Sunday, December 18, 2011



The Discovery Channel's hit show Gold Rush: Alaska has become must see television on Friday nights, but the biggest nugget I've managed to glean from the show this season is that these people are a bunch of idiots. 

Every week, something goes wrong. Horribly wrong. I'm not even talking about the kind of "scripted wrong" that is manufactured for these kinds of shows to build drama. The Hoffmans are in way over their head and even when they aren't, they can't seem to get out of their own way long enough to make up any real ground. 

I get that the idea of having complete noobs go up to Alaska to mine for gold is part of the high concept of the show, but it's been one embarrassing turn after another.  Still, the show has a "love to hate them" kind of feel that keeps me tuning in when I know I should have switched off a long time ago. 

Is it leader Todd Hoffman's disgusting beard that is big enough to nest a family of birds? 

There's gold in them thar beard!
Is it Jack Hoffman, the old man with a dream that has the most annoying voice of anyone I have ever come across -- and uses jargon reserved for people 60 years his junior? 

It's a drop dead killer claim.
Maybe it's James Harness, the crackerjack mechanic that numbs his chronic back pain with heavy duty narcotics. 

I can fix heavy machinery on morphine.
Arguably, the villain of the show is Dakota Fred, a gum chewing blow hard that would be completely dull if not for the fact that he has one leg that's shorter than the other which forces him to wear four inches of rubber sole to one of his boots so he doesn't walk around in circles. 
They call me big boot.
My best hopes went to the 17 year old whipper-snapper, Parker Schnabel that has been trying to run his 92 year old grandfather's Big Nugget Mine, but even he has been striking out. 

My grandpa thinks I'm forty.
 All in all, the show offers up the promise of gold nuggets, but all I can see are a handful of flakes.


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