Swamp People, "It's Personal": men at work

Quick Take: Swamp People, "It's Personal"
"This is the way I like to do it...swamp style." - Terral

Review: Swamp People, "It's Personal"
(S0110) My feelings about the History Channel and their current programming are well-documented, so when I was asked to write a review on the reality show Swamp People, I was a little less than enthused. Swamp People is a reality show that follows a group of toothless-inbreeds who make a living hunting gators in the Louisiana bayou. I'm not a big reality TV guy in general and I specifically don't understand the appeal of shows based on watching people work. Recently, for reasons that are beyond me, there has been a glut of shows that follow (mostly) blue-collar folks as they toil away at their thankless professions. There are shows about exterminators, and hairdressers, and pawn shop clerks (God, enough with pawn shop shows already, how many do we need?!), and meter-maids, and mechanics, and realtors, and carpenters, and lumberjacks, and fishermen, and truckers and taxidermists.

I DON'T GET IT, WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO WATCH THESE PEOPLE WORK? It's unbelievably boring! You want to watch a plumber do his job? Clog up your toilet, break out the Yellow Pages, flip to the "P" section, then wait until Chuck or Jim-Bob or Ace or whoever decides to show up. Boom, live reality TV show going on right in your very own bathroom! Uh-oh, he's pulling the snake up through pipes, I wonder what he's going to pull out?! A clump of hair? Toilet paper? A tampon? Find out after this quick commercial break!

There are five jobs, and five jobs only, that belong on television: cop, professional athlete, doctor, lawyer, and Baltimore City drug dealer. That's it. If you don't have a badge, can't run a sub-4.3 forty, don't wear scrubs, can't define habeas corpus, or don't enjoy a delicious Lake Trout sub, stay the heck off of my TV screen.

What were we talking about, again? Oh yeah, Swamp People. Boy, does Swamp People suck. I can't think of one redeeming quality about this show. I was at least hoping that it would be funny, given the fact that rednecks can often be counted on for a good zinger or two. But nope, the freaks on Swamp People can't even deliver a proper earthy, Cajun one-liner.  The one thing I have to give Swamp People credit for is it certainly doesn’t kowtow to those PETA a-holes. Basically the whole show is about these people trying to lure gators close enough to their little boats so they can blast them in the head at point-blank range with a pistol or rifle. Unfortunately it’s a lot less fun to watch than it sounds.

Here's my suggestion: If you want to a watch a reality show about people from the swamps of Louisiana that is actually worth watching, go on Hulu or Google and search for "Trading Spouses: Cajuns Vs. Vegans", it's freakin' hilarious.

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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7 Comments
On: Friday, June 10, 2011
Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

Lucas, I'd only disagree from standpoint that I think reality/documentaries about work can be fascinating. Example that leaps to mind is Deadliest Catch, whcih I have become entranced with of late. I'm not a very outdoorsy/adventurous person and make my living banging on keys in front of a backlit screen, so watching guys risking their lives in pursuit of a living way the hell off the coast of Alaska is pretty damned riveting at times. 

Now, that doesn't take away from the fact that Swamp People may well be a pile of well... swamp residue. I haven't seen it, but I'm not shocked that it may be a pile of dung as History Channel programming very often leaves much to be desired !

On: Friday, June 10, 2011
Paddy said:

The reason I love this show is becauseI live in Ireland. America is so different intresting. Very few people live off the land only sheep farmers etc nobody catched aligators as we dont have them. I would love to visit some of the states in the south. I had no idea as none of my friends did either that people actually hunted like this. Excuse my ignorance if i come across that way but this show is so much better than Irish tv shows. Nice blog too

On: Friday, June 10, 2011
Lucas High said:

Paddy,

1. Thank you for your kind words about the "blog".

2. It has long been a fear of Americans who care about such things that we would be judged by the outside world based upon our television, movies, music, etc. If I ever in my wildest dreams considered that anyone would use a show like Swamp People as a guide to what life is like the US, I would have moved to Cuba years ago.

3. I have lived in the States my whole life and I have never catched an aligator either.

4. There is zippy chance Irish TV sucks that bad.

On: Friday, June 10, 2011
Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

I get where both of you are coming from, Paddy/Lucas. I worked in the UK for a stretch in the late '90s, and one time flipped on the telly and was horrified to see a promo for The Ricki Lake Show. "Uh oh," I thought. "This is how they're forming an opinion of us." 

On the other hand, even with cable stations, etc. the TV menu in the U.S. is far superior to those abroad. Obviously other countries are producing some great programming -- and I can't speak to non-English fare for the most part -- but for what it's worth the U.S. is still the world's greatest exporter of entertainment content. 

Even if that includes Swamp People ;-) 

On: Friday, June 10, 2011
Lucas High said:

Eric,

You could begin a setence with "The US is still the world's greatest..." and insert virtually anything after that and I would agree with you.

On: Friday, June 10, 2011
gator girl said:

I was lucky enough to come across swamp people from the first episode.  I have told everyone that will listen to watch. Now they are hooked too. I grew up a river rat in Florida, and have seen how dangerous they are and how big they can get.  We were never allowed to throw leftover food off the dock or "feed" the gators.  Lost a dog or two.  My heart was in my throat when Bruce lost his dog for a while.  I do wish they would stop that stupid bell that dings randomly in this seasons episodes.  I think it's my dryer or my over or stove timer.  Tell them to stop with the bell!

On: Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Mike said:
Wow, very hard work , 1st they are hooked with a hook in there mouth , 2nd they come along with a shot gun and shoots it in the head !; wow. !! Tuff beyound words , i really want to read how one of them fell in and was killed
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