Play that rockin' music and commence with displays of dominion over gravity and nature. "Firsthand," broadcast twice daily on Fox's Fuel TV channel, bills itself as a look at the daily lives of action-sports stars, such as surfer Rob Machado or BMX trick artist Jamie Bestwick. Its lineage is Warren Miller films and lesser wallpaper TV catering to those who eschew ball sports but not flamboyant athletic expression.
The jaw-dropping feats would have more impact if not for the knee-jerk tendency to ask these athletes to describe it all, which nobody could without diminishing it.
Still, the show sometimes scores among the minutes lost to autographing T-shirts and forced narration. "I'm not trying to change the world. I'm just trying to be me," Machado tells us while descending upon Japan for a surf tour with imported pals. He sounds like just another surfer in interviews, but in unscripted outtakes seems like the guy he probably really is.
-- Emmett Berg