Surviving Disaster; yet another try at reality TV

Posted: 02/09/2009 in Uncategorized
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I had made a few comments a few days ago about the ridiculous trend to portray these reality TV shows as true survival tales, even though the shows are scripted and have support teams up the yazoo and then some. Spike TV premieres a new addition to the mix with Surviving Disaster(SD), hosted by Cade Courtley. According to the bio on the SD website, Courtley was supposed to have been a Navy Seal. I’m sure he was, but just how good of a seal was this pup?

Here’s what Spike has to say; “A standout from the beginning of his military career as a Naval Officer, Courtley was the Class Leader in his BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/ SEAL) training.  After 19 months, two Hell Weeks, three broken legs and a fractured skull, LT Courtley graduated and became a Navy SEAL.  He was then chosen to attend the elite SEAL Sniper school, privilege only given to a select few. While on active duty he went on to lead highly classified, high-risk operations around the world as an Assistant Platoon Commander, SEAL Team Two; and later Platoon Commander SEAL Team One. As the Senior SEAL Instructor (Naval Special Warfare Center) he realized his operational (shooter) life was nearing an end and began to make the transition to a second career in civilian life.”

Three broken legs and a fractured skull. Sounds like he was a really good Seal. Is he for real? Well, he says he was a seal, and I’m sure he was. I’d dig into details but I’m not about to waste favors on an actor. One of his blurbs on the Spike websites says he was a seal for half his life. That’s a questionable claim. He was born, according to his Bio here, Courtley was born 30 Dec 1969. That would put him at forty this year, so if he spent half his life as a Seal, that would give him twenty years provided he went in at twenty. However, his first acting gig was in 2001, so that cuts the time span down by ten years which means he would have spent a minimum of fifteen years as a seal. But if you think about it and read his bio, he spent a few years as a mercenary or security agent in Iraq as what is called an independent contractor.

All in all I’d say he wasn’t that good as a seal, given the short time span allowed. If he went into the Navy at Eighteen, that would have been in 1987. There would have been basic training and advanced training, so you lose a span of one to two years depending upon the specialty trained for. But let’s get back to his bio here which says; “Upon graduation from the University of San Diego, he was immediately commissioned as an officer in the United States Navy and began Navy SEAL Training (BUD/S). After a very intense 9 years as a Platoon Commander that had him operating around the world, Cade decided to leave the SEAL teams to pursue other challenges.” Half his life as a Seal? Hardly. So I have to question the suggestion that his being a Seal makes him a good tutor for survival education, especially after all those broken legs and the cracked skull.

After looking over a few clips and trailer type videos, I have to say that this show may be interesting, but I’m not certain at this point. Trailers are always crafted to be very enticing and the first show hasn’t aired as of the time of this writing. But we’ll see.

Like all the rest of the so called reality TV shows, this one seems to be no different. High dollar videography, special effects, and careful scripting can make any show seem exciting and believable. So be careful with what you see. There may be some stuff on these shows that are just so convincing that you may want to try some of it in the event of a real disaster. Remember that a real man doesn’t waste time trying to be a hero, the real man tries to keep himself and his family alive for another day. Action heroes are for Hollywood Junkies, not real life. There may be times when you will have to perform the heroic feat, but that doesn’t mean you have to live for those times, and those times alone.

I’ll watch the show and let you know what I think of it later on this week. But for the time being, my bias says that it will be just another scripted bogus reality show.


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