Now, I hate reality television as much as the next guy, I avoid “Big Brother 43″ and “Survivor 37: Urban Style” like the plague. However, there is one show that doesn’t quite deserve being lumped into the same category as the others, although it is definitely real and is on TV. It isn’t the similar but oh-so-tacky “Man VS. Wild”, it is the fascinating “Survivorman” series from Discovery Channel.
Real realism, and no drama for drama’s sake.
This show is all about surviving alone in the wild, and since most people surviving are without the luxury of a camera crew to help or sneak a protein bar, Les Stroud doesn’t bring a camera crew either, just cameras. Now stop and think about this, he does all the filming himself while surviving. That’s pretty intense.
While there is no threat of being kicked out of the game and losing a chance at a million dollars, there is the threat of not eating dinner tonight or drinking safe water. In the end, it’s just a really knowledgeable guy with a couple cameras alone for a week in the Arctic Tundra (or Utah Desert, or somewhere else).
Genuinely useful information, you know, just in case.
This shit could save your life! Especially if you are a big fan of hiking, hunting, camping or you commonly put yourself into situations where you could get lost (but that never happens, right?). Just the knowledge that water can contain harmful bacteria that will put you out of commission, if not kill you, is enough to keep you well until someone notices you didn’t return and a rescue crew is sent.
His method of preaching preparedness can also determine your survival, bringing a simple knife and a few minor food supplies can be the difference between life and death. Knowing how to deal with the psychological aspect of surviving alone is also very important, and something he never fails to mention.
A shot of emotion.
There are very few things more despondent than a man completely alone, draining himself filming whilst still trying to survive. Although you know he’ll be fine (they’ve already shown previews for next week), it still puts a big smile on your face when Les finally snags a big fish after 4 days of eating dandelions. You can feel his happiness, his sense of accomplishment, his satisfaction in himself; and its contagious.
At the end of each day, his lonesome wails on the harp serve as a substitute for the nutrition denied him as he spent a seemingly desperate day searching for a more substantial dinner than a few nuts and berries.
But I guess that tune will do.
Thanks for the great show Les.