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Afterthoughts on Survivorman, South Park, and M*A*S*H

Unlike the almost themed nights of the past week, tonight’s TV viewings had no connection at all. The television glowed with a dim blue hue as Survivorman, South Park, and M*A*S*H wormed their way into my brain and out of my fingers.

Survivorman was actually a really good show. The program does a fantastic job of letting you know that this crazy man is actually all alone in the middle of nowhere with nothing but a few supplies and multiple cameras.

There were two episodes tonight. In the first one Survivorman was alone in a desert canyon, living off of plague filled rats. He accomplished his goal of surviving for 7 days. Hooray!

The second episode had him stranded in the arctic, trying to get back to civilization in 7 days. He failed miserably in the arctic. He was running on very little food. He did not have enough energy to make a proper igloo. He was screwed. When his 7 days were up, he was still 2 days away by dogsled from his destination.

This was reality television. Not people in a house complaining about who ate the last granola bar. Man against the elements, and losing. Good work, Survivorman. You are a terrific program.

South Park was South Park. Smart humor and social commentary disguised as crude jokes. Nothing new to report here.

M*A*S*H was an odd thing to watch. I would be interested to see how many people are actually watching reruns of M*A*S*H every night. One man’s M*A*S*H is another man’s Seinfeld, I guess. As much as I like seeing George Costanza flubbing up everything he does, someone else likes to see Hawkeye stick it to Frank on a daily basis.

You are not a bad show, M*A*S*H. You are just not the sitcom for me. Do not feel bad, you have done very well for yourself.


SurvivormanTonight I watch Survivorman, and I am being sponsored by the good folks at SnapStream! SnapStream produces a product called Beyond TV, which allows you to watch and record TV on your computer if you have a TV tuner. I have used their product for years upon years, and am actually using it right now to watch TV while I blog about it! Check them out!

So this Survivorman. He is out in the wilderness alone for seven days in different locations each episode. No crew, no cameramen. Just himself, limited supplies, and the cameras that he has to lug around everywhere.

Right now he is mushing up some stuff in his mouth and putting it on a stick to catch a mouse. A mouse to eat. After he crushes the mouse with a rock. He has a trap set up all Rube Goldberg like.

Hey look! Now he has found some garbage lying around in the middle of nowhere that he is going to use to make tea from some green stuff he found. That sounds like a good plan.

Night has passed, and it is time to check for flat mice. It looks like he got himself a ground squirrel. He must cook it really well, because it might have the plague. Might have the plague? Are we seriously worried about the bird flu if this guy is eating plague filled rodents?

He is saving the bones to eat in the morning. Not the meat on the bones, the actual bones. I have a feeling he is part ogre.

So he is done with the desert episode, full of rodent that might have the plague. Okay, on to the Canadian arctic episode.

He is 1,100 miles from the nearest tree. It is all ice. And snow. And cameras.

He is also left with a broken snowmobile, which he is using very creatively. Building a shelter with it, using part of it to scoop snow, rubbing grease on his face. It is all getting pretty kinky. He actually works until 3am. He does not realize this because it is light out all of the time.

Commercial break, good. Now I can try and form some opinions. Let me see. This guy knows his stuff, and puts everyone on the show Survivor to shame. He is not saying things like “I hate leaves.”

Compasses do not work where he is, because he is so close to magnetic north.

The producers made him take a gun with him. Because of polar bears.

Now he is eating raw seal meat. If he eats meat without fat for too long, he will get protein poisoning. You hear that, Atkins people? Protein poisoning! Then diarrhea hits. This is not news to anyone on Atkins.

I like this guy. He admits that this is all a pretty stupid idea. There are a large amount of things that can kill him or hurt him. Snow blindness, frostbite, polar bears, low TV ratings. He does have an upbeat attitude and a mind for sarcasm.

Right now I want to see a polar bear. I will feel screwed if I do not see a polar bear. Oooh, polar bear tracks. 30 feet from where he was sleeping. Wish and ye shall receive.

He tried his hardest to make an igloo and he went about it all well, but he is just exhausted. He resolved to sleeping in a half built igloo that will keep him safe from the wind. Poor guy. All he has to wake up to is raw seal meat.

That is not all he wakes up to! Close to his igloo he found some grass. After being in the snow so long. He is elated. He is so damn happy to see and touch grass. I would say it is cabin fever, but what cabin?

Now he is starting a fire with his gun. Or trying to. It is failing horribly. Until about the seventh try. This guy is having such a high rate of failure. It is very sad and very hilarious at the same time.

By day 7, the final day he is given to get back to civilization, he is still 2 days away from civilization. 2 days by dogsled. He is lucky, and catches a ride with an innuit hunter.

This Survivorman guy is tough as nails but still failed. I do not think any of us have hopes of surviving in the arctic. At least we will get to feed some hungry polar bears.

That show was not as uplifting as I hoped. I like it!

Make Me Watch TV © 2008 Aric McKeown. All rights reserved. I am not responsible for the content of external sites.