TV Review: Ice Road Truckers

By Kelly West 2007-06-03 18:54:50 discussion comments
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Those of us who have typical nine-to-five jobs often daydream about what it would be like to abandon our offices and cubicles and find some other line of work. Thanks to reality TV, we have the chance to see how other people make their living doing some unique and exciting jobs. Whether its bounty-hunting, running a restaurant, selling cars, playing poker professionally or building motor-cycles, the world is chock full of exciting, albeit grueling occupations. In a couple of weeks, the History Channel is about to premiere a new reality series showcasing a very unique and dangerous line of work, titled ‘Ice Road Truckers.’

I had the chance to view the first episode of ‘Ice Road Truckers’ and I have to say, it takes some hardcore men to handle this type of job. The truckers have to haul their loads over the frozen lakes of the Great White North through the frigid Canadian weather. Engineers build roads over the frozen lakes so that they can withstand the weight of the trucks but that doesn’t always mean the trucks will make it to their destination without jackknifing, breaking down or having some other type of accident (which can include falling through the ice).

The show follows a number of truckers as they race to their destinations but obstacles are common and many of them are slowed down by unexpected problems. These guys are sometimes stuck outside in temperatures around –50 degrees trying to get their truck running again without losing too much time (or freezing to death). There was also footage of a truck that fell through the ice. There are specially trained divers who go down into the frigid waters to see what can be salvaged. When watching the diver climb down through a hole cut in the ice and swim over to the submerged truck, I found myself more interested in his occupation than I was in the truckers. The very idea of swimming down into a frozen lake, hoping not to lose sight of the small hole sawed through the ice so that I could get back out is truly frightening.

As a concept, this reality series is very interesting but we’re dealing with the History Channel here so don’t expect a lot of drama. These men are all business. In terms of entertainment, the show falls short. It didn’t do much to raise my already limited interest in extreme-trucking. It looks as though The History Channel preferred not to glamorize the occupation and decided to keep it real despite what some other networks have done with their occupation-centered reality TV programs. In a way, I commend them for this because the truckers featured in the series don’t appear to be trying to get famous. The way the show comes off, these guys are just doing their jobs and letting The History Channel (and the viewers) come along for the ride.

So while this series probably wont be on the must-see list for people who have no interest in trucking or extreme weather conditions, I’m sure there will be an audience for this show. If ‘Ice Road Truckers’ sounds like something you’d be interested in, check it out when it premieres on The History Channel on June 17th at 10 PM EST.
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