Doomsday Preppers, "Back To The Stone Age": second chances

Quick Take: Doomsday Preppers, "Back To The Stone Age"
"I refuse to be a victim." - Tim

doomsday preppers back to the stone age

Review: Doomsday Preppers, "Back To The Stone Age"
(S0102) Since last week, I've come to a realization. When I reviewed the premiere episode of NatGeo's Doomsday Preppers, I was looking at the show all wrong. I was taking the show too seriously, getting angry at it, and therefore validating its craziness, which is precisely what I accused the show's producers of doing.

For the Doomsday Preppers' second episode, I decided to watch it the way I watch all of these kinds of shows, through the prism of "train wreck reality TV." Lo and behold, I was able to keep my anger in check and even found myself enjoying parts of it. I made it all the way to the end of the hour this time, while last time I could only stomach 15 minutes.

If you can look past the inherent nuttiness in Preppers' subjects (which, admittedly, is a difficult task), a lot aspects of the show are pretty damned funny. Case in point: Tim Ralston. Tim is a father of two from suburban Phoenix who believes the end of the world will be ushered in by an Electric Magnetic Pulse (EMP), which will render all computers and electronic equipment useless.

Tim takes his sons out into the desert for weapons training and winds up shooting his thumb off with an assault rifle. Hilarious, right? It gets better. Tim passes out from the pain or shock or both, and the producers have to call in paramedics to rush him to emergency surgery. 

Come on Tim, stop being such a wuss! A real prepper knows there are no ambulances or emergency rooms in Armageddon. If he really wanted to prepare his sons for the end of the world, he would have sewed his thumb back on with a spool of thread and a rusty fish hook.

The next prepper profiled is Jason Charles, a firefighter from New York City. Jason claims to be preparing for an eruption of the Yellowstone Super Volcano, which he fears will spew deadly ash as far away as the Eastern Seaboard. It's a ludicrous fear, and one that I don't actually think Jason believes. A source close to Doomsday Preppers told me that the show's subjects are given a list of possible doomsday scenarios and asked to choose one. If the scenario you believe has already been chosen, you have to pick a different one. I imagine that Jason's real reason for prepping is the fear of another terrorist attack on New York City, which is certainly more understandable than concern over a volcano thousands of miles away.

After Jason is Jules Gervaes, who isn't really a prepper at all. Jules is simply a guy who has taken the local, organic food craze to the extreme. He has built a miniature farm in the backyard of his Pasadena home in an effort to ween his family off of its dependence on the supermarket. Of all of the preppers, Jules appears the least crazy and the most admirable.

The last subject on last night's episode is Pat Brabble, "a churchgoing southern gentleman" from North Carolina. Pat claims to be preparing for the downfall of society due to currency hyperinflation, which sounds to me like code-speak for, "Holy shit, there's a BLACK MAN in the White House, and he's a DEMOCRAT!!!"

Pat's preparation techniques are funny as hell. First off, instead of stocking up on staples like water, canned vegetables and grains, Pat has a secret passageway in his garage that leads to a stock pile of junk food and Domino Sugar bags. God forbid he runs out of sugar for his sweet tea during Armageddon. Best of all, Pat spends several hundred dollars a month buying bottles of liquor, which he thinks he will use as currency when society breaks down. To be honest, that actually sounds pretty cool. Screw the Gold Standard, I'm all for the Goldschläger Standard!

By Lucas High

About the author

Lucas High is a man on a mission. That mission: to watch television for a living. Drop him a line at lhigh2@gmail.com, on Facebook and on Twitter at twitter.com/LucasHigh.

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2 Comments
On: Saturday, February 18, 2012
Ashley Alabaster said:

I am a huge supporter of being preped being that I was raised by a preper myself. But the fact that the "star" (and I say that lightly) father of this show has even concieved the notion to kidnap their kids to teach them how to perpair for a kidnapping is scarry and would be mentally abusive  and I intend to do everything I can do to make sure that he is reported to chid protective services. He may know how to use a gun but obviously does not have the mental health of his children in check and I believe he needs to be mentaly evaluated himself for even thinking about doing such a thing to any child much less his own. I can only hope this show is canceled and the producer of the show should be repremanded greatly for airing this and putting out the idea to the public that kidnapping a child is a way to teach them to be prepared. I am appauled.

On: Saturday, March 31, 2012
AManWithABrain said:

You got to love the first guy Tim. He prepares for a EMP by driving his NEW Jeep controled by electronic fuel injectors and then shoots his thumb off. He really thought that one though. Ha Ha. NatGeo please take this show off the air or get a inteligent producer.

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