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Author Topic: New column: Amazing Scenes of Carefully Faked Human Survival, tonight on Discovery
Chris Bridges
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Amazing Scenes of Carefully Faked Human Survival, tonight on Discovery

Last week the world watched as 16-year-old Abby Sunderland went missing during her attempt at becoming the youngest person to sail around the world alone. And during the subsequent search and rescue, the question on America's mind was this: why weren't we watching her at all times, and possibly voting on something?

We have been trained, as a people, to expect constant video connection to our death-defiers. Otherwise, how can we know what those hardy explorers went through? Read a blog? Listen to their first-hand emotional accounts afterward? Please. Like the old saying goes, "A 12-episode Discovery series plus Shark Week specials or it didn't happen." The evidence is clear that Abby Sunderland's parents were criminally negligent in not providing a camera crew and live feed for her solo attempt.

Of course the producers would have had to juice up her trip a bit. Watching a girl safely navigate for days won't bring in the ratings, and that's what really matters when it comes to survival. Which is why survivalist Bear Grylls from Discovery's "Man vs. Wild" constantly throws himself into harm's way, even when he doesn't, strictly speaking, need to.

More...

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Chris Bridges
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Oh for...

I write a sarcastic column about pimping Abby Sunderland's amazing attempt into a reality show, and then this breaks: Sailor Abby Sunderland's Dad Signed Her To TV Deal Before Her Doomed Voyage

It's getting tougher and tougher to make fun of pop culture...

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Samprimary
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Bear Grylls hosts probably what is the dumbest show I can think of right now.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Chris Bridges:
Oh for...

I write a sarcastic column about pimping Abby Sunderland's amazing attempt into a reality show, and then this breaks: Sailor Abby Sunderland's Dad Signed Her To TV Deal Before Her Doomed Voyage

It's getting tougher and tougher to make fun of pop culture...

Good grief.
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Samprimary
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quote:
The father of teen sailor Abby Sunderland told The NY Post that he's broke and had signed a contract to do a reality show, "Adventures in Sunderland," about his family of daredevil kids weeks after she set off on her doomed and dangerous solo sail around the globe.
yeah, screw these parents. this comes out to clear out any lingering doubt about the kinds of things that 'inspire' Sunderland to be trapiezing about the indian ocean during a massively inadvisable winter timeframe.
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Samprimary
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also:

quote:
The large family has long been a curiosity in the community, neighbors said. All seven children are home-schooled.
"They rarely leave their house, and they rarely talk to neighbors," local resident Brian Gonzales said.

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
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scifibum
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I thought "stays inside, doesn't talk to neighbors" was the new normal.
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King of Men
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Yeah, we need to know about their Twitter feeds, blogs, Facebook pages, and forum posts. If they don't do any of that, well... weird.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
I thought "stays inside, doesn't talk to neighbors" was the new normal.

homeschool kids, plan to pimp them out for cash on a reality tv show about teenage adventurer-ness is totally the new normal what are you guys talking about
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Bear Grylls hosts probably what is the dumbest show I can think of right now.

I've always been greatly entertained by it, and I think it serves a very, albeit decreasingly useful function.

Folks just don't camp or go play in the wilderness like they used to.

[ June 14, 2010, 07:28 PM: Message edited by: BlackBlade ]

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jebus202
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People who get annoyed that Bear Grylls is not actually risking his life for the sake of a television show boggle me.
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Lyrhawn
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I don't think it's so much that he isn't risking his life, it's that Survivorman did the same thing only better. It felt more authentic, but without endangerment.

His new show is even dumber than Man vs. Wild. I watched a couple episodes, and everything that I saw was either entirely unrealistic, or had situations that were so specific that you'd probably die if you tried it in real life because the variables are too varied, but all necessary.

You know if they wanted to do a show on an adventurous family that didn't have the appearance of being somewhat off-kilter, they should do one on that family that's all over the world climbing the tallest mountains on each of the seven continents, and not as a reality show, but as a documentary. I'd watch that probably.

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Chris Bridges
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Part of it is that I simply don't like Bear Grylls. I don't care if he survives or not. I'd be interested if the show feature Mike Rowe, or Ben Bailey, or the Mythbuster crew, but he leaves me cold.

And the pretense, that he's on his own and that he has to do what he does to survive because he has no other option, is so blatantly false it's hilarious. If it was presented like, "Well, there's a stream over there so I have water, but if I didn't, or if I suspected it wasn't safe to drink, here's what else I could do," I'd b OK with it. Instead, when presented with several options he'll fling himself into the toughest one and act like he had no choice.

Disclosure: I have not watched any full episodes and have seen none of any of the for some time. I understand they've made some changes, toned down the angsty about-to-die aspect, and stopped pretending that Bear isn't sometimes in a hotel with the crew at night. But still.

One thing I love about "Dirty Jobs" is that the camera crew is often dragged into the show. Here? Not so much. Which makes me less impressed with Bear. Everything he's doing, some other guy is doing backwards while carrying a SteadyCam. I'd rather watch a show about that guy.

Damn, I would rather watch a show about that guy. Hmm. Getting script ideas...

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by jebus202:
People who get annoyed that Bear Grylls is not actually risking his life for the sake of a television show boggle me.

I'm annoyed because Bear Grylls offers the world's dumbest 'survival' advice and strategies, as far as I know, in the history of survival shows.

here, watch this episode. Really! watch it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atxL0SJxJ4k

- this desert is really hot! it must be 104 degrees here. conservation of energy and hydration is paramount to survival. how best to traverse it! How about PARKOUR. By using parkour techniques you can run around and jump really fast from rock to rock, to save time. and die of heatstroke.

- aha, here is a trap that I have found! poking around I find a strangely convenient very long length of very thick rope that is just here as part of the trap for some reason. I am sure it was actually something you could expect to find in this situation. I'll just pick it up, and ..

- even though the texas desert's geology is devoid of much any sort of rock/terrain obstacle that cannot be walked around with absurd ease, we're going to go specifically up an outcropping and use very tight camera shots to make it look like there is any potential need to grappling hook/rappel across a 'canyon' using an overly elaborate plot utilizing my Super Convenient Very Long Length of Conveniently Found Convenient Rope.

- I will toss the grappling hook across to the other rockface that I could walk to and check the connection if I wanted. did you know that the grappling hook was invented by the romans?

- oh god and I will actually honestly almost fall off the cliff and break my legs because my overly complicated grappling hook system breaks loose. this is sure exciting television. are we learning about survival yet?

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Glenn Arnold
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This is the same Bear Grylls who showed a TV audience how to smoke bats out of a cave and kill them with a tennis racket? The man should be shot.
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Misha McBride
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Survivorman was a much better show than Man Vs Wild. The former actually felt like he was trying to teach you how to stay alive while waiting for help. The latter was all about watching Bear Grylls eating and drinking disgusting things like camel spiders and his own urine.
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kmbboots
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I love the one where he found a handy dead sheep. Actually, that was the only one I watched.

[ June 15, 2010, 11:23 AM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Misha McBride:
Survivorman was a much better show than Man Vs Wild. The former actually felt like he was trying to teach you how to stay alive while waiting for help. The latter was all about watching Bear Grylls eating and drinking disgusting things like camel spiders and his own urine.

Don't forget his consistent "Are you in a survival situation? Run around and take the most dangerous routes possible. Wooo!" *hangs out of tree* *eats an ounce of some disgusting crap* *returns to his resort room and gets a massage between takes*
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sarcasticmuppet
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My old roommate's fiancee was an actual survivalist, and didn't talk much, but boy could that man rail on Bear Grylls.
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Teshi
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quote:
People who get annoyed that Bear Grylls is not actually risking his life for the sake of a television show boggle me.
I strongly concur with the Survivorman recommendation.

He's Canadian. He's nuts. And you want real survival? You'll get it. And a very well edited, produced show. Well worth it.

I don't have a problem with people being survivalists and filming it, but as long as they are adults, with experience, with knowledge, and with a good understanding of what it's like to actually attempt to survive.

One thing about Survivorman is that he always comments that having camera gear made his job a million times harder.

Bear Grylls went to Eton. Les Stroud did not.

Not to say that Stroud goes in there without any support. He knows the landscape, that much is clear. But the important thing is he is there-- more tellingly he had to give it up because fasting for a week (essentially) is not the best idea.

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BlackBlade
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I enjoy both shows just fine. I don't think the only point Bear Grylls is making when he does something very dangerous is that he is that awesome. I've been in circumstances where I was lost and had to negotiate very dangerous obstacles, and in my panic I wasn't thinking straight about what to look for in a route out, and just started climbing down a rock face. His show would have taught me not only how to be safer about climbing but finding other options as well.

Sometimes there really is no good way through.

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Samprimary
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quote:
His show would have taught me not only how to be safer about climbing but finding other options as well.
He climbs over every dangerous obstacle he can find. he expends an extraordinary amount of energy to get small amounts of food, when food is one of your lowest priorities in most survival situations. Oh, and he suggests jumping into freezing cold rivers to travel more quickly, neglecting to mention that he's wearing a wetsuit under his sweater. then he eats stuff that gives him diarrhea. one time he climbed down a cliff face to get some (planted) eggs to eat the shells for calcium. He does all this stuff while wearing hidden harnesses. Bear Grylls will get you killed.

One kid who was a fan of his show got lost and did a whole bunch of really stupid crap like wander off the trail, rip up his clothes, and climb over stuff, because he thought he 'knew about survivaling' from the show.

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Samprimary
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calcium. fraagh. because staving off osteoporosis is obviously a paramount concern when you're stuck in the woods!
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Reshpeckobiggle
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Survivaling... Hah!
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