Tough guy TV continues with 'Gold Rush'

Thursday, 02 December 2010 12:00 AM Written by 

GoldRush_21918_ToddIt's been two years since I first wrote about prime-time's Tough Guy TV trend and cable's obsession with documenting hard work and rough working conditions continues in Discovery Channel's "Gold Rush: Alaska" (10 p.m. Friday).

This docu-series follows six men, many of them unemployed, who leave their Oregon homes to dig for gold in Alaska.

Given the rising price of gold, the timing of the series is pretty ideal.

Read more after the jump. ...


A narrator sets up the scenes in "Gold Rush," which begin in tomorrow's premiere with the guys loading up trucks with heavy equipment and starting the journey north.

Mishaps abound, including blown tires, attempts to cross bridges and rivers that are framed as dangerous. Once they arrive, there are also bear encounters in their Alaska camp.

Stand-out characters include crazy old Jack Hoffman, the 65-year-old father of team leader Todd. Jack is one of two characters to damage their own vehicles using heavy equipment (one in each of the first two episodes).

"If I go and I die, no big deal," Jack says nonchalantly.

Episodes air in chronological order as the guys search for glory holes as they attempt to strike it rich. It's entertaining enough if real-life make-it-or-break-it tension is what you're looking for in TV. That's also a bit of better-them-than-me satisfaction that comes in watching this and all the Tough Guy TV shows. "Gold Rush" has the added element of will-they-or-won't-they make it rich.


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