March 31 2008

Cities of the Underworld

Cities of the UnderworldAs I’ve said before, I get into some weird shows, but some of them are just downright fascinating with more of a documentary feel to them. Sure, some people could label them as “reality shows”, but these I watch more for learning about history, jobs, ways of life, etc. As always, let me add the disclaimer that I use the word “watch” very loosely. I tend to “listen” to most shows while working, and rarely look up at the actual screen.

Cities of the Underworld – Now in its second season, Cities of the Underworld travels around the world exploring the things that are under your feet that most people never realize are there. Some of the places they visit can be a bit lame (the “underground tunnels” of New York Cities Chinatown are now a shopping arcade… whopee!) to the super cool (old Nazi bunkers in Berlin), but all of it raises an interesting question: Why don’t we ever think about what’s BENEATH us? Is it because your brain immediately thinks solid dirt? No clue, but the show has made me think a lot more about what is under my feet.

Deadliest Catch – Entering its fourth season on April 15th, Deadliest Catch follows the crews of several crab ships in the Bering Sea. Considered one of the deadliest jobs in the world, we see the crews during the annual King Crab season in January where the sea rages, ice threatens to puncture their halls and they go days without sleep. It makes for fascinating viewing as you wonder what drives these men to do this insane job beyond the money.

Dirty Jobs – I’m not sure which season this one is on, but how can you resist Mike Rowe showing you hundreds of jobs you never knew existed. The jobs have gotten progressively less gross, and now really are just fairly dirty. For instance, have you ever thought about all the lines painted at an airport? Ever thought about how those lines get there? They have a truck that sprays the paint, and once a year it needs to be cleaned out completely… boy that makes some ugly sludge.

What odd little cable shows do you enjoy?

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