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Exactly how extreme is TLC's new series 'Extreme Couponing'?

April 5, 2011 | 11:18 am

Coupon When we heard about TLC's new series "Extreme Couponing," which premieres Wednesday, we were so excited we hopped on a BMX bike, did an alley-oop onto a surfboard, rode that surfboard onto the back of the world's fastest killer whale, and screamed "Yeeeeeeeeeeesssssssss!!!!!" as we flew through the ocean with the wind in our hair while making a devil horns sign with our fingers. Because if there's one thing TV needs, it's more extreme-osity! Yeah, we know TV's already given us ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." And Animal Planet's "The Most Extreme." And Discovery Health's "Extreme Births." As well as "Extreme Mardi Gras Cakes" and "Extreme Candy Coasters" on the Food Network Challenge. But seriously, can you just imagine how much more extreme coupons could be?

Well, you don't have to, because all your epic dreams of achieving 10 cents off nonstick cooking spray have been realized in the preview clips on TLC's website, where the X Games of Coupon Clipping is raging ahead with full, scissor-destroying, finger-cramping intensity.

"I'm a shopaholic doin' it coupon style, and this is how I get my fix," explains one of the danger-defying super-savers, some of whom, we're told, spend 30 hours a week collecting 2,500 sets of inserts. The Grand Kahuna prize for such fanatical diligence is pretty mind-blowing on its own. "We were able to pick up 1,000 boxes of the noodles," says one mom. Radical!

Before you complain that snipping a small square out of the newspaper is nowhere near as fierce as, say, aggressive inline skating, consider that it can be almost as physically demanding. For instance, in order to retrieve her share of the $57 billion in coupons that Americans throw out every year, one mom has taken up dumpster diving. "So, you had yourself, our son, and your pregnant friend, all in a dumpster today?" her husband calmly asks her. "Okay, just clarifying that."

Yes, we know what you're thinking: How does a puny mortal like me compete with the baddest, bravest, Tony Hawk-iest coupon clippers on TV? Not to worry! One smart young man explains it all: "Once you see the deals that are going on, then you can see if you have coupons for them," he says, "and that's how you can start getting stuff for free." Gnarly! We hope you like noodles, kid!

In conclusion, we've decided that "Extreme Couponing" is extreme... to the extreme! And just to ensure that it stays that way, TLC is running a double-truck premiere with two back-to-back episodes Wednesday. Until then, we can only dream of ways to amp up "Extreme Coupons'" psyched-ness level past approximately 2.5 kajillion. Could we get James Franco to cut coupons with one hand while sawing off his arm with the other? Maybe those extreme guys from "Harold and Kumar" could clip some coupons while extreme-kayaking through convenience stores? We don't know, dude, but either way, we're pretty pumped.

--Melissa Maerz

Photo: Chrystie Corns in the new series "Extreme Couponing." Credit: TLC.

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