REAL REALITY TV
I am sure it would not be a shock to most readers of this blog that this cranky old man is a fan of reality TV. As a knuckle dragging Neanderthal, (no offense intended to actual Neanderthals) mostly conservative, of course I would be a fan of Reality TV.
Now, I am not a complete idiot, I know that most of Reality TV is not really reality, it is semi-real with semi-real situation staged by producers who realize reality does not bring ratings unless it is prodded a bit.
Anyway, I do watch some RTV.
I have a sensitive side that watches “Say Yes to The Dress.” I am a big fan of Randy the gay dress guru. I also follow “Married at First sight” and “90 Day Fiancé.”
But when I feel like a macho cranky old man, my go-to shows are “Deadliest Catch” and “Gold Rush.”
These shows also have a little bit of unreality prodding to make them interesting, but mostly they are the actual real deal.
“The Deadliest Catch” follows crab boats in Alaska. These dudes risk their lives so the rest of us can enjoy the tasty meat of King and Snow crab from the Bearing Sea. They are tough, and they are resourceful, the crabbers not the crab…the crab are sweet and tender.
“Gold Rush” follows gold miners, also in Alaska. They are also tough and resourceful. In both these shows, the tough guys overcome problems, sometimes life threatening, with MacGyver type fixes to equipment and with incredible personal endurance.
My favorites in these shows are two young snot-nosed kids that have been with the shows from the very beginnings, 10 years or more.
Jake Anderson was first seen as a lowly 18-year-old bait boy on the “Northwestern”, a boat captained by a tough Norwegian old salt.
He was pushed to the edge in the worst ocean conditions you could imagine and never complained. He was picked on and mocked as apparently all “Greenhorns” are picked on and mocked by the veteran crab crew. He never complained. He only wanted to learn each job and he kept coming back for more, no matter how much work and abuse was piled on him. In the end, after his first crab trip, he earned the respect of the captain and the rest of the crew.
In the ensuing years of the show, Jake has worked his way from bait boy, to top deck hand and engineer. He learned everything there is to learn about running a ship, maintaining a ship, and leading a crew.
Jake earned his Captain license and has for the last few years been Captain of his own ship with partial ownership. This one-time bait boy is now, after only a few years, become not only a realty TV star, but also a millionaire boat owner.
My other favorite star is Parker Schnabel. Parker was also a snot-nosed kid when he first appeared on “Gold Rush.” A 17-year-old who spent summers working on his grandpa’s mine, Parker skipped college, much to his parent’s chagrin and dove head on into gold mining.
He started out scraping maybe 20 ounces of gold from his grandfather’s mine (as much a hobby for Grandpa as a vocation). Parker now runs a mine company with several million dollars of equipment, and pulls out almost 7000 ounces of gold a year, every year, worth over 10 million dollars.
He has made a zillion mistakes along the way. As a snot-nosed kid it has not been easy earning the respect of gnarly heavy equipment running miners, but he has succeeded.
Being an old fart who has not really done much with my own life, I often complain about our younger generation of self-absorbent, woke, entitled, snot-nosed kids, because that is what old farts who have not really done much with their own life have always done.
Then I watch real snot-nosed kids like Jake and Parker and I realize I should probably just shut the front door.
I think we will be just fine with this generation.