Music, Arts & Culture » Movies

Life Below Zero



What's it rated? TV-PG

When? 2013-present

Where's it showing? Disney Plus and National Geographic

If you told me I'd find a reality TV series I liked, I would have told you you're crazy. The genre is, generally speaking, annoying. Survivor, Big Brother, Idols—I couldn't get into any of them. Life Below Zero, however, follows seven people living north of the Arctic Circle in remote parts of Alaska, where every day is a fight for survival.

Sue Aikens lives alone at the Kavik river camp. Chip and Agnes Hailstone—he white and she an Inupiaq native Alaskan—live with their seven children. Glenn Villeneuve moved from Vermont and lives alone. Jessie Holmes is a dogsled racer who lives with his 40 dogs. Andy Bassich lives with his 25 sled dogs. Erik Salitan lives alone in the wilderness. Ricko DeWilde, an Alaskan Athabaskin, lives in a remote cabin and later teaches his son about subsistence living.

Not only are the characters engaging for various reasons, but it's fascinating to consider what sorts of personalities would be willing to live in such utter deprivation. Literally one mistake could mean the different between living and dying. Many of them are truly living off the land—only eating protein they acquire themselves. There's something romantic about these various lifestyles, but also something sad. To live without a support system to fall back on feels truly lonely. (approximately 40 min. episodes) Δ


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