Sword-maker Irish Mike creates two giant weapons: a sword shaped like a whale and a "Lock Blade" that swings open like a folding knife. A weapon test goes horribly wrong when Mike sets the blade on ...
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Philip Alexander Baker,
Michael "Irish Mike" Craughwell (self-dubbed michaelcthulhu, for his interest in fantasy and role-playing games) is a welder who got bored with welding and decided to get into more-creative iron work -- especially the tautological big giant swords. *
Mr Craughwell is the most-interesting "character" on reality TV since Otto Kilcher or Dwayne Hall. He's a handsome, stocky Irishman with a big, fierce beard and big, fierce eyes (which he sometimes widens for even greater effect). He's extremely intelligent, with a quick wit as sharp as one of his blades.
He claims he doesn't care to bathe (not surprising for someone who says he's not a people person). Before meeting a customer, he runs the shop vac over himself, proclaiming "Showers are for dorks". In one scene, he's asked if a moth has flown out of his beard.
Mike suffers from what I call the "Disney Delusion", the belief that if you're the boss and put in more time than anyone else, your workers should unhesitatingly do the same. In the third episode we see that he's more or less aware of this. But in the fourth episode, he coerces Jessie and Erik into unpaid overtime.
My only criticism (so far) is Erik, one of Mike's employees. Erik admits to wanting to "show up" Mike with better ideas. He's majorly chewed out in the first episode by making a big, giant change to a project, which, fortunately, the customer was giantly pleased with. Though this all looked legitimate, it's easy to imagine the producers asking Mike and Erik to play up their personal friction. I hope not. This show doesn't need cheap theatrics to "enhance" it.
The process of fabricating and testing swords would be enough to make the series worth watching. Added to that is Mike's witty personality. He could easily carve out a career as a game-show host (if he could get over not bathing and not wanting to be around people).
We can't overlook the erotic angle. Mike is a hunk. He may very well convince a lot of women who "don't like beards" to change their minds. (There are lots of men who don't need to have their minds changed.)
A fun show, and warmly recommended.
* Ever seen "The Giant Behemoth"? That's a tautology, too.
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