DVD Review: Mountain Men (Season 1)

Reality television producers have always been fascinated with nature. It all started with Survivor dropping people in the middle of nowhere and having them compete against each other and mother nature. Since then, “people against nature” shows have become even more popular. Since most of the people in the United States live in big cities, they are often interested in what it is like to live in rural areas. You can’t get much more rural than living in the mountains where the nearest grocery store is 60 miles away.

Mountain Men follows three different men in three different mountain locations where they live. Cameras follow Eustace Conway, who lives in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina; Marty Meierotto, who lives in Alaska; and Tom Oar, who lives in Montana. We see how they live in the mountains, where there are no cell phones, televisions, or any technological devices that most people are used to living with these days.

Episodes included on this Season 1 DVD set are “Winter Is Coming”, “Mayhem”, “Lost”, “Surviving Winter”, “Show me the Money”, “The Final Stand” and “This is the End”.

Most reality shows seek out characters. Real people with personalities that they hope come across as entertaining on television. The men featured on Mountain Men definitely have unique personalities, but they don’t always come across as the most exciting television characters to watch. Basically, the appeal of this show is watching these men live off the land and survive in ways that are unlike most Americans.

Just like most reality shows, the drama is usually manufactured. The most exciting times are when these men have to fight off animals or mother nature. The pace of the show is extremely slow. But living in the mountains is definitely a slower pace of life, so at least that makes the show realistic. Mountain Men does do a good job of showing the strain on relationships between the men and their families and their choice of lifestyle.

Mountain Men is certainly not as exciting as some other “man vs. nature” shows, but it does give great insight in how people live in the mountains. The men featured on the show are interesting enough to want to watch what they do in their daily lives. But the pace of the show is extremely slow. This is a show is as the title implies, about mountain men; so you know what you are going to get. If you want to know what it is like to live without electricity and the “old way of life,” this is a good place to start.

The video is given in widescreen color with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It is enhanced for 16X9 TVs. Transfer is great with minimal distortion. No major problems at all.

The audio included is available in English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound. There are subtitles available in English SDH and Spanish as well. The dialogue comes out crisp and clear. No major problems here either.

Deleted Scenes – The only extra is 25 minutes worth of deleted scenes. Nothing that was necessary, but a few scenes do provide more insight into who these men are.

Mountain Men is an interesting look at life in the mountains. Certain things are filmed in a way to make things appear more dramatic than they really are, but that is fairly common in any reality show these days. But still worth a watch, if you are interested in this subject.

A&E Home Entertainment presents Mountain Men: Season 1. Starring Eustace Conway, Marty Meierotto, and Tom Oar. Running time: 360 minutes. Rated: Not Rated. Released: June 4, 2013. Available at Amazon.com.