Gold Rush: Freddy Dodge’s Mine Rescue

Another in the Gold Rush franchise.  Freddy has been around since the early seasons of the original Gold Rush as a minor  (miner?) character.  He is an expert in Gold recovery along with his expert fabricator Juan Ibarra, they head out to struggling mines and help them make the most they can with what they have.  A very interesting show and perhaps the best in the franchise.

Grade: A

Shark Tank

This show has been on for over 10 seasons and it has made lots of money for the sharks but it has also made lots of money for the entrepreneurs and ABC.  It is what it is, a commercial for the stuff the sharks buy. It is interesting to see how this kind of business is done, but if there is something of substance to  watch, I watch the substance instead.  There are good things about this show: taking those who have nothing and making something out of them.  There are also bad things: Greed.  Every shark has shown greed on this show, but the worst is Kevin O’Leary, the so-called Mr. Wonderful. But if I had the chance to show an invention on this stage I would do so.

Grade: C-

Gold Rush: Whitewater

In my previous post about the original Gold Rush show I mentioned that it has all levels of miners, this version is miners of all ages that are new to this kind of mining.  They mine in raging raging cold water that is storming down mountains. It’s dangerous and exciting.  A father son duo who have a disconnected relationship work together and apart to find gold at the bottom of the stream.  Fun show but not as good as the original in the franchise.

Grade: B-

Penn & Teller’s: Fool Us

I not only enjoy Penn and Teller for their magic, but for their stance on several topics that are not appropriate for polite conversation. This show is a chance for magicians to highlight their best tricks and help them get out there. The gimmick is to fool Penn and Teller on how the trick is done. Penn has said on his podcast, Penn’s Sunday School, that the idea of them being fooled was secondary to them and showcasing the talent was the main goal, however now the magicians are very interested in showing their skill and fooling the duo. This is a fun show and if you have an interest in magic it is even more fun, or as my 4 year old would say, “Funner.”

Grade: B+

Hell’s Kitchen

Red versus Blue.  Men versus Women.  Gordan Ramsey versus 16 cooks.  High class dining at high stakes.  A cooking competition to earn a chef’s job at a 5 star restaurant.  This is one of the first successful food reality competitions.  It’s a good show but if there is something else on, I usually watch the other.

Grade: C+

Below Deck

I recently discovered this show, as I am not one for reality shows, this show somehow tripped my trigger. Captain Lee and his gang set sail with the richest of rich and you are not following the hoity toity you are following those that serve them.  from stewardesses to deckhands to the captain you learn how they earn 1500 to 2200 dollar tips for a three day charter.  You also follow their love lives on the boat as well as their work habits.  I like this show for what it is, but it is definitely a guilty pleasure.

Grade: C

Gold Rush

I have been watching this show since its first season many many years ago.  The constant in this reality show about mining gold is Parker Schnabel.  He started on the show at about age 14 and now he’s around 26 and very successful as a miner.  This show goes through the intricacies of mining in Alaska and the relationships of miner to each other and to the land.  The latest season (2021) follows 4 different mining operations: Schnabel’s, Rick Ness, Tony, and Fred.  Each with their own level of success and expertise. I really enjoy this show as you can tell by my constant viewing every Friday night for many years.

Grade: B+


“You wouldn’t abandon ship in a storm just because you couldn’t control the winds.”
― Thomas More, Utopia

The idea of Utopia originally came from Thomas More’s book, Utopia.  This is a place that is the promised land, but not just the promised land for the chosen but for all.  This is the enter-speriment that FOX is conducting with Utopia.  Taking 15 people from all walks of life and putting them together for a year with limited resources to create a society that they all can thrive in that would be their Utopia.

With everyone being so diverse from a Pastor to a polygamist to a lawyer to an ex-con, I don’t see how they can resolve and become one Utopia, but it may be entertaining to watch.  It may also be an eye-opener to the public that we need to respect differences more and be more than tolerant.  I really don’t like that word, tolerant.  It means to me that you are allowing something to happen even though you don’t agree.  In my Utopia, that word is null.  If someone is different then they are different, it is not up to me to decide to let them be.  Just be.  I think with the personalities that have been chosen by the producers that there will be a lot of conflict that will make the show watchable for the masses, but it will not be a great experiment.

I will continue to watch the show to see how much of an experiment it actually is and I will stop when I decide that it is more about entertainment.

Grade: B-