UNreality TV – MAN vs. WILD

This week you’ll see a lot of press like this:

Bear Grylls is back with a new one-hour special and the second season of MAN VS. WILD, airing Fridays at 9 PM (ET/PT) beginning November 9. Bear travels to the Himalayas for BEAR’S MISSION EVEREST, where this past spring he attempted to fulfill a dream to fly a powered paraglider higher than Everest …

They are expecting good ratings for Bear Grylls and Discovery Channel.

The controversy from last season — claims that some of his stunts were exaggerated or faked — will bring in more viewers.

Discovery Channel has promised to be completely transparent this season. (Film editors will not lead viewers to believe Bear is on a desert island when he is actually sleeping in a motel in Hawaii.)

Bear is the real thing. He climbed Everest at age-23. He’s a true survivalist. No question.

But his show is more about sensationalizing the outdoors. Not about informing the general public.

I can’t help cheering for the “other guy”. Survivorman — Les Stroud. I have a lot more respect for Les, a man who goes out for a week at a time, no cameraman or support crew.

My advice to hikers is to watch Survivorman instead.

To decide for yourself if Bear is a fraud, click PLAY or watch him on YouTube.

Looks to me Bear has a life jacket on under his shirt. But how many people have followed his example and tried to float down a river using only a pack as a raft? What happens when one of those people drowns?

How accountable are Grylls and Discovery Channel?

As for myself, I boycott Man vs. Wild. Getting TV ratings this way is too dangerous.

4 Replies to “UNreality TV – MAN vs. WILD”

  1. I agree. Pretty poor of Grylls. I am hoping that his producers made him wear it, probably for insurance-type reasons. I would hope that Grylls personally would have been happy to do it without the lifejacket.

    I have swum down much bigger rapids (Otter Rapids) for fun, with no lifejacket or anything. Much warmer water, but much bigger rapids and haystacks. Lots of fun actually. If the water is deep, you can swim around under the haystacks and look at things. Much smoother ride below the surface, but still lots of strange currents that try to suck your shoes off etc.

    I also have a hard time believing 12 miles. I have been a lots of near freezing water (4C) while kayaking, and even in a full wet suit, you want to get out as quickly as possible. After 10 minutes you are VERY chilled. 12 miles would be at least 2 hours in VERY fast current. I don’t think so…

    I don’t watch Man Vs. Wild. I do like Survivorman and have learned lots from him.

  2. Well said Warren. I believe that pulling a stunt like this in freezing cold water should be your absolutely last resort and you should be willing to literally put your life on the line for it.

    I’m still reminded of this summer when Rick and I crossed a fairly minor 30 foot glacier stream in Alaska, only about calf deep, and then spent the next excruciating 20 minutes on the opposite shore trying to get our feet warmed up and functioning enough to continue walking. The sad reality is that in those temperatures you probably don’t have anywhere near 12 minutes.

    I think our crossing only took a minute or so (it only seemed like 12 minutes) and I can’t even imagine what it would have felt like if we had to completely submerge. I have a hard time imagining how desperate you would have to be to take that chance.

  3. Otter Rapids. …

    You had to remind me, Warren.

    I’m still chilled to the bone thinking about it.

    That stream in Alaska was the coldest I can recall, though. It was a warm summer day. But the water must have been -550C.

    (See if you can exaggerate more than that, Bear.)

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