"Hurl!" Here: Balls Of Hurl

Posted by Ryan

Hurl!The Washington Post calls it “one more sign of the decline of Western civilization” and “for people who found Fear Factor much too nuanced and intellectually complex.”

Damn straight I’m watching it. Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to Hurl!

G4, the network for prepubescent boys and 30-year-olds who still think like prepubescent boys, starts off the series with the episode “Balls of Hurl.” Tonight’s episode features five contestants eating loads of mac ‘n’ cheese, and then getting strapped in for a dizzying roll inside big cage Balls of Hurl.

Let’s meet the contestants. As you’d expect, they’re all guys with not much else going on right now and probably desperately need the $1,000 prize for rent: Sina, a waiter at a hookah bar; Johnny, an out-of-work actor; LJ, a women’s shoe salesman; Fernando, an auto parts manager; and Andrew, a civil engineer and self-professed “wildest guy” in his office.

The competition begins, and they dig into the 11 pounds of mac ‘n’ cheese (it’s organic!) in front of them and wash it down with some orange soda.

Sina gets the first Hurl Warning!, but he employs Strategy #6: The Vent (or “belching,” in the common parlance) to make a little more room in his belly. Back to the mac!

Johnny, however, prefers Strategy #7: Mind Games, talking some trash to his opponents while his gullet is stuffed with cheesy pasta. But Andrew counters with Strategy #32: Boxing Out (Holy s@#$! How many strategies are there?), throwing some elbows into Johnny like he’s battling in the low post with Bill Laimbeer. When the dust clears and time runs out, Fernando and Sina eat the least and are eliminated. They get to leave with some of their dignity intact.

Now, to the Balls of Hurl! The Hazmat crew rolls the remaining competitors up and down the tunnel for five minutes inside the Balls of Hurl. Johnny loves it, but LJ looks about ready to spew. We know this, because they’ve got a Vomit Cam installed in each of the balls. Everyone survives the Balls of Hurl, and they’re moving on to the next round of eating.

(Just an aside, I notice that the young ladies in the Hurl! audience are unexpectedly attractive. This defies everything I was taught about hot chicks.)

For the second eating challenge, Andrew, LJ and Johnny tear into pumpkin pie (also organic, as if anyone cares). Johnny was all cocky in the first round, but the pumpkin pie is kicking his ass. LJ seizes the opportunity and busts out Strategy #2: The Gag Attack, whereby he makes gagging noises at Johnny hoping it will induce some actual gagging. Uh oh. Johnny gives the Hurl Warning! “It’s coming up!” he says. He looks rough. He coughs. He doubles over. He’s about to blow. … But he recovers! What a soldier!! More pie for Johnny!

(You’ll find this interesting and horrifying, but I’m actually eating while watching this.)

Andrew makes a critical error and eats too much pie crust. Since the eating competition is based on weight, eating the lighter crust instead of the heavy pie filling might cost him. But Andrew still eats enough to beat LJ and get into the finals against Johnny. LJ at least has the presence of mind to wait until he’s eliminated to ralph on camera. The first puke of the series is in the books. Which brings me to my next point…

What’s up with obscuring the vomit with those buckets? You mean to tell me you’re going to have a show called Hurl! and do all this stuff, yet you blur out the very thing we’re all here to see? That’s like strippers wearing pasties. That’s like nonalcoholic beer. That’s like a Men Without Hats concert with no “Safety Dance.” This sucks. The superimposed buckets apparently are a vomit-intensity measuring system (a scale of 1-5 Buckets), which is supposed to make us feel like we’re getting something extra when we’re actually getting rooked. We’ve all seen vomit. We’ve all done vomit. And on more than one occasion, I’ve even worn vomit. Show us the vomit!!

I’m expecting something awesome for the final challenge, but it’s just another four minutes of Balls of Hurl. Johnny has to vent, but adds his own variance on Strategy #6 — he’s venting out the backside. Yes, we even get to hear it. Johnny giggles because farts are funny. Both Johnny and Andrew are undaunted after the second Balls of Hurl, and they move on to the “Sudden Barf” round: They have to eat more pumpkin pie, this time with whipped cream on it. (That whipped cream better damn well be organic!) Johnny goes with Technique #3: The Face Plant, whereby he just sticks his whole face into the pie. Note that Hurl! makes a distinction between “Strategy” and “Technique” for some reason. Who says this show isn’t nuanced and complex? Both guys are slowing down and look like they’re about to pass out. Johnny opens up a Gag Attack onslaught on Andrew, which might be perceived as aggressive, but to me it smacks of desperation. But no matter. The Gag Attack pays off for Johnny. Andrew blows a 2 on the Bucket meter. Then he encores with a full-flow 3-Bucket upchuck. To top it all off, a little of the effluvium splashes on the camera lens.

At this moment, I sit back, sigh contentedly, and think to myself, “This is TV as God intended it.”

Johnny is the victor. He gives a shout out to his mom and his dad, who are no doubt very proud. He wins $1,000. He’s so happy, he could puke. And he does.

Sound like fun? You too can play Hurl! with the special Hurl! home game. Just gather four of your friends to watch Brett Favre’s interviews with Greta Van Susteren. Last one to puke wins.

About Ryan Berenz 2127 Articles
Some things I like (in no particular order): Sports, Star Wars, LEGO, beer, 'The Simpsons' Seasons 1-13, my family and the few friends who are not embarrassed to be seen with me. Why yes, I am very interested in how much you like 'Alaskan Bush People.' #LynxForLife