I’m a reality TV series addict so when Ice Road Truckers began on the History Channel, I knew I’d found another series I just had to watch. Then, when Ice Road Truckers Season 1 came out on DVD, I had to buy it too. Ice Road Truckers Season 1 follows six truckers as they drive one of the most dangerous roads in the world. In fact, it’s hardly a ‘road’ at all, just a long piece of ice on top of frozen lakes that goes from remote mines in far northern Canada to towns over 300 miles away. The road is only open for two months every year and, during this time, the men of the Ice Road Truckers hope to make enough money to make that season, and the dangers that come with it, worth it. On season 1’s DVD, we first meet these men, learn about the business of long-haul trucking up near the Arctic Circle, and find out how dangerous this job can really be.
The Delights of the Season 1 DVD Set- The Ice Road Truckers Characters – One of the things the Ice Road Truckers series does well, especially on season 1, is to make the competition between the truckers even more heightened. At the beginning of the trucking season, the truckers have a ‘friendly’ wager to see who can make the most runs. With 800 truckers beginning the season and less than 125 left by the time the ice starts to melt, as you can imagine, this makes the wager very exciting for the viewers. Several characters stand out early in the series, but Hugh (also known as the ‘Polar Bear’) is my favorite. He’s been doing the Ice Road for 21 seasons but, this year, has a very bad year. Throughout all the blustering, bad language and ‘manly manliness’, you still feel sorry for Hugh as he deals with, not only his own misfortunes, but also of those of his truckers. Then…..you begin to realize he’s actually causing his own problems. Abusing his drivers, providing them with shoddy equipment that continually breaks down, and then blaming them for the problems.
I also love TJ who, at 21, is the youngest member of the Ice Road Truckers and wanting to make money for his family, and Alex, father of 11 kids, and an ice road veteran. Drew Sherwood is a veteran trucker but has had no experience on the ice road. He’s a delight to watch as he’s so arrogant and sure of himself that you just know he’s going to head for disaster (and he does, and quits before the end of the two month season).
These characters and more are why Ice Road Truckers is so much fun to watch and why I couldn’t wait for Season 2 to start.
The Disappointments of the Season 1 DVD Set – When you watch Ice Road Truckers on the History Channel, one episode a week, you actually don’t realize the downsides to this reality series. When you watch it on DVD, pretty much back-to-back, the weaknesses definitely become more apparent.
Ice Road Truckers Season 1 DVD consists of 10 episodes, which seems like a pretty good deal. When you watch the episodes back-to-back though, you realize how flimsy the material actually is. Much of the storyline is stretched out as, in reality, the events aren’t that exciting. Then compare it to Deadliest Catch, with every episode a mind-blower, and you realize that Ice Road Truckers season 1 could have been cut down into just two 2-hour episodes. You notice this especially in the last couple of episodes where the storyline really seems to drag as the producer stretches it out to meet the History Channel’s time quota.
Another disappointment is the constant ‘bleeping’ of bad language, which is incredibly annoying. I can’t understand why the History Channel didn’t just leave the bad language in, especially in the season 1 DVD Set. This is how these ‘real men’ really speak and, haven’t to watch through the incessant bleep, bleep, bleep makes me not want to waste my money on Season 2’s DVD set.
Overall, though, I do like the Ice Road Truckers DVD Set and would recommend it with the caveat that, some parts are a bit too stretched out and beware of the bloody bleeping.
The Season 1 DVD Set of Ice Road Truckers consists of 3 discs and includes 10 episodes plus special features including the episode of Dangerous Missions and five featurettes: – Meet the Truckers , Overcoming the Challenges, Perils of the Ice Road , Behind-The-Scenes , and The Countdown. At only $14.99 on most online sites, it’s a good deal for 470 minutes of entertainment.
SOURCES: The History Channel