Tag Archives: reality TV
Maybe it’s because things are shaping up as a rerun of last year (devastating avalanche, dozens of people hastily forced to abandon their homes for good, Wiggo’s latest tourism scheme, etc.), but the BBC is bailing on a previously announced second season of “Svalbard; Life on the Edge.”
Imagine paying lots of bucks to see and/or hear yourself starring in the professional championship game of your choice (a thing that has actually been offered). Now apply that concept to being a brave Arctic explorer in the rugged untamed wilds of Svalbard and you’ve got a grasp on a trip being offered at the end of May by a UK company that allows “budding David Attenborough’s” to “star in your own wildlife documentary.”
9:30 p.m.: And this is it. Welcome the gripping finale of this very spooky show on a dark Halloween evening, where all sorts of strange creatures will be gathering to cackle at the sight of their spirits wandering the Earth. OK, I think that’s enough obligatory Halloween references so, unless someone shows up in costume or anything else pertinent happens. The creature reference is the expectation that a majority of the “stars” in the show will be here tonight as sort of a “wrap party.” So far Benjamin V., Wiggo and Claudia, Chris the avalanche guy, Lara from Green Dog Svalbard, and of course Mary-Ann should be here.
9:30 p.m.: Two episodes to go and, based on the number of characters in this one, I wonder if they’ll do sort of a reverse of the opening two episodes, where they cram half the characters into each show. Best I can tell Chris will be doing the Svalbard Skimaraton (yes, that’s the proper spelling…and nice to have him doing something besides avalanche stuff), Wiggo (and maybe Claudia) will be doing something, Alex will be doing more outdoor recreation, Mary Ann is doing some kind of outdoor project for her lodge and Martin (the doctor who visited last week) will be doing more hospital stuff. So maybe the “theme,” if one exists, will largely be outdoor life/recreation? Which would be really, really repetitive and chiche given that it’s been a dominent thing in every episode so far. But since my guesses are usually at least partially off…
9:30 p.m.: Three episodes to go and it seems I’m not the only one who feels monotony has been setting in the past few episodes. Tonight’s episode looks like it might break from some of the usual, thanks to a doctor who’s appearing as a guest star (and going on an emergency rescue drill at sea), and finally the return of Wiggo AND Claudia for the first time since Episode Two. They were a huge hit then and it’s baffling the show hasn’t been featuring more of the character (Wiggo) who’s literally the show’s poster boy. Also, Christine will be doing the two-day Trappers’ Trail and, while a dogsledding trip is one of those things that now seems to be obligatory every episode, this is a continuation of a storyline from a few episodes ago when she did the qualifying race.
9:30 p.m.: I walk into the restaurant/pub at Coal Miners Cabins and experience a moment of panic since it looks like the show’s already in progress on the big-screen TV, rather than the usual weekly show about villages near the Arctic Circle that precedes the series. A couple of minutes pass and I realize it’s actually a long infomercial for the company that owns this place and lots of other tourism businesses in town (the audio is muted and I realize there’s no subtitles). The fact it’s hard to tell the difference due to the similar editing styles (a few minutes each of dogsledding/snowmobiling, a scene in a restaurant/pub, a special event, etc.) highlights something I emphasized in last week’s coverage: a lack of overall focus and direction.
Ranking the characters of ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge’ from least to most interesting (sorta halftime edition)
Six down. Four to go. And it’s far from clear the current rankings will look anything like the final ones.
I’ve been at a loss as to how to rank the “stars” of the ten-episode BBC Earth docu-soap “Svalbard: Life on the Edge” (“Ice Town: Life on the Edge” outside Norway), mostly because I can’t figure out why the show is allocating scenes/storylines to everyone the way it is so far. But things have progressed far enough to say the initial rankings after the first “introductory” episodes were somewhat askew.
9:30 p.m.: Welcome to the show that will bring us to the halfway point in the series, although in the timeline of the show (late October until the end of May, we’re already in mid-March). Judging from the preview, it looks like this might be an episode that focuses on a topic rather than a progressive narrative, which is something the producers indicated during filming they were planning to do all along.
9:30 p.m.: Saw an advance screeing of this “make-or-break” episode two days ago (almost certainly the last time locals will get the opportunity during the 10-episode series) and it certainly was for the best as I prepare to do this tonight. Not because of the jolt of reliving last December’s avalanche – hard as that is at times – but because of a far more dismal shock I never would have imagined would be shown tonight (BTW, that shock isn’t what may seem overwhelmingly obvious, as you’ll learn by the end).
Show far, show good: Locals praise first two episodes of BBC ‘docu-soap,’ worry about the next showing avalanche
Many people said it was better than they expected. Nobody hated it – although some found the ending of Episode Two unsettling. And there is considerable anxiety about what the world will see in Episode Three.