Bruce Nash’s producing resume includes unscripted programs like “World’s Most Amazing Videos” and “World’s Scariest Police Shootouts,” and one assumes some creative repurposing might be happening with Discovery’s “Moments of Impact” — 13 hours of mayhem that might as well be titled “Near-Death Experiences.” Mixing accidents, security videos, police chases and various thrill-seeking stunts resulting in bone-breaking collisions and crashes, Nash’s latest endeavor joins an unsavory trend in male-oriented programming that tiptoes right up to the brink of snuff films.
Much of this stuff can be seen on your average nightly newscast, the lone distinction being the cute little narration and pounding music used in an effort to ratchet up the excitement, though after the third or fourth video, the rules become reasonably clear: Broken bones, sure; the big adios, no.
Basically, you either like this stuff or you don’t, and no amount of finger-wagging (or for that matter, critical naysaying) will dissuade those who do. That said, only a few of the rapid-fire assortment of videos pack the visceral wallop this sort of mindless exercise requires.
Personal favorite: A group of idiots in Pakistan stroking a pet lion, when one of them steps on its paw and said big cat pounces on the guy, grabbing his arm in its mouth. No, the lion does not eat him, though a cynic might wish for a different outcome.
Frankly, it’s a relief that “Moments of Impact” stops short of the impact associated with seeing someone actually die on camera, suggesting that’s the line Discovery and/or the producers chose not to cross — or couldn’t cross without chasing away advertisers.
Let’s be thankful for small favors.