The latest round of shows in the genre include Discovery's highly tense "Naked and Afraid" (as for that show, 21 days in the middle of nowhere with next-to-nothing, no clothes and with someone you never met - no way to earn additional items through challenges and no grand prize at the end just the potential of some mysterious entity raising or lowering your survival score), the return of "Survivorman" (which remains such a haunting, beautiful series) and "Mountain Men". "Naked and Afraid" - which has somehow managed to turn up the tension as that series has gone on - remains a favorite (21 days in the wild, naked ...for the chance that your primitive survival rating may be moved up or down), but "Mountain Men" still has a lot going for it.
History Channel's "Mountain Men" isn't as enjoyable as some of the other offerings, but it's focus remains on three different men whose "living off the land" is a way of daily life. There's no conveniences, no nothing - people have to live off the land and go through brutal conditions at times, not to mention having to fend off animals and other risks.
The third season sees Marty, Tom, Eustace, Rich, Kyle and new Mountain Man Morgan living off the land again in their respective areas. The series continues to come up with a new drama every week - the funny thing is that I'd actually be curious to see what a "down" week looks like, or even a "behind the scenes". Every episode of the series provides what an "extraordinary" day is like living in this sort of environment, but what's an ordinary day look like?
The series doesn't really get that deep into questions like: how far is civilization for each of these men, really? If they need help, who do they call on or are they SOL? The series often goes for big drama, but some education about the realities that these people go through on a day-to-day basis would be interesting. Would be interesting for the series to do a "Dirty Jobs"-like special.
While some have complained that the series pumps up the drama (or that spends too much time on big drama instead of day-to-day smaller drama), the series continues to remain compelling this season. Some of the highlights this season include: "Winter's Wrath" (in the season opener, a polar vortex ramps up across the country, leading to the men facing brutal conditions as they prepare for a harsh Winter), "Where There's Smoke, There's Fire" (Marty is concerned that he may be trapped by a river of ice that is overflowing), "Training Day" (Rich takes out his dogs to run them through tests to look for a leader) and "Stranded" (Marty becomes stranded in the Revelation Mountains.)
1 "Winter's Wrath" June 1, 2014
26 2 "Valley of the Wolves" June 8, 2014
27 3 "The Revelations" June 15, 2014
28 4 "Where There's Smoke, There's Fire" June 22, 2014
29 5 "Training Day" June 29, 2014
30 6 "Rite of Passage" July 6, 2014
31 7 "Call of the Wild" July 13, 2014
32 8 "Hell on Ice" July 20, 2014
33 9 "Death Trap" July 27, 2014
34 10 "The Deep Freeze" August 3, 2014
35 11 "Predator" August 10, 2014
36 12 "Live, Fight, and Die" August 17, 2014
37 13 "Stranded" August 24, 2014 3.12
38 14 "The Great Escape" September 7, 2014
39 15 "No Rest for the Weary" September 14, 2014
Video: The History Channel presents the series in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The presentation remained reasonably smooth and crisp through much of the program, although there were a few softer moments briefly spotted. A few minor traces of pixelation were seen,but the presentation otherwise looked fine,with bold, natural colors.
Audio: Dolby 2.0 audio is offered. It gets the job done, but given the outdoor environments, it's a missed opportunity that the show's audio isn't in 5.1.
Extras: Some moderately interesting deleted scenes, but nothing too noteworthy.
"Mountain Men" remains a compelling adventure into the lives of these men in "Season 3", watching them struggle and succeed in the wild. The DVD offers fine audio/video, with one extra. Recommended.