Monday, November 1, 2010

IRT Deadliest Roads: Literal Edge of Your Seat Viewing

All photos from
The “History” channel has, over the years, become less about past history and more about making its own. I’m not a fan of reality shows but I began watching “Ice Road Truckers” during its first season out of boredom, and found that I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. Sure, the scenarios seemed staged and over-dramatized, but the series featured something that naturally puts me on edge – driving in blinding snow.

Some of the Ice Road Truckers have gone on to some new roads that aren’t anything like the ice roads, hence the new show’s title IRT Deadliest Roads..The roads they travel are in India in the Himalayas, with some of the twistiest, windiest, narrowest, most close to the edge roads you’ll ever see. The truckers drive two routes, called the NH21 and NH22. Sections of these roads literally hand on the edge of a cliff, some having “cut-outs” that have barely enough room for one vehicle to travel. Some areas also have colorful names invoking the danger in driving these roads, with names like "Freefall Freeway," "Breakaway Bend," "The Ledge" and "Angry Mountain."
The season began with three drivers, Rick Yemm, Lisa Kelly, and Alex Deborgorski, all alumni of driving the Ice Roads. Alex dropped out quickly due to having some accidents and resulting encounters with agitated locals. Dave Redmon, a trucker from Alabama, has replaced him.

Despite Rick and Lisa’s experience in driving the harrowing ice roads, nothing quite prepared them for the traffic and the harrowing driving conditions. Both almost seemed on the edge of quitting themselves. Dave also is unnerved by the roads and the crazy drivers, but seems to be handling it better than Rick and Lisa did in their initial outings. All of them have to drive wooden framed trucks that would be no match for a drop off a cliff.
Each driver is also paired with a spotter who is there to assist in navigating traffic and navigating the locals. At some point, each one of the spotters seems to have gotten on the nerves of the drivers.

Rick Yemm, the hot headed driver from Ice Road Truckers, has mellowed out a bit, but still has a "loose cannon" edge to him. He recently revealed that his 21 year old daughter has cystic fibrosis and is very ill, and Rick seemed to want to quit. But reassurances from his wife keep Rick on the road. Rick has gone from being the driver you wished would get fired in Ice Road Truckers to the guy who now has a soft spot and viewers may be rooting for him. Lisa continues to show that she can conquer her fears, and Dave seems to be keeping his cool, although I think his spotter will drive him over the edge before his truck goes over.

The show is crafted to feature dizzying camera angles which highlight the sheer cliffs and long drops to the bottom. Some of the scenery is beautiful, despite the dangerous look to the roads. If you don’t like heights, this may not be the show for you. But, if you’re looking for something to break the Sunday night TV boredom, this is quite an engaging show to watch. Just be sure you’re tied into your seat for the ride.

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © unless otherwise noted

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, at I Like To Watch TV

No comments: