Wednesday, November 27, 2013
The Hawkes are back.
The series ran for two years on the Discovery Channel. The format was pretty typical for survival shows, in that the Hawkes were dumped off in some God forsaken spot and had to demonstrate survival skills. It was carefully scripted and didn't make any pretense of being "real" but it was still pretty rough going. They had a camera and support crew along, and were upfront about it. I never felt it detracted from the learning points they were teaching. Ruth Hawke stuck right with it, and never wimped out. She got really sick a few times, but when the support crew medic intervened they used that as a learning point too. After the end of the second season, Mykel Hawke announced that they had declined a third season because the format was too hard on his family. I suspect he meant too hard on his wife, and probably most of the people who watched the show and liked it would have agreed. She took a real beating, but never whined or complained.
A week or so ago, someone left an anonymous comment on the blog to tell me the Hawkes had a new show on the Travel Channel. I just got a chance to watch it, and enjoyed it very much. It's still a survival program, but it has clearly been structured to avoid killing Ruth Hawke. Much less physically demanding and not nearly the mental stress of the first show. I've only seen the one and it may be an exception, but I expect this adjusted format was done to take some of the tension out of the show and make it easier for her. I'm sure a lot of people watching the Man, Woman, Wild series sometimes felt like they were taking it too far with his wife and were uncomfortable with it. The new program is called Lost Survivors.