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Mountain Men: Producers have turned show into hour-long blooper reel

Mechele R. Dillard's picture

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?

Stay tuned.

Mountain Men airs on the History Channel on Thursdays at 10/9c.

UPDATE: Will Eustace keep his land in Season Two?

Image: Wikimedia Commons


Enjoying your "quips" from behind your desk, as well--now, what was your name? I find it interesting that you take a television show so very seriously, particularly one that is obviously badly produced and highly entertaining in its scope, but, hey, we all have something meaningful in our lives, right? Enjoy your day, as well--and, oh, btw, I LOVE <em>Swamp People</em>! Why? It is a well-produced show that doesn't make its stars look like idiots, unlike <em>Mountain Men</em>.

Submitted by ready-teddy (not verified) on
Ha ha, we got ourselves an uppity weekend warrior. Congratulations, you're good at camping. I think the complaint many people are making here is that the show does a poor job of what could be a great topic. Marty is the only interesting guy on the show. He's not some dumb hippie running a commune or some retiree playing cowboy. He's actually making a living at this. I grew up in British Columbia and am constnatly surprised at the things this show tries to make into drama. I grew up with bears in my yard all the time, know what we did? Watched them until the got into the garden, then opened the window and yelled at the to go away.

Submitted by you betcha (not verified) on
marty didnt make enough money for his furs so he takes his plane to fly 400 miles to shoot a ram to keep the family from going hungry, he gets a whopping 100 pounds of meet ! . the cost of fuel in alaska is spendy, must have a hybrid plane

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I agree avgas or just plain fuel, it is an older plane. Is expensive. $4000 does not go far. I agree that the company responsible for filming and continuity in this show definitely lacks vision. We cannot fault Marty of the others who represent what it is like to live off the land. And face it, it is not all "live action" all the time. It can get very monotonous and boring. Having lived and survived out on the Aleutian chain. There really isn't much time for conversation and a whole lot of time for conservation. It is not often that one gets a 817 pound caribou or a 615 pound halibut. But when one does it is a time for celebration. When fishing for salmon the Eagles were the greatest threat. They would swoop down and take a stringer full of fish then laugh while they flew off. Drying salmon presented a similar problem you had to build a netting of wires above just to keep them from flying in and stealing your catch. Any idiot who had a small dog just fed the eagles. Most "mountain men" would not have interlopers like camera crews on their property or even near them. Simply because city folk get in the way and are a pain in the butt. However when the money is as tight as it is survival allows for exceptions. In this case each group has an exception. If the studios actually cared for these people they would allow them an internet site to sell their products. Hand made products do not sell for much in the region but on the internet, well there is a sucker born every minute and would pay a great deal for handmade products from these real "celebrities". But then the government would probably get involved saying it interferes with the operation of the local economy.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I have seen this show a couple of times, and I have to leave the room everytime the "mountain man" from Montana is on for his 3 snippets of re-edited and re-edited bits. I honestly believe there is really only 12 minutes of real content, the rest is re-edited and re-told endlessly! it is so ANNOYING! Being from Montana, I'm a native born Montanan.. The Montana man character (tom?) is NOTHING like a mountain man. He's an old cowboy, afraid of his shadow and the scary BEARS!! Seriously. Come meet my husband or some people we know. Real Montanan's are not fraidy cats about going out in the woods like this wuss and his dumb dog that he treats like a 2 year old toddler. Seriously. Ugh. I'll watch marty from Alaska.. and the NC hillbilly is sort of interesting.. but the Montana man.. he is NOT a mountain man. Just some broken down cowboy living a big life in his fancy log house .. that he didn't build, hardly off the grid, hardly self sufficient- he probably goes into Kalispell to Costco every week to buy up on paper towels and toilet paper and crap just like everyone else who has 5 acres in the valley and woods of Montana. I cannot believe that the producers couldn't find a real Montanan that was a real mountain man. Call the MT Fim Office.. they could have helped you.

Submitted by boomer (not verified) on
I think you're right. I'm about as far from a mountain man you can get, but I can spot that Tom "aint" one of 'em! They talked early in the show about how Tom earned his living up until whenever riding in rodeos. I was dying to know whether he did that from his cabin in the woods or what. I would guess not since it's not the kind of place you would own horses and practice riding them. Now his cold-as-ice brother lives as he once lived, and that makes sense. But why would Tom, in his old age, want to give up riding horses in the valleys to go live in the mountains? They never said. The show talked one time about how he made his living trapping, and later it was all about crafts; so which is it? Saw him get a couple of beaver, but that's it. He really doesn't seem made for the mountains. And neither does his wife. But I think you can account for the "scaredy cat" attitude of Tom and his wife by their age; they're just old, and really old people get more scared the older they get. I think it's because they are feeling more and more helpless. Obviously their children can see it, and they're trying to help them by offering to basically pay their way for the rest of their lives if they will just move near them in Florida. But Tom's reply to their loving offer is: ""If anyone tries to take that away from me, there's gonna be one 'h . . l' of a fight . . . I can tell ya that!" Take a chill pill, Tom! They don't want to fight you, they just see reality . . . just as plainly as we could see it: you can't hardly walk, you're scared, your poor wife is alone and scared, you're barely scraping by to live, you're going to die the next time you try cutting down a tree with a chainsaw or when you fall through thin ice on the river or die of fright. Please go live with your family; they love you, Tom and wife! You're not a mountain man, and it's time to return to the flat lands where you grew up and lived most of your life!

Submitted by Gibbyplayer (not verified) on
Did I hear on the show a claim that there were 20 human deaths related to wolves? Someone should hold The History Channel to the truth over this claim. Substantiated claims of wolf attacks on humans are rare. They happen, but for a reason. Certainly, 20 random attacks is quite a stretch of logic.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I agree because they also stated that in recent times because of the ban on hunting wolves there has been 4 deaths from wolf attacks. I lived long enough with wolves in the region and though I was always armed I never had to use my weapon against wolves. All too often in winter they found natural sources for protein like voles (gerbil like rodents) of which there are usually plenty. I must admit that I only spent two years where Wolves were common before moving farther north. I cannot vouch for living in regions where humankind has moved in and ruined the ecosystem destroying the delicate balances of nature.

Submitted by Elmo Bannannabush (not verified) on
This is the worst show on TV. The History channel should be ashamed of themselves. Try to create and make DRAMA out of nothing. Euastace Conway - USELESS CON-MAN Tom Oar - TOM BORE

Submitted by ready-teddy (not verified) on
Eustace is just an idiot. If you were really sick, as he was in that one episode, what would you do? Tromp around in the bush all day looking for a yellow root to indulge a cherokee myth, or get some sleep and food in you? He sure loves to talk about how dangerous everything is, claiming if he gets a cold there he could make a mistake and die. Doing what? Eustace is a hack and an arrogant one at that. Tom is a nice enough guy, but he has a truck and a landline phone. Hardly a mountain man. My uncle Brent lived JUST as tom does and he never claimed to be a mountain man. He was just a guy who lived an hour and a half down a mountain road in a cabin with his wife. Marty is out there actually making a living, he's not futzing around or anything. He's also truly isolated.


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