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“Survivorman” vs. “Man vs. Wild”


January 11, 2009

Today’s post is of the utmost importance. It has come my attention that, within my social circle, and just in general, there is a heated debate as to which survival show reigns supreme on the Discovery Channel, “Survivorman” or “Man vs. Wild”. I would like to take this time out of my day to set the record straight, and determine once and for all which show is truly number one.

When it comes right down to it, this is as much a comparison of the shows, as it is of the survival hosts themselves; so in earnest this is more of a “Les Stroud vs. Bear Grylls”.

Les Stroud of “Survivorman”

Bear Grylls of “Man vs. Wild”

Now I’m going to cut right to the chase and tell you that hands down, “Survivorman” is the better choice, but I will explain my decision for those of you who may disagree. I see how it could be misleading, I mean the host of “Man vs. Wild’s” name is Bear Grylls. That alone is enough to attract my attention, you have a certain expectation from someone with such an epic name, he is named after the most burly animal alive. But the bottom line is that nearly half the things he does on his show are either staged or partially provided by the crew or local people for him. Not Les though, he is out there all by himself, no camera crew, and no staged acts for TV. Now both hosts are briefed and “shown the ropes” by local guides or survivalists before they actually do the show, but Bear Grylls receives help throughout the entire time spent at a location.

Another key point, Bear is from Britain, Les is from Canada…enough said. Now I don’t have anything against either country, but I would have to argue that Canadian might be a little more rugged than Brits. In addition, Les stays out for a week (7 days) every time he does an episode, Bear stays maybe a few days, and has the company of a camera crew with him throughout his travels, that alone is a huge advantage that Les does not share. Lastly, only one of the two hosts was caught sleeping in a hotel during a survival excursion, that being Bear Grylls. Now I don’t believe it was for a “Man vs. Wild” episode, it was something for the BBC, but it is still something to be considered.

I do not want to say that I don’t enjoy “Man vs. Wild” because I do, it is just that I felt it needed to be know that “Survivorman” reigns supreme. Bear Grylls may be entertaining, but he will never be as manly as Les Stroud, and his show will just never be on that same level. Besides, Les is an extremely talented musician as you can see on many of his shows. True, Bear climbed Everest and has done a lot of very impressive things, but he exaggerates the extent of his special forces involvement, and he is just not going to cut it. Because I feel bad for being so hard on Bear, I will leave you with this:

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