Hillbilly Blood: a Hardscrabbled Life: a Review of Another New Reality Show on America's Destination Channel
Hillbilly Blood: a new idea in reality shows
In all honesty
This review of Hillbilly Blood: a Hardscrabble Life (show) on the Destination America channel, DirecTV, is no coincidence. I had wanted to review this show prior to writing the review on Mountain Monsters seen on the same channel.
It was time. Somehow the producers and personnel of Hillbilly Blood: A Hardscrabble Life, knew it was time for America to have a refreshing change of direction of their choices in reality shows. Enter Hillbilly Blood, a far cry from your normal reality show.
First and foremost
Setting the stage, Hillbilly Blood takes place and is filmed in Cold Mountain, North Carolina, a real place. As the show begins, the voice-over says, "the land is beautiful and the living is tough. In a remote region full of bizarre superstitions, colorful characters, and deep-rooted tradition, folks live off the land just like their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents before them, carrying on the custom of getting by with little and making do with less."
And this description of the show is true. No film, flam. No glitter or tinsel. Just hard facts about hard-living as seen through the camera lens following the various (and educational) adventures of Eugene Runcus, a self-proclaimed hillbilly inventor and his mountain brother, Spencer "Two-Dogs" Boljack, who seemingly has somehow unlocked a lot of valuable secrets to backwoods survival.
Two necessary footnotes, Eugene Runcus and Spencer Boljack are their real names as other hill folk "celebrities," on the show with names such as: Train Set, Cowboy and his pet squirrel, Angel, David Burnette, who owns and operates a fully-functional sawmill, Cheyenne who owns the local general store, Ben, who Eugene and Spencer not only caught stealing ginseng root, but made him a new friend, which speaks to Eugene and Spencer’s hillbilly roots that include having compassion on those who deserve it. And what is also interesting is that the residents on Cold Mountain use the barter system to get necessities for daily life. Why Ben was arrested was because ginseng is so valuable it is equal to money when bartering for food or other needed-things.
Hillbilly Blood vs. Mountain Monsters
Similar to Mountain Monsters, Hillbilly Blood is based in the Appalachian Mountain Range and with Eugene and Spencer's overcoming weekly obstacles; viewers can take-in the beauty of this locale.
I mentioned that Hillbilly Blood is educational, and it is. Viewers (such as myself) who have no backwoods uncommon sense, can learn things like making a canoe from a tree trunk, brewing potato vodka, building a hot water heater powered by cow piles, which Spencer, on one episode, informs Eugene that sticking a foot infected with foot rot can be cured by sticking the foot into a cow pile.
These are real men saying real things and doing real things. No smoke or mirrors. But even the co-stars, Eugene and Spencer do not win every battle. There are on occasion, projects that are out of their reach lending a wonderful human element to the show.
Unlike Mountain Monsters, Eugene, Spencer, and their regulars actually "do" some things on the show. From making diesel fuel from pig innards, (truth), to finding real gold at the bottom of a secret creek that only Cowboy knows about
Like Mountain Monsters, the people, including Eugene and Spencer do not come off as hillbilly buffoons as mountain people were once cast in film and television. These people are not a dysfunctional lot plus they have wonderful diction and delivery of the dialogue concerning the show's plot.
While our Mountain Monsters gang simply chase mysterious creatures that are never trapped or shot, fans of Hillbilly Blood actually "see" Eugene and Spencer design projects from end to the beginning. A starting and stopping point. No continuing series of only one project.
As real-life which is not all "honey and cake," neither is Hillbilly Blood. There are some things I find, not necessarily disturbing or wrong with the show, but things I wonder about.
What is going to happen one day when Eugene cannot invent "the" device to save the day in a moment's notice? What I mean is Eugene is human with human frailties and the same can be said of Spencer, so depending on the show’s producers, this point is running out of sharp-ideas has probably been considered.
And not to be callus, but is the Great Depression still alive on Cold Mountain?
With all of the natural resources, it seems to me that in 2014, some eager-beaver industrialist should have already moved into this locale and opened up a medium-sized factory to help the residents of Cold Mountain have a better life?
Or an even better question is, do the residents of Cold Mountain actually want to change their lifestyle or leave it the way it is?
Hillbilly Blood, worth your time?
Sorry, but I cannot answer these questions, but I do know this. Hillbilly Blood: A Hardscrabbled Life is a show that the entire family can watch, enjoy, and learn something that might help them survive some dreadful situation in their future.
The people responsible for Hillbilly Blood are Justin Bondy, field story producer, Krystal Kennedy, co-executive producer, Andrew Lipsonm co-executive producer, Steven Miller, executive producer, Julia Torchine, associate producer: 3net, Jodi Tovay, associate producer, and Patricia Zagarella, co-executive producer.