> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Review: Dual Survival



Review: Dual Survival

Well, we're four episodes in, and last night's "Valley of Volcanoes" was probably my favorite yet. I live in the frickin' dry American Southwest. Deserts and wastelands. They're practically a death sentence for survival, so it was good to see Dave and Cody struggle on a trek through some really tough, dry land.

I really like this show--it's hands down my favorite survival show. Survivorman was good, but often fairly slow, uneventful and low on actual survival knowledge. Les sets up camp, finds some water and tries (and usually fails) to get some food.

Man vs. Wild is, well, Man vs. Wild. Bear Grylls is an entertaining jack ass, but it's not really a survival show. You don't learn much of anything watching it and few should attempt to do most of the things that Bear does. He takes crazy risks, climbs all sorts of things that only a wold-class rock climber could and eats nasty, diarrhea-inducing stuff.

Dual Survival has a great formula. Two experts, demonstrating different techniques and working through survival problems in a sane manner. Each episode has a lot of educational content, and the interaction between Dave and Cody is entertaining. They're both actually pretty funny and have some great lines throughout the show. Each man is a great character and could carry a show on their own, but together, their awesome.

I also like that Discovery has the cajones to show the gory details of survival. Cody spewing up precious liquids (man, I felt sorry for him), Dave power punching that rabbit thing to the next life and then skinning it and gutting it. I've never seen an animal processed like that, up close and personal (no hunters in my family growing up, though I've got my hunting license and plan to go on some hunts this year). I guess when they've showed Bear Grylls drink his own urine or bite a giant toad in half, this stuff is pretty mild.

As I predicted, there's less bickering between Dave and Cody as the series progresses. There's still some disagreements, but nothing too overly dramatic. I'm pretty sure that Dave's reluctance to eat the nasty wild edibles in preference for "four legged furry critters" is encouraged by producers, but I'm sure it is nasty crap that no one would enjoy eating.

The show is doing really well for Discovery in the ratings, getting them top slots for the much-sought after adult male demographic. I think we'll be seeing more seasons of Dual Survival in the future--and we're not even halfway through the first! Lots of good survival TV in store.

Read that the "international version" of the show is 10 minutes longer--they've got 10 minutes fewer commercials in an hour. They're posting up some of the deleted scenes on Discovery.com and you can check them out here; there are only a couple right now, but I hope they add more in the future. They film a lot of content (several days straight) for each episode--I wonder if they'll include lots of deleted/extended scenes in the eventual DVD releases.

Oh, and if you're a Dave Canterbury fan, you can follow him via Facebook. He's contractually no longer able to release videos in a public venue (ala YouTube), but he frequently updates his Facebook page with status updates.