My new favorite show is definitely Swamp People on the History Channel. The History Channel needed a good show to compete with Deadliest Catch on Discovery. I know they had Ice Road Truckers, but I never really got it to be honest. I think it was partially due to not connecting with the drivers on that show. I never really cared what happened to them. Swamp People though is different. I admire these guys and what they do, a lot like I do with the crews on Deadliest Catch. For the most part, both shows stress the importance of family at their core. Swamp People works because of the family theme. Just about every boat is some form of a father and son working together. You see the frustration that comes when times are hard, but at the end of the day, they are family and move on to the next day. People tend to enjoy seeing family dynamics play out at home and in the workplace, especially when they’re alligator hunters.
It helps too that the job is not easy. The hardest part of the job to me doesn’t seem to be the actually killing of the gator (although the History Channel does not miss a chance to edit these scenes to heighten the suspense). To me the hardest part would be getting the dead gator into the boat and holding it together when dealing with the bait (they use rancid meat). Shows like Deadliest Catch and Swamp People help to put things in your own life in perspective by showing people pulling together and going through stuff often times much more demanding than anything you see on a daily basis. Most people feel like they work their butts off. Watching shows like these remind them that they aren’t alone and that in the end everything will work out. I guess these shows offer hope in some way.