3.08.2010

Mantracker TV show Review



I'm a sucker for quasi-nature reality TV shows.  While flipping channels, I'll always stop when I see Man Vs. Wild, Survivorman, Deadliest Catch, or Shark Week.  If there is some sort of danger occurring in nature (regardless of how manufactured it may be) I am definitely interested.
In fact, the title alone will get me to stop for at least 15 minutes on the channel.  While not real TV nature reality shows, any of the following titles would catch my attention enough to stop and watch.

Burned to death at Yellowstone
Paraplegic White-water rafting
Humans: Crocodile appetizers
Deadly insect attacks
Lost at sea: Cannibalism on the Pacific

This is why I was glued to the Science channel this past weekend watching a Mantracker marathon.

Mantracker is exactly what its title purports it to be...a tracker hunts down his prey (2 people) in a wild outdoors location.  I was severely disappointed that there are no guns involved in the show.  Not even poison darts or rock salt in a shotgun.

The "Mantracker" is Terry Grant who is from Canada.  He is a professional human tracker, having served in search and rescue units for years.  Terry is a man of few words, but has a dashing salt and pepper beard, and could step seamlessly into any Clint Eastwood western.

The premise of the show has 2 "prey" who have to reach the finish line somewhere between 30-40 km away within 36 hours.  They lose if the Mantracker gets close enough to them to consider them "caught."  They have a map and compass to guide them to the finish line.
They can also bring any other items to help them on their way.  I've seen things like camel backs, dry bags, and even walkie talkies.
The Mantracker is on a horse, and always has a local guide along with him who is familiar with the territory.

The "hunt" starts with a flare gun shot, and the "prey" usually have a small mile or two head start.  From here, the Mantracker heads to the flare site, and starts looking for tracks left by the "prey."  In all honesty, the Mantracker is very good at finding tracks, and choosing the direction of the "prey" from these tracks.  He's usually right on their heels the entire time.  If he does lose the trail, he can generally find it again within hours.

This Mantracker marathon I watched must have been "Mantrackers greatest hits" as nobody eluded him in any show.  In reality, about 30% of the time, someone makes it to the finish line.

To be honest, this is not television writing at its greatest, but it is entertaining.  I somewhat enjoy human suffering, and there is usually no shortage of it from the "prey" in their journey.

I give the Mantracker a solid 3-star rating.  It's a solid addition to manufactured danger reality nature television programming.  I almost bumped it up to 4 stars as I learned that the Mantracker has 16 children.  Perhaps if he starts a new show, he can call it Viagratracker as he seems to be a busy man.

7 comments:

Anti Aging said...

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Zac Pritcher said...

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Anonymous said...

If mantracker put people on from Montana or Alaska or somewhere where people knew what they were doing... Instead of having a bunch of city people, then it would actually be a good show and a challenge for him.

Gary said...

I love to watch the Mantracker show. Notice I said WATCH. I would also like to hear what is being said but the music is too loud to allow that. The person in charge of the background music should have his rear FIRED!!! I wonder how long the show would last if they player the background music that loud during the commericals!!

Matt said...

@Anon--I'd like to see a Bear Grylls vs. Mantracker series. Bear gets a bonus hour to complete for every road apple he eats from the Mantrackers horse.

@Gary--I rate each episode on the number of "serious stares in the distance" the Mantracker can muster. I have the over/under at about 8 per episode.

Anonymous said...

Matt,

You should do your homework before you post something under the title "review"...

You closed your comments with " ...I learned that the Mantracker has 16 children..."

This is entirely incorrect. The fact is Terry Grant, the Star of Mantracker has no children.

Also, it's important to note that after 6 seasons, the Star of the show has been replaced. It has not been fully explained, but the Producer and Network say that Terry Grant "retired" but other reports suggest he did not.

Fans of the the show are not pleased with this news and believe it will suffer from a lack of viewers when it airs it's 7th season in Canada in 2012.

Matt said...

@Anon--What??!! Mantracker does not have 16 kids? I just down-graded the show to 2 stars. His fertile loins were part of the draw.
Knowing that he had to pay the automatic gratuity when he visited Captain Submarine with his familial horde left me snickering. (Grant--party of 18..your table is ready)

Your cult-like obsession with Terry Grant has a Dahmer/X-files vibe to it. It really creeps me out.
If there isn't a standing restraining order against you, I'm going to make the Grant camp aware.

I understand that when a character is replaced on a TV show...it can be disconcerting. How do you think Colonel Blake felt? Darren on Bewitched?
Add to the fact that Mr. Grant is some kind of Canadian folk hero to you, and I can empathize with your odd rhetoric.

I would suggest that you replace Terry Grant with Corey Haim on the show. I promise you that the ratings would increase 10 fold, and Haim is one of your Canadian "country-folk", so you can still have some country pride.

Part of me wonders that the reason Mr. Grant is not available for the 7th season, is because he's trapped in your basement as I type this.
"It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again."

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