Thursday, June 02, 2005

Dead or Alive

As I alluded to in my much-delayed Stylin' roundup, I've been totally enthralled by the show "Deadliest Catch" on the Discovery Channel. And it's not even that great.

It feels as if it were originally meant to be a documentary, but the producers wanted to make it feel like a reality show. Thus some truly impressive footage of men who risk their lives and freeze their asses off to pull king and snow crabs out of the Bering Sea is interspersed with unecessary recaps after each commercial, some over-dramatized narration, and a scoreboard to keep track of the catch of each boat. Oh, and there's a theme song: "Wanted Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi.

The subject material is strong enough, however, to overcome that. Crews have to work long hours because the crab seasons are only open for a couple days at a time. Minutes count. Sleep can wait. And the conditions are awful. It is, after all, winter off the Alaska coast. Frigid swells can catch crews unaware, dumping gallons of green water onto the deck and deckhands. If it gets truly nasty, salt spray freezes to the upper parts of the ship, making it top-heavy and even more unstable. There's at least one sinking, as well as a man overboard. Yet the payday can be sweet when crews make it back to the docks. Even more lucrative than being on a show like "MTV's Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Inferno II."

What if the gritty stars of "Deadliest Catch" were replaced by Abram, Landon, the Miz, Tonya and the whole gang? I bet it would totally fucking rule. The Bad Asses could have one boat, and the Good Guys could have another. Of course, the Bad Asses would probably start fishing too early, and newly deputized Alaska Department of Fish and Game officer Dave Mirra would have to regulate. Then the good guys would take an early lead because Rachel, Veronica and Tina stuck Tonya with all the work, while the Good Guys teamed up. Then everyone would have a belly-flopping contest.

Then Tina could tell the cameras "we need to catch some crab." And the Bad Asses would get some of their typical luck, and haul in tons of crab. Meanwhile, the Good Guys would give Brad a wedgie and hang him from a yardarm because he ate all the herring they were going to use for bait. Who would win? It would depend on the sea.

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