Sunday, July 24, 2011
Review: Dual Survival Season 2
The bloom is off of the rose. Season 2 of Dual Survival has run its course, and I have to say, while I sort of liked the first season for various reasons, the second leaves me wondering if I can somehow get the time back I have spent watching it.
The disillusionment started right off of the bat in the first episode. For some reason, they decided it was a good idea to demonstrate how to cauterize a wound using black powder. So Dave Canterbury slashed his own arm, and Cody Lundin dumped on the powder and lit it off. It did cauterize the wound, although I wonder if the procedure caused more additional trauma from burning than it was worth.
Furthermore, the slash was not of a severity that couldn’t be treated with direct pressure and an improvised wound dressing. Not that I am advocating Canterbury maim himself for television, but I am concerned that they may leave the impression that cauterization is the treatment of choice for a wound of such limited severity. On top of which, it ticks me off that in none of their scenarios (in which they play the part of the typical persons) does anyone ever carry a first aid kit. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some CELOX coagulant in a first aid kit? On the off chance you don’t happen to be a black powder hunter with powder horn at the ready?
Overall, the series continues the well-worn format of hypothetical situations used by almost every survival show out there. The pair proceeds through a variety of situations, but there is little of novelty or interest in them. What originally promised to be differing viewpoints of how to tackle a survival problem seems to have degenerated by the last episode of the season to two cranky old men bickering. The differences that arise seem to have little to do with their varying styles and more to do with the personalities involved.
Canterbury is very much the push-on, hard charger type of personality whereas Lundin is innately cautious. I believe that over two seasons, the difference in personalities is causing friction, and indeed, some of the talk-to-camera asides are far less respectful and civil than in the first season.
The difference in style is wearing to the viewer as well. Watching Canterbury make a high risk descent down a steep valley had me half cringing and half hoping he would fall a punishment for his bull-headedness. Frankly, I can do with a little less testosterone and a little more common sense and information.
Lundin’s insistence on bare feet and shorts is becoming similarly annoying. He might get away with this behavior in his home turf in the American southwest, but it strikes the viewer as pig-headed stupidity as he gets his legs and feet damaged in multiple shows in varying terrains. If bare footedness was such an advantage, shoes would not have been invented over 5,000 years ago.
There isn’t a lot of new information in the second season. Follow rivers downstream to find civilization, stay dry, and stay hydrated and so on. Lots of the basics any show of this type has presented, and very few new concepts or ideas.
While I felt the show was, overall, worth watching in the first season, I can’t make the same recommendation for the second season. I really feel that if you took the twelve hours watching this show a would take and instead spent twelve hours practicing any survival skill at all, or even spent it organizing your preps, it would be time far better utilized.
Unfortunately, the show seems to have been renewed for a third season, so I’ll be watching at least twelve more hours of it.