Producers trying to give viewers what the production team thinks they want took a show with great potential and pretty much ruined it.
Show of hands: Who out there watching the History Channel’s Mountain Men would get in a plane with Marty and take off?
Don’t see a lot of hands going up out there.
Marty has got to be one of the most accident-prone people on the planet, according to the way he is portrayed on Mountain Men. He certainly cannot drive a snowmobile more than about 25 feet without running into something, running over something, or just plain dumping it into the snow. In last night’s episode, he managed to not only dump his snowmobile, but run over his own glasses in the process, leaving him close to blind. Luckily for him, he did find an extra pair in his plane, which was too bad, because it would have been fun to see what he would have came up with had he not had an extra pair.
Tom spent the episode, according to the narrator, “battling wolves.” Now, perhaps this is a skewed point of view from someone who has never visited Montana, but “battling wolves” would imply, one would imagine, that Tom would have at least seen a wolf. But, all he was shown doing last night was snowshoeing around listening to wolves howling somewhere out in the wilderness, and talking with someone who had recently seen some wolves. Personally, that doesn’t qualify as “battling” for me, but seems to be close enough for the Mountain Men production team.
Eustace spent the episode battling water problems, not wolves. And, for all of the talk in earlier episodes about how winter was closing in on Turtle Island, and reminders of the urgency of Eustace killing a deer, it certainly was looking warm in the mountains of North Carolina.
Let Marty Have His Gun!
One thing that is interesting is how the producers on this History Channel show seem to be determined to make Marty appear like he is traveling with no gun, but how poorly they cut the footage to accomplish it. In last night’s episode, for example, when Marty was walking away from his now “bear-proof” cabin, he clearly had a rifle strapped firmly to his back. But, somehow, in the short walk from the cabin to the snowmobile, the gun disappeared. Of course, it’s probably good that they had him remove it, because it was shortly after that scene that he dumped his snowmobile into the snow—probably easier to do without a gun strapped to one’s back. At any rate, after digging himself out of the snow and finding his broken glasses, he gathered himself and took off for his airplane, this time with his rifle, but not strapped to his back. Rather, he was holding it at his side—just another indication that the earlier shot with the rifle strapped across his body for a fleeting moment was yet another Mountain Men production error.
Mountain Men could have been a really interesting show, if the producers had let the areas and the men just be what they are naturally. Why try to push North Carolina like it is a state that has feet of snow and sub-zero temperatures only days away, when the guys are walking around with their sleeves rolled up? Why set Tom up to be “battling” wolves when there is no indication he’s even seen one at this point? And, of course, why not just let Marty have his gun wherever and whenever he needs to have his gun?
Production is fine, necessary, in fact; over-production, however, ruined this show before it ever had a chance to get started.
But, hey, at least it’s fun to re-set the ol’ blooper-counter each week and see what the producers have screwed up this time, right?
Mountain Men airs on the History Channel on Thursdays at 10/9c.
Image: Wikimedia Commons