Tuesday’s fourth-season premiere of Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” opens during a raging nighttime storm in the Bering Sea. Mammoth waves smash an Alaskan crab fishing boat called the Wizard, sending large swells crashing over its deck. Inside, alarmed crew members discover that their stateroom is flooding with incoming seawater.
The sequence suggests that the fishermen are in danger of sinking as a violent tempest tosses huge waves against the boat.
But here’s the not-so-deadliest catch:
The boat flooded in September.
The huge storm waves were from October.
And a producer may have filmed extra footage to help stitch the two events together.
Pages from a production outline obtained by The Hollywood Reporter suggest that producers of the cable network’s top-rated series may have strayed from reality while editing the harrowing sequence from the show’s record-setting premiere.
It’s not as bad as that outline makes it sound, but it does raise the question of how real “reality” television is sometimes. I confess, I’m totally gullible about this stuff. I don’t know how many episodes of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” I’d seen before I finally asked myself “How is it that each time they show up at 7 AM at someone’s house, everyone in the family is present, awake, and fully dressed?” As with so many other things, it’s better to have been a little too cynical instead of not quite cynical enough.