So much for the “Aloha Spirit”, I guess.


Posted in Surfing | 38 Comments »

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