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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


Submitted by Karma (not verified) on
As a NC resident I can say if the production crew filmed in NC this past winter they picked the wrong winter to do so. We had one of the warmest winters on record. Usually our mountains do get plenty of snow and ice and it could make for an interesting show but not last winter. I haven't watched this show, the promos didn't interest me at all.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
My biggest beef with this show is all the repetition that occurs. There is no meat to the story. As one person commented elsewhere, the producers are entertaining us, not enlightening us (they seem to have it backwards). Not only does this station and show repeat the same scenes and lines over and over, but other stations and shows are doing it as well as if it was the golden formula for success. In reality, this is driving viewers away from shows and channels that used to have some credence. So stop treating us viewers like we have a 10 sec memory and all we want is some force fed drama and give us some nitty gritty truth. As far as Eustice struggling for money, did they pay him to do the show? I would have asked for the tax money at least.

Yes, personally, I'm not convinced that the whole "tax lien" situation is real ... seems like a perfect dramatic creation for a "mountain man" supposedly making less than $2,000/year ... what he was paid for the show, I have no idea, but I would be willing to wager that he didn't do it for free--who would?

Submitted by TJ (not verified) on
I was excited when I saw a review for the show when I "thought" one of the mountain men looked a little like the guy I had read about 12 years or so ago. Sure enough, I pulled out my hard cover book, and the guy was THE same guy. Knowing what I know from reading that book...I'd say that the producers did NOT stage the drama with the lien on his land. He has worked hard to get his land piece by piece and it was written that he even early on had a hard time keeping developers from trying to find ways to get the land from him. Eustace lived for years in a tepee and spent ever penny he could scrounge up to get his land, starting from his late teens. He was notoriously frugal and ate what he found or hunted or grew, even carrying a windfall of some roadkill to one of his college classes since he didn't want it to get away from him and lose a dinner. LOL! He roamed that land during his childhood as a way to cope with his home life, so he was always more comfortable in the woods than at home. He did value an education and I think he probably did get a college degree. He pretty much showed up for his college classes by hiking, riding, or walking off the mountain to get to those classes, while living in his tepee. I do not believe Eustace would allow any producers to "USE" him to make some drama about his fight for his land. Eustace most likely saw the show as a possible means to generate money to keep his land, which I think is HONORABLE. I sure hope the history channel pays him plenty so he can keep his land. It's a job that allows him to be himself and probably doesn't disturb his way of life much, so I say why the hell not? BTW...the book that was written about him years ago was written by an author that pretty much lived like he did for a time period to gather info about him and his views, much like the history channel is doing, but the book is more in depth. He is the real thing.

Submitted by boomer (not verified) on
I, too, heard somewhere else that Eustace was the topic of a book. But just because he's in a book doesn't mean he's right about the lien. I agree with you, though, that he is using the show to generate $$ to pay it off. I wouldn't call that "honorable," however. It sure doesn't seem to be Eustace's style of action from what you described of his life. I don't think Eustace, from what you described, is the kind of guy who would normally figure "the ends justifies the means." He must really be in desperate straits to go to these lengths. How did he let it get to this point? Eight five thousand dollar judgments don't just spring up out of thin air, I can promise you. I have a friend who ignored a $15,000 claim against him for years until it got to $50,000--which he had to pay. He knew about it, but just didn't take it seriously. That's the price you pay. Eustace, you didn't take it seriously . . . for YEARS, obviously, whatever the lien is about. THAT doesn't equal an honorable man!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
It is not called a misfire if the gun actually fires , it is a missed shot. If he is such a great hunter the gun would have been sighted in with no reason for the young lad to resight. Eustice is an idiot living off of others and not paying his taxes . These guys have the whole year to gather firewood and hunt during the proper seasons for food. However it is like a train wreck and I can't help myself from watching it .

Submitted by Neil Brown (not verified) on
Surely these people are being compensated. Why does Eustice(Sp) pay his taxes with his compensation money. Maybe because that does make good television.

Submitted by NC Lawyer (not verified) on
I am a licensed NC attorney. Since 2006 I have represented debtor rights in NC and Federal courts. That is all I do. I have filed hundreds of bankruptcies and seen innumerable times that legal notice Eustace was holding. What you saw was a Notice of Rights to Claim Exemptions. This is sent after a judgement is rendered against a debtor. This document allows the judgment debtor to list property that is protected from collection under NC exemption laws, found in NC General Statute 1C-1601. Look it up. The interesting thing is that these do not apply to tax debts; they apply only to consumer debts. For Eustace to say he is losing his land over taxes is a LIE. It cannot possibly be a mistake. He was served notice of the debt, notice of the hearing and clear notice of a default. He knows he owes someone money. The idea that he is riding to court on his horse like Paul Revere is laughable. This is no longer a court matter. Unless he hired a lawyer to set aside the judgment, he is going on a sightseeing trip and that's all. About the poacher: the were talking loudly, giving ludicrously bad bird calls and stomping around to track a poacher with a weapon. Why not call the game warden? We all know those are decent guys who take their jobs very seriously. They will confiscate your weapon and your vehicle. They do not play. How convenient that his bumbling friend fell just as they were about to catch the guy, who conveniently got away! If my retard friend fell while I'm tracking a poacher, he's a big boy. He will catch up. I don't need to hang around and kiss his booboos. Also, hey Eustace, you only need to rack a shell into your pump shotgun once. And why didn't the shell you put in before eject when you racked the slide for dramatic effect? Did your shotgun misfire as well? I'm not going to pick on Tom. He seems like a nice guy. I like Marty, though he let's them put him in stupid situations. And his daughter is a cutie Tomboy and reminds me of my daughter. My biggest question is how did the History Channel find the three most accident prone people on the planet who have somehow managed to not kill themselves through sheer bumbling stupidity? Also, when I saw Marty take off his glasses because they were fogged up (what?!?! Is this the first time he was outside in Alaska wearing glasses?) and he just put them behind the windshield I was DOUBLE U TEE EFF?!?! What idiot would do that and how did they go from the windshield to under the tread, not beside the snow machine, and land on a substrate hard enough to grind the glass out of the frames? This is the worst-written show on tv. The producers are complete buffoons and the editor is a joke. Last thing: I have first hand knowledge that the stars of these shows are compensated. More than that, being famous means that Tom's knives and moccasins will all sell. He will be fine.

Submitted by Scott R (not verified) on
Hey NC Lawyer, I froze the scene on that document you're referring to. They blurred out a date, but in one frame I could clearly see the entire date. Forgive me for not remembering the entire date, but the year was '06!!! With your information, I'm guessing that is likely the date of the original judgment. It seems likely that it is a "Default Judgement" given Eustace's propensity to ignore monetary issues. For someone who claims he is bonded with his property, a little diligence would have gone a long way, before a judgment was issued. I agree, IT IS NOT A TAX LIEN. He was sued by a party to whom he owed money back in '06 (or earlier) and lost - or did not show up at the hearing. If you still have the show on DVR, check out the notice again.... I seem to think it was actually early in '06. But I'm positive of the year 2006! I looked for other documents and noticed that Marty's airplane, using the "N" number (or "tail number"), that there has been no activity since '07 meaning he has not had an annual inspection since that time...... that's a no-no! Also, what about hunting licences for the mountain Goat? He seems to shoot what he wants. YO! Game Warden!!


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