Deadliest “He-Manly Endeavor” Catch

I chose to sit down and watch an episode of Deadliest Catch on the Discovery channel. I hadn’t ever seen a full episode of this show but I immediately thought of it when we were assigned this. I thought of the show because of the highly publicized death of one of the captains from the show in 2010 as well as the disagreements some of the captains have had with Discovery over wages.

The show belongs to an interesting mixed category of documentary/reality television. This is because the filming of the show is actually everyday life on a crabbing vessel, the changes that make it reality is the dramatization of activities aboard the ships. In the episode I watched a crew member is n the middle of a break down of sorts and needs to be air lifted off the ship by the US Coast Guard. During the whole incident all the looks and dialoge between the other characters is really drawn out and obviously acted/scripted. Again, at the same time this show shows the difficulties of crabbing in really treacherous conditions where the boat really could run into real problems and the crew does have disagreements. That is a beautiful part of how this show is written, the viewer has no idea which is scripted and which is real.

I think this show is great example of how reality television shows can have at least a little useful information in them and that they are not all pointless gibberish. It shows the labor of crabbing and how that Alaskan crab gets to your table. The dialoge though for this show is almost just as pointless as any other show since it is only made up of arguments and over dramatization of those disagreements. The music used in the show is extremely over dramatic just like the dialoge and saturates the entire show. Every freaken wave that hits the ship and every commercial break is accompanied by an epic outburst of ominous music.

I named this entry this way because this show (beyond its useful information, music and dialoge) seems to be centralized around dominance and he-man toughness. I agree that crabbing in the areas they are crabbing and during the times of year they are crabbing would be a tough job. Is it really necessary for all the characters to be consistently bashing each other for being wimps though. This idea is also reflected between the captain and the crew as well as through all the captains and their competition to pull in the most crab in a season. Almost every character has to be all gritty tough looking and not care about the other people on board. I’m sure the real people aboard these ships really do care about their shipmates but in the show they all seem to cater to that classic I’m-a-man-and-I-do-things-my-way attitude. This doesn’t really make sense to me because if I were in a working situation that is so perilous I would really want some back up from my co-workers.


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