Survival Shows on Discovery (via Netflix)

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Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Joined: 01/16/2006

I've always been a big fan of survival stuff, not so much the gear as the books and the shows. Like a lot of other people, I find it fun to think about the "what if" survival scenarios this stuff supposedly prepares you for. I was happy to see that several good ones are available on Netflix streaming now.

Here's the shows I've watched so far and my thoughts on them, from favorite to least favorite:

1. Dual Wild. This is a show that puts two very different kind of survival guys together. You've got Cody Lundin, a "bush hippie" guy that goes around in shorts and bare feet regardless of the weather. His reluctant partner is Dave Canterbury, a tough guy hunter who got his start making YouTube videos on survival. The drama feels real and the cinematography is excellent. Unfortunately, I've heard that Dave has left the show and will be replaced by Mykel Hawke, who I'll talk more about later. In any case, this is my favorite.

2. Survivorman. This show is unique in that all of the filming is done by Les Stroud, who goes all by himself out into the wilderness. That makes this one the most authentic in my opinion. Unfortunately, it means that Les is a lot more cautious and takes far fewer chances than the other guys, especially Bear Grylls (see below). He also tends to whine occasionally, but it adds to the charm (IMO). I think if you're really watching these shows to prepare you IRL for surviving, this is probably the best one to watch. Les also does another show called "Beyond Survival" where he visits primitive tribes around the world and "learns their ways." It's also very good, though it seems mostly an excuse for Les to sample the local peyote.

3. Man Vs. Wild. This one features Bear Grylls, a British special forces guy. It's the least realistic of the bunch, but probably the most entertaining in terms of action. Bear is always running, climbing, rappelling, and eating lots of disgusting creepy crawlies. Want to see a guy eat a rotting carcass--raw? Here's the one. While the formula gets a bit old after awhile, I still enjoy it and am sad that Bear has left the channel.

4. Man Woman Wild. This premise of this was good--put a married couple in the situation and see how they do. Unfortunately, while the man they chose was solid--Mykel Hawke--his wife depends too heavily on him and seems to know little about survival herself. She also wusses out and ruins the episodes by calling in for water or even evacuation services. About the only thing she really brings to the show are her huge boobs, which she keeps on permanent display thanks to a dangerously precarious tank top.

5. The Colony. This one has a great premise, too, and is the only focused on urban survival, post-apocalyptic type stuff. However, despite the novelty of the premise, I found it unwatchable. The "reality" part seems heavily forced, and the acting is terrible. I was finally revolted at the end of one episode where we are "treated" to an old, scraggly fat man stripping down naked to bathe himself in the rain. Now that's what I want to see! NOT!

What I'd really like to see are more shows on urban survival, particularly post-nuclear type stuff. I guess that's a lot more expensive to produce, but could get interesting in a hurry, particularly if they didn't stick to a strict "reality TV" formula and let more fiction creep in. I imagine something like Survivorman but set in a fictional post-holocaust world, where the guy has to deal with utter loneliness and perhaps the occasional biker gang. Survivor Mad Max...Now that's exciting.

Mark Vergeer
Mark Vergeer's picture
Joined: 01/16/2006
Elise and I watch those too

Quite a fan of the survival stuff myself. We watch it straight from Discovery

Joined: 01/21/2009
i was a huge fan of what i

i was a huge fan of what i call the oroginal reality tv Who's line is it anyways on British tv .. yes its comedy , but its all improv.. and sinceit was british there was little that was taboo.. To this day I ahve never seen Survivor... Sadly when I fnally watch my first "american" Reality tv show.. it was (sorry, forget the name) one where one guy was plant.. the show was like all other, they all had to make it till end in a house.. but one guy was not real? he knew waht was going on at all times so he played themn off each other.. basicly it was a joke in a way.. at the end they told the people who thought it was ll reall and that was the payoff.. it was oddly WRONG.. but i had to watch.. Since that i have stayed as far away as i can.. sorta

I love Storage Wars....why? I cant tell you one good reason, i can tell you 100 reasons why I shouldnt. and I also Like American Pickers..

I havent watched any of the above, but they do sound more "reality ' then the current crap most people watch. I know there is a bit of internet Mem on man vs Wild (i think) about drinking his own pee..

Sadly i think 99% of reality tv is bogus.. most reality is not worth watching. its so funny, I watched hte one on the guy who is a pest control guy.. he looks a bit backwoods to put it nice.. and his helpers have fewer teeth then a hockey player from the 70's.. "look out! the common house mouse has teeth that can cut steel like it was butter and can leave a very nasty wound!" as they run like starving lions are chasing them. Only to catch 2 in a trap later and talk about how lucky htye ar to have escaped with only minor cuts and bruises..

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Joined: 12/31/1969
Anyone know the name of this show?

Of those, we've watched Survivorman and Man vs. Wild regularly, though about a year back I think we burned out on them, more or less.

Not to switch topics, but there was a wonderful (albeit obscure) show (think it was British, but they mixed in some Americans on the teams) I remember from maybe the late 80's very early 90's where they pit two (or was it three?) teams against each other in a type of open ended survival course where they had to overcome puzzles/trials at various pit stops along the way in order to score "points" and/or advance. For instance, they might reach a "puzzle station" where they had to get an object out of the middle of a fixed toob. One solution was to fill one end of the tube with dirt in order to push the object out, while another (which the commentators didn't care for, but they had to grudgingly allow) was to brute force the tube to give up the goods (allowing them to make a pithy comment about Americans). Anyway, it was wonderful stuff because not only did it combine the thrill of exploration, but also required some creative solutions to obstacles/puzzles and the occasional invention. It required real team work. I don't know why the concept hasn't been explored since, since it was a way for the viewer to kind of play along too... No chance of anyone knowing the name of that show, right?


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