January 27th, 2013

disney - prince john

Good-bye, Dirty Jobs.

I was watching an episode of Dirty Jobs on Netflix, and having a great time.  It was the "Goose Down Plucker" episode - in the first half, Mike Rowe goes to a walnut farm, but the memorable bit is the second half, where he plucks and cleans ducks and geese for California hunters.  As always, the show was a fascinating look into a job that unless you're employed in that particular industry, you just don't think much about.  Like, I never really thought about how one gets the feathers for a down comforter, but I guess if I had to guess I'd think that someone has to sit there and pluck the feathers out one by one.  Nope.  Turns out there's fancy machinery for that now.

Watching the episode made me feel so disappointed in Discovery Channel for canceling Dirty Jobs.  When I first heard the news back in December, I thought that perhaps Mike Rowe had other projects he wanted to do - after all, he'd recently done that How Booze Built America mini-series.  But no - it looks like it was the network who decided to end things.  Why?  Was it because the show didn't feature explosions and big machines and angry, loud men?  Was Mike Rowe not enough of a redneck,or was he too law-abiding?  Was Dirty Jobs too educational?  Does it simply no longer fit on the network that broadcasts shows like Fast n' Loud, Moonshiners, Extreme Smuggling and I (Almost) Got Away With It?

Discovery Channel,  once upon a time, was a great place to watch documentaries about history, science, nature, and suchlike.  Somewhere along the way, the network became a testosterone-laced reality quagmire.  The cancellation of Dirty Jobs just seems like one more step in the transformation toward an imitation of Spike TV.

I'm very, very disappointed.