Bear Grylls travels the world in search of challenges to his survival skills.
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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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 Himself / ... (36 episodes, 2006-2011)
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Bear Grylls travels around the globe to find the most dangerous tourist locations and environments, in order to show us how to survive in them. With his simple survival techniques and his knowledge of the wildlife, he is able to give handy tips... Written by Nikola Popovic

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27 October 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ultimate Survival  »

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Trivia

Bear Grylls revealed that in the episode filmed in the desert when he drank his own urine his crew did as well because they hadnt brought any extra water and they wanted to have the full experience of being stranded and resorting to whatever it takes to survive. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Awkward.: Are You There God? It's Me, Jenna (2012) See more »

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Fear Factor in the bush
30 July 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I watched and enjoyed Survivorman well before Man vs. Wild came along, and expected a similar type of show. The producers apparently anticipated the same reaction from their audience, and decided the show needed to be spiced up a bit.

So we have the host, Bear Grylls, performing all sorts of highly adventurous activities, like swimming upstream, climbing cliffs and trees, eating live animals/insects, and so forth. This makes for great entertainment, but much of what Bear engages in is impractical and even dangerous at best in a survival situation.

Now granted, it would also be impractical to assume that this show should be construed as a survival guide. Bear does, however, give a great deal of information and good advice mixed in with the thrills. I find him to be mostly level-headed and good natured, even when faced with very difficult situations. Despite his hardships, I don't believe I've ever heard him complain once. And that really is as important to survival as anything - having a positive attitude and making the best of one's situation.

His credibility does suffer a bit with the admission that he tends to sleep in hotel rooms or base camps as opposed to in the wild. That certainly keeps him fresh and ready to face new challenges, but perhaps most importantly to speak with authority and excitement in order to keep the audience interested.

It's difficult to sort through the good and bad advice, since the show is as concerned with entertainment as it is with developing survival skills. I suppose one must do whatever it takes to survive, but some things can make one even worse off. In one instance, Bear drinks his own urine without much second though, but in another case he is very careful about determining the source of potential drinking water. And a parasitic infection from frequent consumption of live animals might make hunger seem nothing but a dull ache in comparison.

In all, Man vs. Wild is a good show. It is more of a show about personal challenge for Bear than it is for survival education. "The Bear Grylls Challenge" might have been a better name. At any rate, despite the liberally sprinkled good advice, this show is primarily for entertainment purposes. If you want to learn about more practical, albeit less exciting, application of survival technique, then watch "Survivorman."


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