There was no truth in advertising on this one. We’ve been hearing about the Discovery Channel’s Eaten Alive special for months now. And Paul Rosolie, the daring environmental activist who had volunteered to be eaten alive by a giant snake to save the planet was fueling the fires for this one.
“People care about animals; they don’t make the jump to caring about the habitat the animals live in… So I wanted to do something that would force a dialogue about what’s going on here – and it’s working,” he said in an interview we wrote about barely two weeks ago.
In that interview, he said he was still recovering from the experience. So you’d be reasonable in thinking, “Dang. That man got eaten by a giant snake and it was unsurprisingly traumatic. I must see this amazing thing that has happened.”
Well, after nearly two hours of watching blah blah blah last night, Rosolie was not in fact eaten by a snake. The snake hurt his arm and then he called for help.
Also last night, my neighbor’s giant cat scratched me while clawing at my sock. It was just as thrilling as this hot eco-mess.
Certainly, Rosolie’s heart was in the right place. But for the Discovery Channel, this is a big fail.
Seemingly, the network was trying to capture some of the excitement that surrounds the broadcasts of Nik Wallenda’s death-defying tightrope walks. Here’s the difference though: Nik Wallenda actually does the walk. After all the build up, people get to see a man of questionable sanity and great strength and balance walk a long distance on a rope high above the Earth and you cheer because he has so far lived to complete the task.
This aborted stunt has cost Discovery Channel some of its credibility for future attempts at stunt broadcasting. And it wasn’t like Rosolie tried and he was halfway down and then they had to stop because, say, the anaconda was in danger of exploding. No, he said his arm was “torquing” and yelled for help. The snake never even got its mouth over the guy’s head.
It’s December, everything is on mid-season break, and maybe Discovery thought this would better television than, say, a rerun of The Walking Dead. Wrong Discovery Channel! This happened on an old episode of TWD.
This happened last night.