Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Foot: Man Vs. Wild--Georgia-Eastern Europe

On this day that celebrates 90210, I will not write about the show because I never watched it; however, let me know when America is celebrating Dawson's Creek and I'll write 30,000 words about it. After all, I once spent 1,000 words comparing the show's sixth season to the 2008 Denver Broncos.

But today is reserved for my weekly thoughts on the latest Man Vs. Wild.

This week, Bear Grylls was in the Republic of Georgia near the border of Russia. Bear covered an insane amount of ground. He went from the peaks of the Caucasus mountains to the wetlands. As he begins the descent on the mountain, he talks about the volatile place that Georgia's become. Of course, my mind recalls the short Russian-Georgian war that took place last August. Bear is actually describing the mountains and the terrain as volatile. His helicopter DOES land so he doesn't skydive. Instead, once the plane lands, he drives a snow mobile across the mountains because he wants to beat the threatening weather in a race. Unfortunately, the snow mobile breaks down.

Unlike previous weeks, Bear does not surround himself with the possibility of death. He doesn't play wiffle ball with an Georgian bears nor battle a vulture for an egg. There's some excitement with wolves though.

Here are the highlights:

-Before he begins his descent down the mountain, he gives the audience a weather report. The information he imparts reminded me of the meteorology class I took. Severe weather is only four hours away, Bear tells us, so he's going to work quickly. He usually works quickly. In fact, this episode he did an extraordinary amount of work to survive. Perhaps a heavy workload is what it takes to survive in Eastern Europe.

-The first 15-20 minutes focuses on the descent down the mountain. Bear is an expert. When he reaches steep declines, he pulls out his rope and digs into the snow so he can climb down. I forget what name is given to the system Bear uses. He did the same thing with Will Ferrell in the Sweden episode. He instructs the audience to kick into the snow while climbing down because of the friction the act creates. He never wants anyone to rush themselves down a mountain. Take your time is the biggest lesson Bear gives because mountains can be unpredictable.

-He reaches the ground easily and begins the search for food or liquid. He explains that one can become dehydrated in the cold even though a person won't feel like he or she is dehydrated. He gathers snow and melts it with a fire. Bear won't eat snow because snow lowers the body's core temperature.

-In the forest, Bear's priority is food. While climbing down the mountain, he thought he struck gold with an egg but the egg was extremely rotted. The vulture actually left the egg there to rot so Bear knew eating it was out of the question. Bear notes that he is not the only predator in the forest. Among the other predators are wolves and bears.

-Nothing happens in the forest. Bear makes camp. The Georgian evening looks awesome though. I wouldn't mind living in Eastern Europe for a period of time. As he builds the fire, he talks about the mythology of wolves and the thought that a pack of wolves will attack human beings when, in fact, one is lucky should he or she ever see a wolf in the wilderness. During the night, he hears wolves howling. Bear howls himself to determine the distance of the wolves. He has a restless night because of those noises he heard in the night. The description for the episode included the words "camps with wolves." Technically, he does but he isn't sitting with them around the fire reading the works of Vazha-Pshavela.

-His whole journey is about reaching the coast of The Black Sea because it has one of the most popular shipping lanes. He enters the wetlands and briefly eats three eggs and the chick fetus' that are in the egg. Bear says a scavenger can't be a chooser. The sight of Bear eating a fetus with one of the half-formed eyes hanging from his mouth isn't a pleasant visual.

-Bear doesn't have an easy time in the wetlands. He moves at a snail pace because of the environment, loses a shoe, submerges himself to get the shoe back and then decide to build a raft. He builds the raft easily and reaches the coast. He needs to get the raft to the sea so he builds an elaborate anchor system so he can pull the raft because the raft is too heavy for him to carry. After some time, he gets the raft to the shore where he eventually finds a giant tanker. Rescue found.

-Oh yeah, he also does this:

Overall, a good episode of Man Vs. Wild. It's not the craziest episode of the series. Bear spends a lot of time building things that will help him. He doesn't put himself into any extremely dangerous situations like he has in the past. The episode has plenty of good information and advice for the viewer regarding surviving in a place like Northern Georgia.

I promised an NBC preview today but the preview will wait until tomorrow. No one wants to read a 4,000 word entry anyway.


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About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.