I finally realized I was addicted to realty programming about 10 minutes in the first episode of Ice Road Truckers.
The concept for this History channel show is fairly simple: Take a handful of truck drivers, through them up in frozen Alaska and train cameras on them as they haul massive loads up steep mountains with narrow, snow clogged roads and in some very frightening cases, over frozen lakes. The drivers are also competing to see who hauls the most tonnage over the season, but that contest is certainly an afterthought to the main drama, which is bickering truckers and white knuckle driving.
Yes, the concept sounds pretty boring, but it nearly impossible to turn off. Season Four, just out on DVD, features quite possibly the best cast of truck drivers yet, including the Hugh “The Polar Bear” Rowland (the chubby, defensive Canadian, looking for a fight), Lisa Kelly (the rookie, lone female driver) and Greg Boadwine (the goofy, chipped tooth rookie).
Though driving in blinding snow and across thin ice may not be as dangerous as what those guys do on the crabbing boats from The Deadliest Catch, its damn pretty close.
Ice Road Truckers – The Complete Season Four/4 DVDs/720 Mins./A&E home Video/2011