When John first downloaded a couple episodes of Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch I was skeptical, but then it sucked me in and has grown to be one of my favourite shows on television. I’m finding myself drawn to those TV shows that make you laugh hysterically, cry, scream at the screen and be amazed all in one episode (a la Rescue Me).
This is reality TV at its best, it’s *real* people working one of the most lethal jobs on the planet. To top it off, their crabbing seasons are narrated by Mike Rowe, whom we all know and love (at least I do) from Dirty Jobs.
Deadliest Catch is a documentary-style television series that documents the events aboard fishing boats in the Bering Sea during the Alaskan king crab and Opilio crab fishing seasons. The Aleutian Islands town of Dutch Harbor is the base of operations for the fishing fleet. The show is named Deadliest Catch because the crew of these boats are at a high risk of death or injury due to the conditions of the sea during the seasons they fish, earning the title of most dangerous job in America (if not the world). [wiki]
Each captain and crew member of the fleet is interesting in their own way, they’re real people, with attitudes, passion and one tough job to do. The men are scruffy and gritty and so is the work – not only do you come to know and appreciate the various personalities on each boat featured, you soon learn the dangers that they face every day that they are out on the water. We watched a “behind the scenes” episode last night where Mike mentioned the Coast Guard has saved 48 lives over the last couple of seasons… although they have also lost 44 to the Bering Sea.
I have a soft spot for every crew member on all the featured vessels which include but are not limited to: Sig of the Northwestern who *knows* his stuff, Johnathan of the Time Bandit whom we saw save a man’s life this season, and Phil from the Cornelia Marie who needs to stop smoking but he’s got a heart of gold and man… his sons must drive him nuts hehe.
Not only are the crew members dynamic and interesting creatures but the cinematography of the show is phenomenal. The unique angles and shots above the water and below are far beyond anything you’ll see in Prime Time. In this last season we saw a shipwreck, open ocean rescue, people getting stitched up, men overboard, mental and emotional meltdowns, broken propellers, busted engines, and 30 foot waves crashing over the bows of these vessels – all with men on deck. You have to wonder what makes these men put it all on the line every season… aside from the thrill, the payout is amazing. We just watched the last episodes of the Opilio crab fishing season and boats that caught over 1,000,000 lbs of crab walked away with over that same amount in dollars. Basically for a week-straight of work during Opilio season a deckhand on a boat that brought in that much made about $40,000.
The show airs Thursdays and Sundays on Discovery Channel, if you’re looking for some good TV this summer (if you’re not out at the beach when we eventually get some sun) I highly recommend giving it a try.