I enjoy watching “reality documentaries” such as Alaska: The Last Frontier, Mountain Men, Yukon Men and Ice Lake Rebels. But I really don’t like “fake” shows, especially when they go out of their way to seem real.
That’s why I stopped watching Dual Survivor. Without Cody Lundin, the show lost its credibility in my eyes. I usually watch a show or two, then do some research to find out how legit it is.
Alaska: TLF and MM are, as far as I can tell, solid and real. I haven’t researched Yukon Men yet.
Today, I researched Ice Lake Rebels. The first thing I checked was the “remoteness” factor. The show portrays the people as far from civilization, far from help and resources. I was disappointed to see that they were within walking distance (or rowing if the lake wasn’t frozen) of a fairly large city. They can probably hit the Canadian equivalent of a 7-11 for a box of Twinkies. Check out the picture below – that island at the top right is the one on the show.
The city of Yellowknife is right there. In this case, I don’t think less of the people on the show, unlike the apparently very fake and scripted Alaskan Bush People. But I do think that the producers are being a bit deceptive. Some shots are high views of the island, and the developed mainland next to it are blurred, obscuring the docks and boats and buildings.
That’s NOT good television… but I am still watching the show. The Rebels clearly face some real dangers and some tough conditions. But I’m watching a bit more… skeptically than before.
I did quit watching quite a while ago. It took a couple more shows for me to decide Ice Lake Rebels most likely wasn’t real.
I think scripted reality shows belong on network/dramatic television, NOT on purported “science” channels like Discovery, History or TWC. ILR has been replaced with Prospectors on TWC for me. 🙂