Survivorman Returns

One of my favorite TV shows is coming back for a second season in August, after a long hiatus. Survivorman is a one-man survival show, hosted by Canadian survival expert/musician/TV producer Les Stroud. Each episode finds Les completely alone in the wilderness for seven days, carrying his own cameras and recording himself on a seven-day survival trek. Let me emphasize that: this guy is alone, schlepping fifty pounds of camera gear himself, while devising his own food, water, and shelter (he typically brings the most absurdly minimal survival gear with him, like a single match, a candy bar, maybe a rusty tin can). He's hardcore. And he's quite a nice guy, which makes you root for him as he survives the elements.

Tons more after the jump.

The first season of Survivorman found Les in locales such as a Georgia swamp; simulating a plane crash in the northern Ontario forest (there's a nice scene where he starts a fire by shorting the plane's battery and igniting a tiny bit of gasoline left in the tank); and my personal favorite: lost at sea off the coast of Belize. For that last one there was a support boat tailing his life raft, with a radio in case of emergencies. The raft was leaking, so much of his time was spent bailing seawater. I'm telling you: hardcore.

Much of the joy of Survivorman comes from how it operates on multiple levels. On the surface level, it's a show about survival, which is fairly interesting. But on the level below, it's a show about making a show about survival -- watching how this guy is all alone out there, making compelling TV. When you see some of the stuff Les is doing, you have to ask: how in the world did he get that shot? The Season 1 DVD has a behind-the-scenes episode that explains the lengths he goes to in order to record himself doing things like trekking across arctic ice floes (the short answer: he sets up a camera, treks for a few miles, then comes back and gets the camera). Finally, there's a slight Grizzly Man element to the whole thing -- what if he dies out there in the field? Would there be a final episode cobbled together from the tapes he left behind? I sure hope it doesn't come to that, but still, I have to wonder.

While shooting the second season, Les has been blogging from the wilderness (I guess this means he's carrying a computer too?). Here's an example from his entry in the Kalahari Desert:

My challenge is to spend my time in this extremely hot ecosystem and make my way across the desert to the crew camp. My personal survival items consist of only my watch, a multi tool and 20 litres (about 4 gallons) of water. With the truck I found: two empty pop cans, a nearly finished jar of peanut butter, a can of jam, two buckets, some cups, a can of coffee and an empty glass sugar dispenser from a restaurant. The locals sent me in with an ostrich egg as a gift and I've snuck in a small piece of chocolate I had in my pocket. Heh heh. I've brought all the stuff here under the tree with me.

It's mandatory that a person has at least one gallon per day if they expect to survive dehydration in this kind of heat. I have 20L - roughly 4 gallons - enough for four days. I'm supposed to stay here for seven.

Survivorman returns to the Discovery Channel on August 10, and OLN (Outdoor Life Network) on October 2. You can read more about the Season 2 premiere, but the best preparation is to watch old episodes from Season 1 (Les wants you to buy the DVD but episodes are often on Discovery in syndication). A word of warning: there are cut-down 30-minute episodes on some networks in syndication. The original episodes are an hour long, and you lose a lot in the edit.

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Shout! Factory
Original GLOW Wrestling Series Hits Twitch
Shout! Factory
Shout! Factory

When it premiered in June 2017, GLOW was a bit of a sleeper offering for Netflix. With the amount of original programming ordered by the streaming service, a show based on an obscure women’s pro wrestling league from the 1980s seemed destined to get lost in the shuffle.

Instead, the series was a critical and commercial success. Ahead of its second season, which drops on June 29, you'll have a chance to see the mat work of the original women who inspired it.

Shout! Factory has announced they will be live-streaming clips from the first four seasons of GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling), which first premiered in 1986, beginning at 9 p.m. ET on June 28. The stream, which will be available on shoutfactorytv.com and Twitch, will feature original footage framed by new interviews with personalities including Godiva, host Johnny C, and Hollywood. The show will air live from the Santino Brothers Wrestling Academy in Los Angeles.

Godiva, who was portrayed by Dawn Maestas, inspired the character Rhonda (a.k.a. Brittanica) on the Netflix series; Hollywood was the alter ego of Jeanne Basone, who inspired the character Cherry in the fictionalized version of the league. Basone later posed for Playboy and takes bookings for one-on-one wrestling matches with fans.

Shout! Factory's site also features a full-length compilation of footage, Brawlin’ Beauties: GLOW, hosted by onetime WWE interviewer “Mean” Gene Okerlund.

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Universal Studios
Everything That’s Leaving Netflix in July
Universal Studios
Universal Studios

Here’s some news you won’t be cheering about: Bring It On is leaving Netflix on July 1st—as are the four of its sequels that are currently part of the company’s streaming library (FYI: there are a total of six Bring It On films altogether—yes, six). The Lethal Weapon franchise will bid farewell, too, as will a handful of classic films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s. To make way for July’s slate of new titles, here’s everything that’s leaving Netflix in July.

JULY 1

Alive

Along Came Polly

An Honest Liar

Beerfest

Before Midnight

Bring It On

Bring It On Again

Bring It On: All or Nothing

Bring It On: Fight to the Finish

Bring It On: In It to Win It

Cocktail

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Lethal Weapon

Lethal Weapon 2

Lethal Weapon 3

Lethal Weapon 4

Little Women

Michael Clayton

Midnight in Paris

Mixed Signals

More Than a Game

Pandemic

Piglet’s Big Movie

Rugrats Go Wild

Scary Movie

Scream 3

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

The Art of War

Tropic Thunder

V for Vendetta

JULY 2

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

JULY 8

Alpha & Omega: Journey to Bear Kingdom

Real Husbands of Hollywood: Seasons 1-5

JULY 9

Ratchet and Clank

Serena

JULY 11

Alice Through the Looking Glass

JULY 14

Wild Hogs

JULY 15

Convergence

Lockup: State Prisons: Collection 1

Small Is Beautiful: A Tiny House Documentary

JULY 16

Changeling

Wanted

JULY 29

The Den

JULY 30

A Cinderella Story

Hurricane of Fun: The Making of Wet Hot

Swing State 

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