As promised, I’ll be looking at this new show and hopefully not being too negative. That said, let’s start with the premiere episode, “Bullets, Lots of Bullets”.
The first subjects this episode showcases are Paul and Gloria Range, a retired couple outside San Antonio.
Paul’s first words are “I’m a prepper because I’m preparing for when the shit hits the fan.” Okay, that’s kind of vague, dude, but high-five on being flexible. Regardless, I kind of like these guys. They butcher their own meat, he makes homemade wind turbines, and the house is made out of shipping containers—that’s a fresh take; I always like outside-the-box solutions. Plus, judging by their yard, they’re total hoarders, which would probably scare off invaders for fear of a nasty dose of tetanus.
The man says, “people show up to your door wanting food, and you can’t feed the entire world!” Which is true, but we seem determined to try anyway, which is likely going to be a cause of the S hitting the F!
Probably the silliest part of this segment is their ‘bug-out’ strategy, which is to form a convoy of two schoolbuses, two trucks, AND a stock trailer filled with goats. Most people would say that a bug-out is supposed to be low-profile. However, if they’re going to take all of those vehicles, at least they ‘circle the wagons’, pioneer-style, when they make a stop. I like it when people take inspiration from history.
In the end, my main issue with these guys’ approach is that it’s UGLY. It’s one thing to make your fortress house out of shipping containers—and it can be as rusty and intimidating and industrial as you want on the outside—but give that place a coat of paint, and grow some flowers in the courtyard, or something! Jewel Kiltcher sang, “Maybe if we are surrounded with beauty, someday we will become what we see”, and I think she’s right. If I was in this couples’ situation, and I was hanging around this place post-apocalypse, even if I had plenty of food and the place was secure, I’d probably go crazy just from the sheer unattractiveness of it all.
POST-SEASON 2 ADDENDUM:
Apparently the show’s ‘experts’ went back and graded individuals from episodes aired before there was quantitative scoring, and this couple received the highest score–22 months initial survival time.