When you’re a fan of several different franchises as I am, you have to realize that in doing so, there is a certain amount of risk involved.  A danger of your fandom not living up to your expectations and/or coming to the point that causes you to ponder “Why in the world did I ever start watching/reading/playing this?” is always present, even if it is only the danger of the story ending.



I first came to grips with this painful fact at the tender age of eleven, when my family and I sat in our living room with our eyes glued to the television, and we watched the last flight of the Enterprise 1701 D into an artful background of sun and nebulae on the small screen. Star Trek: The Next Generation is still my favorite show, but there is no one more depressed than I am about the fact that there will be no more of it.



Other examples include: Heroes, which turned to crap after the mesmerizing first season. Doctor Who, it will never be the same – no, really, it won’t. 



That’s why the main requirement of being a fan is unfailing, sometimes obsessive love.  But even after all of that, it’s hard not to wallow in despair at times. 



Sometimes we as fans just need a more solid ground to stand on.  There is one thing in this entire universe that I know will never fail me.  It’s a person actually, and his name is Bear Grylls.  Perhaps you’ve heard of him?







Like many people, I tended to avoid that show on Discovery Channel that started a few years ago.  Why would I want to watch an obviously insane man jump from helicopters and eat squishy grubs whilst in point blank range of a camera lens?  I normally waited for it to be over so I could watch Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe.  Now that’s good television!



Now, however, there isn’t a time when I pick up the remote, switch it over to the Discovery Channel, and mutter ever so innocently, “Bear…?” in the hopes that an episode of Man vs. Wild will be airing in that very moment.  Bear Grylls in Man vs. Wild is my rock when it comes to my options for entertainment, and I will do my best to explain why that is so, and why you should check him out if you haven’t already.



Man vs. Wild is a survival show.  I know there are a few others on television besides, but I’ve watched them, and I still would recommend MvW over them. 



Bear is a genuinely sincere, sweet guy, who was, until just recently, the youngest man to climb Mount Everest and come back down to talk about it.  He’s served in the British Special Forces.  He’s come back from several nearly career-ending injuries, and each time dove right back in to what he loves to do, which is climb, scale, swim, and run across every landscape known to man and learning about it as he goes.



Bear has a great respect for just about everything in creation (except for maybe caviar found in nature, and cave dwelling bats) and it’s so evident in how he presents Man vs. Wild.  He loves what he’s doing, there’s no denying it when you watch him.



Unlike other survival show presenters, Bear Grylls doesn’t make me want to kill myself, or at the very least, change the channel, because of how much he’s suffering through his survival demonstrations.  He’s one of the most positive guys in his field.  He manages to keep his sense of humor, as well. So much so, that if there were a post apocalyptic scenario, I’d stick close to him in virtually any situation that would be thrown at us.



I have to be honest, of course.  I’d stick close to Bear even in a normal situation.  I shouldn’t have to elaborate on my reasoning for that.



A new season of Man vs. Wild started this week on January 6th.  He’s been to the islands around Panama, next week on January 13 @ 9pm, he’ll be in the jungles of China, making heaven knows what out of bamboo.  He’s also due for a U.S. Urban episode, and another celebrity special. I’m crossing my fingers for Christian Bale, but that would just put more responsibility on Bear, as he would have to remember to tell Christian to take his medication among other things.



The bottom line is this is one of the most entertaining, interesting, and even comedic shows I’m watching right now, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has eyeballs.  I personally believe that I could survive in several types of environments for several days at least because of this show and what Bear as taught while presenting it.



Check it out on Wednesday’s @9 on the Discovery Channel.  At the very least, you’ll learn something.

Next stop, China!



There’s plenty of more info on the show and about Bear if you’re still feeling a little skittish.  Check out Bear’s Blog, and the Man vs. Wild Facebook page where news and the latest photos are posted. 


Addendum: There’s just something supremely satisfying about sitting down with a glass of ice water and a handful of cheezits and watching Man vs. Wild, especially when Bear is choking down something patently off-putting, such as not-yet-gone-over zebra. Get right in there on it with your teeth, baby! Yum. ~The Management


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