Thursday, June 14, 2007

Man Vs. Wild - Goooooooo Wild!

Anyone catch "Man Vs. Wild" "star" Bear Grylls on this morning's "Today" show? I hate that guy, but I love watching the show to see what utterly stupid thing he comes up with next.

It's really an incredibly smart concept. Les Stroud does the same stuff on "Survivorman," but his show is realistic and sort of educational. Grylls understands that the whole thing is just entertainment and vicarious thrills, so whatever the most ridiculous, extravagant thing you could do in a given survival situation is, he does it.

So he parachutes into places with bus service, pees on his t-shirt to stay cool, jumps off cliffs to escape imaginary bears and pretends this stuff is all in a day's work for a former British special forces soldier.

His dedication to the ridiculous would actually be kind of admirable, if he presented it with a wink and a nod. But a big part of Bear's schtick is to make everything seem like an actual life-and-death situation, rather than just an idiot running around in the backwoods with a camera crew.

Anyway, the new season of "Man Vs. Wild" starts at 7 p.m. Friday.

Speaking of bizarre television rip-offs, The History Channel launches "Ice Road Truckers" at 7 p.m. Sunday.

It's a transparent parody of Discovery's "Deadliest Catch" and I have not a clue why it's on The History Channel, other than "Catch" brought in big ratings for Discovery. Anyway, if, at some point in the season, they manage to get footage of an actual truck actually breaking through the ice, I give them huge props. Otherwise, I can't imagine why anyone would care.

I mean, "Deadliest Catch" has a lot of drama even without people actually, you know, dying for our viewing pleasure. There's big seas and ice and clashing personalities and lots and lots of money on the line. It's inherently visual and inherently tense. "Truckers" has elements of that, but seems like a pale imitation in every respect.

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At 11:52 AM, June 14, 2007, Blogger Christopher Short said...

I saw him last night on Letterman, and was confused about his name, which I heard but never saw. Now I see that it's just that stupid; nothing to be confused about.

Does anyone know a resurrection spell? We need Steve Irwin back.

At 7:46 PM, July 13, 2007, Anonymous Two thumbs down! said...

He is a complete idiot. This show is very stupid. He and his camera crew are a bunch of melodramatic fakes. It makes me laugh how ridiculous he is. As someone who goes camping and hiking in the backcountry, I find his advice useless. DON'T LISTEN TO WHAT HE SAYS BECAUSE IT WOULD KILL YOU TO JUMP OFF A CLIFF IN A LIFE OR DEATH SURVIVAL SITUATION!


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