Man vs. Wild - Discovery HD - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 11-02-2007, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Starting a thread on this board only because Discovery HD is readily available. Season starts 11/9. Grylls is sure to get himself in some more tight spots, supposedly the locales are pretty cool this year too.
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post #2 of 29 Old 11-02-2007, 02:58 PM
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Bear is a bit of a fraud - if you haven't heard already.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UpSlpvb1is
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post #3 of 29 Old 11-03-2007, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWinstonWolf View Post

Starting a thread on this board only because Discovery HD is readily available. Season starts 11/9. Grylls is sure to get himself in some more tight spots, supposedly the locales are pretty cool this year too.

Tight spots that he could have easily avoided. Although are they really tight spots when you are surrounded by a crew and survival experts and staying in a hotel at night?
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post #4 of 29 Old 11-03-2007, 10:44 AM
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Granted, I prefer Survivorman to Bear Grylls, but not because of 'fraud' issues. This whole thing broke when Bear himself went on Letterman and mentioned that he stays at motels and has a crew nearby. Anyone with a brain knew he had a crew, who did they think was carrying the camera? Grylls (in the course of the show) did not mention that at the end of the day he was going to a motel, but he didn't claim otherwise either. You either saw him spend the night outside, or you could figure it out for yourself.
Even Les Stroud is forthcoming that he scouts out locations ahead of time, talks to local experts about the flora and fauna, and has a satellite phone with him.

IMO, the downside of Grylls is he does unrealistic things *because* he has a crew with him as backup. Climbing acrossed a waterfall or jumping gaps with a steep drop, things like that Les Stroud doesn't usually do for fear of injury. I've seen episodes where Les did some extra walking because he was wary of climbing down a steep 12 ft embankment. Bear Grylls is more likely to wind up killing himself accidentally than Stroud in my opinion.
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post #5 of 29 Old 11-03-2007, 10:44 AM
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Yep - in the whole UK TV industry "honesty" debate recently Bear's stuff, along with Gordon Ramsay "catching a fish" have been oft quoted examples. (But hey - he wasn't defrauding people out of £20 million pounds as GMTV were...)

The irony is that his shows would be just as interesting - though possibly not quite as "faux exciting" if he was open and above board about what he was doing, or at least didn't imply - or in some cases state - incorrectly what situations he was in.

Ray Mears (who has done similar things on the BBC) seems to be far more open - and actually more informative - though his laid back style is a bit gentler and less adrenaline-fuelled.
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post #6 of 29 Old 11-03-2007, 11:04 AM
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Yeah, people have a tough time enjoying a show for simply what it is. If I watch any 'Man vs Wild' it's just to squirm a bit when Bear eats a huge spider or scorpion.
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post #7 of 29 Old 11-03-2007, 11:21 AM
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i saw one of the episodes on discovery HD...looks like upconverted SD to me.

This is the problem with discovery..they're showing upconverted SD and HD both in 16:9 and they don't tell you which is which. The PQ isn't up to snuff on most of their shows.
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post #8 of 29 Old 11-03-2007, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakesh.S View Post

i saw one of the episodes on discovery HD...looks like upconverted SD to me.

This is the problem with discovery..they're showing upconverted SD and HD both in 16:9 and they don't tell you which is which. The PQ isn't up to snuff on most of their shows.

Give them time and we'll see a lot more HD. Even upconverted 16x9 is better than SD 16x9 letterboxed for 4x3 displays--I think they refer to that as postage stamped. The History Channel in HD looks like it has either HD cropped for 4x3 and then stretched 16:9, or very good upconversions of SD stretched 16x9. Either way, some of their stuff is stretched, and that I hate.
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post #9 of 29 Old 11-03-2007, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakesh.S View Post

i saw one of the episodes on discovery HD...looks like upconverted SD to me.

This is the problem with discovery..they're showing upconverted SD and HD both in 16:9 and they don't tell you which is which. The PQ isn't up to snuff on most of their shows.

In the UK - some of the channels which are simulcast in HD (Sky One HD for example) alter their channel DOG (aka BUG) adding a small HD logo when the show is actually HD, rather than a 16:9 SD show upconverted (or a 4:3 SD show for that matter)

That said - does it matter? On the basis that 16:9 SD upconverted to 16:9 HD is more desirable than it being cropped to 4:3 centre-cut SD - or letterboxed in a 4:3 SD frame - and then pillarboxed to 16:9 HD - then surely this is an improvement over the 4:3 SD version of the service ?
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post #10 of 29 Old 11-03-2007, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blitzen102 View Post

Bear is a bit of a fraud - if you haven't heard already.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UpSlpvb1is

I figured that out when I watched the episode when he was in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Since that's my backyard, I knew he was full of it when he claimed to hike from the mountain he was dropped off to the chaparral (foothill) region. The wild horse scene was a dead give away that the show was b.s. There are no wild horses in the central Sierra's. I don't know if anyone has noticed, but all the reruns on Discovery have been edited from their original broadcast. Instead of Bear saying he makes all these gadgets, sleeping areas, shelters, etc quickly, the edited version says the crew helped him. Regardless, I still watch the show for entertainment purposes.
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post #11 of 29 Old 11-04-2007, 05:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltsfan21 View Post

I don't know if anyone has noticed, but all the reruns on Discovery have been edited from their original broadcast. Instead of Bear saying he makes all these gadgets, sleeping areas, shelters, etc quickly, the edited version says the crew helped him. Regardless, I still watch the show for entertainment purposes.

I think that's the point isn't it?

The audience is NOT stupid - whatever many producers cynically think (and British producers are just as guilty as any others - and in the "reality genre" they could be worse...) - and I think most of us would find entertainment and information value in the stuff Bear actually does in the locations he does them, even if it weren't set-up with the ridiculous "He's on his own, miles from anywhere and doing everything himself and could die at any moment" premise they framed it in.

The concept of showing survival in various wilderness and desert situations is a good one (though not original) - though the "on his own" style of doing stuff him self rather than roping in experts is a good differentiator.

Whilst TV productions rely on artifice (repeating things to allow multiple angles to be shot with one camera) - there is usually a very clear line between stuff done to allow it to be shown, and deceit in narration (i.e. lying to the audience) and the original Bear Grylls stuff seemed to cross this line to me.

Over here in the UK these questions (what is acceptable TV artifice and what is deceitful and unacceptable) are still reverberating round the broadcast industry - you may notice a few changes in UK imports as a result. Many productions are having to change their shooting schedules (not shooting stuff out of sequence as much) and editing techniques (only using contemporaneous cutaways) as a result of the recent soul-searching. I know of a couple of very high profile shows that have felt they had to revise the way they shoot their shows (Though the techniques were so obvious it wasn't that deceitful... )
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post #12 of 29 Old 11-04-2007, 02:08 PM
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DO NOT, I repeat, do not do the things Bear does. He purposely does outlandish things for the shock value. Things like:

* Swimming through a stagnant pond instead of walking around. Disease/infection issues

* Climbing up a waterfall instead of going around. Fall danger. Hypothermia danger.

* Climbing up a cliff for a birds egg. Fall danger, caloric worth - expended vs gained, bacteria danger - didn't he throw up all night?

* Float down stream instead of walk. Hypothermia, broken bones from rocks, drowning from rapids, danger of waterfalls.

Just a few examples of him taking the much more dangerous route from a few shows I saw.
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post #13 of 29 Old 11-04-2007, 04:08 PM
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AS long as he makes his own fire and drinks his own piss I will watch him.
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post #14 of 29 Old 11-05-2007, 02:12 AM
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Here are two examples of how they've edited the the old shows. In the Kimberly, Australia episode he builds a shelter and then says something like, "And while I didn't actually spend the night n this shelter..." Later, while he's shinnying down a tall tree into a deep gorge, they inserted, "Because of the danger, I roped up for this descent." He wasn't carrying a rope, you didn't see him roping up, and you couldn't see the rope during the descent or after he makes it down. Later he admits he didn't really catch a ptarmigan in his shoelace snare, but skins and eats one that magically appears.

The PQ, except for the "Man vs Wild" graphic, looks awfully soft and grainy, yet does carry the HD logo here in the US. I hope the new episodes are real HD. It's one of the few shows the whole family can enjoy together, and both I and my teenage son find it amusing that he got "busted." There were no disclaimers during the piss drinking scene, so I'm assuming that wasn't Mountain Dew.
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post #15 of 29 Old 11-08-2007, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltsfan21 View Post

I figured that out when I watched the episode when he was in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Since that's my backyard, I knew he was full of it when he claimed to hike from the mountain he was dropped off to the chaparral (foothill) region. The wild horse scene was a dead give away that the show was b.s. There are no wild horses in the central Sierra's. I don't know if anyone has noticed, but all the reruns on Discovery have been edited from their original broadcast. Instead of Bear saying he makes all these gadgets, sleeping areas, shelters, etc quickly, the edited version says the crew helped him. Regardless, I still watch the show for entertainment purposes.

Yeah I've always watched for its entertainment value, The dude its just plain interesting. To have that kind of mentality, it's just something that interests me.
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post #16 of 29 Old 11-08-2007, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

The audience is NOT stupid - whatever many producers cynically think (and British producers are just as guilty as any others - and in the "reality genre" they could be worse...) - and I think most of us would find entertainment and information value in the stuff Bear actually does in the locations he does them, even if it weren't set-up with the ridiculous "He's on his own, miles from anywhere and doing everything himself and could die at any moment" premise they framed it in.

the fact that what he does (besides giving the false impression that he's actually doing them) is giving the audience bad survival advice is another thing entirely. It's one thing to have some guy doing crazy stuff for purely entertainment purposes and another to have a supposed expert presenting useful "survival tips" to the audience. If the show was presented as a Fear Factor style series it would be more acceptable.

What makes this worse is that when you watch Les Stroud doing everything by himself with no setup, it just makes Bear look a bit sad.

Ray Mears does a far better job imparting real survival tips and bushcraft knowledge. It's unfortunate that eating big slugs for no reason and being photogenic is more appealing to producers.


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post #17 of 29 Old 11-28-2007, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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This ridiculous video clip from the first ep made the rounds last few weeks...

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Ysat-igQi44

now THATS quality entertainment...
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post #18 of 29 Old 11-28-2007, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blitzen102 View Post

Bear is a bit of a fraud - if you haven't heard already.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UpSlpvb1is

loll .. what about him drinking elephant **** for the water ?
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post #19 of 29 Old 11-30-2007, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by audiomagnate View Post

There were no disclaimers during the piss drinking scene, so I'm assuming that wasn't Mountain Dew.

I thought that was hilarious, because he'd only been there half a day, and later that afternoon it poured down rain. I'm sure a sip from the cameraman's canteen would've held him over.
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post #20 of 29 Old 11-30-2007, 05:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionOn View Post

Ray Mears does a far better job imparting real survival tips and bushcraft knowledge. It's unfortunate that eating big slugs for no reason and being photogenic is more appealing to producers.

Yep - can't agree more. The Ray Mears stuff is also far more thoughtful, and his respect for those who use bushcraft techniques as part of their daily lives, or who had to use them to survive during periods of their lives, make for very engaging TV. His shows are very different to the Bear Gryll's stuff, and far less adrenaline-filled. However they seem more intelligent, and usually engage me far more. He also goes into greater depth with his tips.

Watching the Bear stuff I am always thinking - "Hey - you've got a decent crew with you, and the risk assessments your production team will have had to do prior to filming mean you're in little to no danger at all." I realise that TV is about entertainment - and some people will find the Bear stuff entertaining. Doesn't really do it for me though - far too much obviously constructed jeopardy for me.

Always watch Ray Mears stuff when it is on. Don't know how much of it airs in the US - but most series I've seen (I think all) were shot 16:9 SD (either 576/50i or 576/50i converted to 25p in post)
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post #21 of 29 Old 12-03-2007, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Never seen any of Ray Mears stuff...but again, for the sheer entertainment value...not sure how you beat Bear...I can understand for more by the book survival technique youmight look elsewhere...but i'm not sure how that translates to tv. Bear is greatly entertaining...one of the few things i actually watch on a friday.
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post #22 of 29 Old 12-04-2007, 01:48 AM
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The absolute grossest thing I've ever seen from Bear Grylls. When he cut open the dead camel, drank water from one of it's stomachs, then took out the partially digested food and wrung water out it, into his mouth. I nearly puked.
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post #23 of 29 Old 12-04-2007, 09:34 AM
 
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Any guy that will bite the head off a lizard and eat it is fine in my book. Sure, you have to be stupid to realize that some of the things he does are over the top and not good ideas if you're just trying to keep alive, but for the most part it's good entertainment, and the advice is sound. The guy is ex British special forces, so he does have the survival qualifications to be putting a show on like this.

Usually he'll let you know that you should try to find another way around, or up, but in the case that those options don't exist, here's how you forge a river, get down stream, climb a sandstone cliff, ect. Most people should just find another way, can't see a overweight US Male trying to climb down a Sahara sandstone cliff! (now that's entertainment).

I really don't think the stuff he does is too over the top, and come on, it's reality TV. If you think it's 100% real, and he should get no help from the crew, you are a fool. Its entertainment, with some helpful tips that might just help you if you find yourself in a dire situation, not non-fiction.

What I do think is over the top is how he has to comment on just how bad some of the meals he finds are, with the same grimace every episode. Ok, I get it, raw wild food usually sucks, stop over reacting and down it you fanny.
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post #24 of 29 Old 12-04-2007, 12:12 PM
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AS long as he makes his own fire and drinks his own piss I will watch him.

I agree. I watch the show for entertainment value and not the survival tips. I tried watching Survivorman but I found it to be boring. Bear Grylls is a character and has a good show. I could care less where he sleeps at night.
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post #25 of 29 Old 12-04-2007, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bendog2784 View Post

I could care less where he sleeps at night.

Always fascinating how a common language separates us.

Us Brits would say "I couldN'T care less where he sleeps at night"!
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post #26 of 29 Old 12-04-2007, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

Always fascinating how a common language separates us.

Us Brits would say "I couldN'T care less where he sleeps at night"!

yes, that is the correct way to say it, but for some reason people like to say "i could care less"...which means that they actually do care to some extent.
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post #27 of 29 Old 12-05-2007, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Rakesh.S View Post

yes, that is the correct way to say it, but for some reason people like to say "i could care less"...which means that they actually do care to some extent.

They say it for the same reason way too many Americans say things like, "I seen that show the other day," or deliver other grammatically cringe-worthy sentences.

Ignorance.
There's definitely no shortage of it.

Back on topic: I simply can't watch "Man vs. Wild." I tried. Again. I just can't do it. I love "Survivorman," but Bear is just so incessantly ridiculous that I can't watch him and be entertained. To each his own, I guess.
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post #28 of 29 Old 06-03-2009, 12:37 PM
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Apparently noone else watched the Will Ferrell special last night...pretty good episode....Was weird seeing Will stressed out and NOT acting!
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post #29 of 29 Old 06-03-2009, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by SbWillie View Post

Apparently noone else watched the Will Ferrell special last night...pretty good episode....Was weird seeing Will stressed out and NOT acting!

I watched it. It was pretty funny. I think the only time that he seemed genuinely stressed was looking at the deer head knowing he was about to eat part of it.
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