Anyone interested in modern maritime culture should check out Discovery Channel’s reality TV show “Deadliest Catch.” The 3rd season started this week. It has a loyal viewership and has developed into a cult hit. Tuesdays at 9 PM EDT and PDT (8 PM CDT). Like most cable channel shows, it repeats often over the weeks following each new episode.
To get flavor of what its about, check out the show’s website where you can watch select “webisodes” and read crew bios and the show’s production diary blog. There is a weekly poll where you can vote for your favorite boat and crew and a game (reported to be coming soon) where you will be able to see if you “have what it takes to skipper a crab boat on the Bering Sea.”
The show’s website also has very active and interesting message board where viewers discuss everything from professionalism and decision-making to who’s the hottest captain. It makes very interesting reading. Here’s a sample of a message that has 77 replies:
“I am slightly disappointed in the Discovery Channel for glorifying some of these “Captains” who by all professional standards are not setting a good example. The Discovery channel would do well to ask other professionals there opinion of some of the things that they are glorifying. Often, “joe blow boater” follows the example of professional Captains. I have seen a few series where my stomach cringed at the statements and decisions made by some of the “Captain’s”.
There are many things these Captains can do to make their occupation safer, there are many decisions these “Captains” can rethink to make sure their crew gets home safe.
Just an opinion from an old salt for what its worth. Many of us (licensed) Captain’s sit around and watch the series together and just shake our head. Not trying to be harsh or derogatory, Captains have a bad habit of just being truthful. We are just telling it like it is.
Capt. Phil – you are well liked and respected here even when your decisions are unpopular where you are.
Captain of the Rolo – all we can say is, well , you might want to go back to school. Not a good idea to go into it here, but hopefully you are aware of how bad you looked as a Captain.
This is all meant in the form of CONSTRUCTIVE critisism.”
On the lighter side, hyannisgirl wrote:
“I have to post this because I am addicted to this show and love to watch Captain Sig! I get all hot and bothered watching him…..Any other fans of Sig out there?”
While I enjoy watching the Amazing Race, The Apprentice and Survivor, these shows cast the characters and manufacture the “reality.” You might get Fired but you won’t die. On the other hand, Deadliest Catch is real Reality TV. The crew members (and production crew) put their lives at risk to make this show. These are real people doing real jobs with the added complication of having cameras recording their real life challenges.
It’s amazing television. These guys risk their lives to feed (and entertain/educate) us. The least that we can do is watch!