Plot: What’s it about?
For those of you out there that are looking for a show that’s a bit?different, well then let me tell you that “Man vs. Wild” is probably up there. Yes, I’ve seen the previews and even caught a bit here and there, but last year I sat down and watched a few episodes and let me tell you, it’s addictive. But first, a little history on reality TV if you please. It’s widely known that shows like “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” and “Survivor” kicked off the juggernaut that is reality TV and that’s been over a decade ago. Reality TV is cheap to produce as you’re not hiring actors and, presumably, don’t need a script. All you need is a crew and a camera and the rest of the show is on autopilot. Well shows like “Man vs Wild” are a little more than a camera crew following around a Hollywood starlet, no, Bear Grylls risks life and limb each time he ventures out to some remote (and not so remote) corner of the world. Fans of Steve Irwin might find a new hero in Bear Grylls as he shows us that it’s indeed possible to survive in pretty much any given situation, though death seems to loom around every corner.
Admittedly, this latest season (Season Four) is the first time in which I’ve sat down to watch an entire season, I’ll probably have to catch up on some of the earlier seasons at a future point in time. Bear is an ex member of the British SAS forces (the British version of a Navy Seal), was the youngest Brit to climb mount Everest (at a mere 23 years old) and is a best-selling author and motivational speaker. The shows are all about the same in which he’s literally dropped in some remote place on Earth and Season Four has him in such exotic locales as Guatemala, Vietnam, China and even Alabama. Yes, Alabama. We also get a special episode with comedian Will Ferrell (billed as the “Celebrity Guest” but if you’re a fan of the show, then you already know this). The episode is the highlight of the season and Ferrell makes it seem how real it actually is out there for those of us without survival skills. Fans of the show will love having this in their home library, though you can usually catch an episode while channel surfing at any given point in time.
Video: How does it look?
These episodes are presented in a 1.77:1 widescreen aspect ratio which is enhanced for HDTV’s. The episodes I’ve caught are broadcast in HD and this DVD looks just about as good as those. The picture quality varies from episode to episode as we see what the camera sees. There’s no “set” per se and though the image is generally good in terms of quality, I did notice a few blips here and there. If you’re used to seeing these broadcast in HD, then these DVD’s will be about the next best thing for you. And really, how many times to we get to see Will Ferrell pee in snow?
Audio: How does it sound?
Audio-wise we get a pretty standard offering with a Dolby Digital 2.0 mix. Let’s face it, these episodes aren’t really manufactured for sound and most of the noise is either Bear talking to the camera (as he’s hanging off a cliff or something) or just ambient noise that comes from the jungle or area he’s in. Surrounds are non-existent and it’s a good, solid offering here.
Supplements: What are the extras?
We don’t really get any supplemental material per se, but we do get the “Special” episode that guess stars Will Ferrell and there are a few extended scenes. Aside from that, there’s no commentary (there’s no real need for a commentary, actually as each episode is essentially narrated by Grylls) and nothing else to be found. Still, fans of this show should be more than happy with this release.