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Mountain Men: Will Eustace keep his land in Season Two?

Mechele R. Dillard's picture

Mountain Men ended its first season last night and, true to form, it was ridiculous.

Season One of Mountain Men is over.

What a colossal waste of an opportunity for a great show.

My hopes were high from the very beginning for this show. It could have been a modern-day Alone in the Wilderness. Mountain Men could have actually taken three individuals living in various mountain areas, and shown viewers what it is like to live “off-the-grid” to varying extents. It could have presented viewers with real situations and real people. It could have even—gasp—offered viewers some knowledge that they could have walked away with after each 60-minute sitting, something that was real and perhaps even helpful to someone living in another situation, one not necessarily as extreme or drastic as the ones in which these three were said to reside.

Instead, producers of Mountain Men presented viewers with a campy farce each week, making its stars into presumable caricatures of themselves and insulting fans with gun switches; having Marty's gun disappear into thin air on more than one occasion; and, really, coming up with some of the most contrived, over-the-top, “mountain men” drama a roomful of never-owned-a-gun writers could dream up for the small screen.

Could Marty, Tom and Eustace be the “real deal?” They could be, but how would anyone watching this show know? According to the History Channel, great oudoorsman Eustace is unaware of how to use the word "misfire" appropriately (no, for the final time, it does NOT mean "failure to achieve desired results" in the presented situation)--is that the "real deal?" And, are viewers at fault if they laugh and point out this and many other production misfires--yes, failures to achieve desired results--throughout the show?

Of course they aren't; the producers are.

Reality Programming CAN Be Great

There are some excellent reality shows out there these days, featuring real people doing real things. Swamp People, also on the History Channel, comes to mind. For Alaska living, Flying Wild Alaska (Discovery Channel) is good, as is Alaska: The Last Frontier (Discovery Channel). Dual Survival (Discovery Channel) gives viewers some real knowledge for potential life-threatening situations. And, of course, the king of all things-most-of-us-could-never-do reality shows, Deadliest Catch (Discovery Channel), consistently gives people good reality television. Are any of these “production free,” with no off-camera manipulation of scenes or TV magic in editing? No, of course not. But, they are well-done shows, and they respect not only the stars, but the fans, as well, by striving to give viewers shows that, in the world of reality television, are realistic. 100% “real,” maybe not; but realistic, yes.

Mountain Men could have been one of those shows; it definitely is not.

Season Two of Mountain Men will bring back Marty, Tom and Eustace, and will add a new “mountain man” to the gang. Perhaps, given the not-so-impressive feedback the show has received overall, the producers for this History Channel show will strive to give viewers something better next go around. If not, it will still probably be one of the funniest hours on television, intentional or otherwise. Until then, let’s just hope that Eustace made it back to Turtle Island Preserve without being overtaken by that overwhelming brushfire he encountered on his way into Boone.

Stay tuned.

Image: Wikimedia Commons via Ken Thomas


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
That reminds me, how much did you say that the interns pay to go there and work?

Submitted by sweetpea (not verified) on
Come on people. Relax and enjoy it for what it is. It's clean & funny and there is some reality there. You know if you had the chance make the money that he is making, you would do it too. The only reason I looked this up is because I didn't realize this season over. I'm looking forward to the next season. If you don't like it, choose another channel.

Submitted by Diva'sMom (not verified) on
Oh, they can make all the money they want ... Good luck and Godspeed, guys! Yup, I'd do it too; we all have bills to pay ... but I draw the line at endangering my horse and all those other motorists on the road. If you've ever seen the damage that hitting a deer can cause to a vehicle, you'll have to admit that Eustace's "epic ride" was freakin' criminally stupid.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I`ve only seen the show a couple times, The one with Eusatce riding his horse down 321, with horns a blowing. I don`t know which angers me more , the people in their cars & truck showing no respect to a animal that had no say in this cruel & dangerous task, or at Eusatce for trying to get his 15 minutes of fame. Now don`t forget the morons producing this reality show.I lived in the Boone area for 11 yrs,this is about the most insane thing I`ve ever seen.A horse is a trusting animal & will do whatever ask. It`s sad that the horse has Eusatce (useless)as his master

Submitted by sweetpea (not verified) on
Come on people. Relax and enjoy it for what it is. It's clean & funny and there is some reality there. You know if you had the chance make the money that he is making, you would do it too. The only reason I looked this up is because I didn't realize this season over. I'm looking forward to the next season. If you don't like it, choose another channel.

Submitted by coyotejoe (not verified) on
If there is any reality there it is only a tiny dribble which slipped through the cracks before the producers could catch it. The "reality" of Marty, he is a trapper. So let us see how he chooses a trap site, how he makes a set, how he skins and stretches a pelt. But no, it's all about air planes and snow mobiles and danger danger danger. The "reality" of Tom is that he makes a meager living tanning hides and making crafts. So show us how he does a brain tan, show us how he makes and markets his crafts. But no, it's all about bears & wolves and the dog getting lost or Tom getting lost and danger danger danger. The "reality" of Eustace is that Turtle Island is an extremely lucrative business and Eustace is a multi millionaire. Absolutely everything they have shown of him has been total fiction, a con to make you think he scrapes by on $2,000 per year, has to cut firewood as his only source of cash money (everyone pays him by credit card) and needs your help to pay off his debts. Reminds me very much of a TV televangelist begging for money. So why don't they show us the real Turtle Island and how Eustace really makes his living? No it's all phony hard times, chasing poachers and making desperate horseback rides for truth and justice, all front with danger danger danger.

Submitted by Elmo Bannannabush (not verified) on
Coyote Joe is "DEAD NUTS ON" I couldn't possibly agree more. Everybody involved with this fiasco need to be fired on the spot. COME ON MARTY!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Why don't you just tell us? How did he make this five million dollars? How is he earning his money? I'm starting to picture a mansion in the woods, with electric and a hot tub. Not to mention the 500 acres of junk cars. Is there a chef on site, flying in caviar every night? Sounds like it according to the comments here. Somewhere between the haters on this site and the sensationalism that the history channel, for some reason decided to air out of the hundreds of hours of filming they did, are three men, doing what they can to eke out a living. But, you are right about one thing. The film that the history channel decided to edit, air and COMMENTATE on, all by themselves; probably has nothing to do with what these three men accomplish. I would like to see the work that they all do, and not a bunch of made up sensationalism about bears and wolves and for goodness sake, I hope Tom puts his dog on a leash, she doesn't listen worth a crap. I didn't expect her to survive the season. I found the hydro plant at Turtle Island extremely interesting, but Eustace never said that it powered the sawmill. The commentator did. I had to play it back to make sure that I never heard Eustace tell Justin to site his rifle, it was edited. So, I hope that the Mountain Men had the good sense to discuss the botched job and the injustice that the history channel did to these men.

Submitted by Jeff K. (not verified) on
I so so agree with your article. I could really enjoy shows such as Pawn Stars & American Pickers except for the very silly & contrived garbage the producers feel they have to add to these shows. I do enjoy Cajun Pawn Stars because they have stayed away from the added crap so far. I so wish the producers would understand that I watch these shows because I find the basic themes interesting and the stuff they add just makes me angry and frustrated.

Submitted by rhode island (not verified) on


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