Sunday, May 22, 2011

It's like Gunsmoke without Marshall Dillon and Miss Kitty

Or M*A*S*H without Hawkeye and Hot Lips Houlihan... or Starsky and Hutch without Starsky OR Hutch...

This is an open letter to Discovery Channel and the millions of fans who watch Deadliest Catch each week:

Dear Discovery,

What are you thinking?

Sure, Deadliest Catch is one of the most highly rated shows on Tuesday nights. Good for you. But PLEASE, give some more air time to the Northwestern and the Time Bandit!! Don't forget what got you to where you are today!

To those new viewers who are just joining the Deadliest Catch fandom this year, you don't know what you're missing! Yes, I like the new boats. Captain Elliott Neese on the Ramblin' Rose is great to watch as he's getting his first taste at captaining during King Crab season, and Captain Scott Campbell Jr on the Seabrooke is wonderful as he leads his crew with calm efficiency, and his greenhorn troubles are especially entertaining.

But, the tried and true fans who have been there from the beginning (I don't count myself among this esteemed group as I joined the fray at about season three) miss seeing Captain Sig maintain order with an iron fist on the Northwestern, and Captain Johnathan run a tight ship despite the shenanigans he is so famous for.

This is already a sorrowful season for everyone without Captain Phil Harris, and the comfort of seeing old friends would be especially reassuring. The drama aboard the Cornelia Maria as Captain Derrick Ray tries to help the boys come to grips with the loss of their father using extremely tough love is painful to watch. And while I appreciate everything Discovery has done for the boys and for allowing us to vicariously participate in their healing process, I wish it wasn't portrayed in so much an "us versus them - or him" fashion.

And the same with the friction between the Wizard and the Time Bandit. These guys are big boys, not sissies. Remember back in the day when the guys would gather in a vacant lot over the lunch hour at school and beat each other's brains out, then be best friends again by the end of the school day? Let's let the guys be guys and not make them out to be whiney girls. So they don't like each other... so what? Do we all like all of our colleagues or contemporaries? Would we all want cameras on us 24 hours a day as we make snide remarks at their expense? And would we want them to get all pissy about it when they heard us making the same comments they have probably made about us? So while the conflict may be ongoing, let's let Johnathan and Keith deal with it and not get caught up in it ourselves.

And then... Captain Wild Bill and the Kodiak. We're all just getting to know him and his crew, and yet weeks go by without even a single sighting of the Kodiak? How do you expect us to develop a long-term relationship with these remarkable characters if we can't even get to know them?

In my opinion, the answer is to extend Deadliest Catch to two hours each week, or even better yet, develop an additional 24-hour channel that is all Deadliest Catch, all the time - maybe even entire episodes devoted to nothing except the Northwestern and the Time Bandit!

Without them, it's like Dallas without JR... Happy Days without Fonzie... All in the Family without Archie Bunker... The Waltons without John Boy... Seinfeld without Seinfield... Friends without - well, without all the friends.

So, from a fan in Nebraska... give us more Northwestern and Time Bandit!

Thanks for stopping by... Join me for coffee with my DVD's of previous seasons.

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