Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fortune cookies and Deadliest Whites

So I just have to start this off by posting this pic of the fortune my dear hubs got in his lunchtime fortune cookie...
This will go down in history as the best fortune cookie ever. I was so completely jealous (and pretty sure it was meant for me).

Anyway, I came home to see Not-So-Ex watching a marathon of Deadliest Catch. I never thought I'd be too into the show. I'm not too outdoorsy and water makes me really nervous so I couldn't imagine anything about the show that would pull me in.

I was sooooooooo wrong.

Not surprisingly, it was the human part of the formula that grabbed me. What really got me was the fact that I found it completely correlating with the White movie. Watching Phil, the Captain and father figure on the show, as he had a stroke and, eventually, passed away was like watching Bertie Mae all over again. Also, just like Phil, it was Bertie Mae who kept saying let them film.

I've always said that there is just something extra heartbreaking about big, physically strong men being brought to tears. And that was definitely true with these men. But, honestly, seeing Mamie fall into grief was just as painful. Here's this strong, fierce woman trying to come to terms with the one thing she can't even hope to intimidate or whip, death. I spent a lot of time sitting in a hospital room with Mamie and the worst thing was when things would get calm and quiet and I'd look over and see a tear trickle down her cheek. It wasn't about cameras, especially since I was often there just to check in on her and didn't have a cameraman with me, it was just real, honest pain.

As I kept watching Deadliest Catch (still watching it actually), I really felt for the crew as well. Not too many people know what it is to truly be in the middle of a verite documentary; to be pulled into another world. It became tough to separate life from the film. I became very close to Bertie Mae and probably spent more time in the hospital with her than I have most of my real family members, but I only knew her for a matter of months. Every film teacher will tell you that you have to maintain a distance from your subjects, but I didn't really.

When Bertie Mae died, I wasn't sure how to grieve. As I watched the show and how it dealt with Phil's passing, I really felt for the film crew. There were at least two film crew members who even lived on the ship, so it was a level of internment that even surpassed mine. I know there's a high rate of turnover on their film crews and I can definitely understand why.

The other thing that really got me, of course, was when Phil's son, Jake, admitted his addiction to his father and decided to seek treatment. There was even a scene where he was calling the rehab center trying to get in, just like Kirk. It killed me that his dad never got to see him clean, again, just like Kirk and Bertie Mae. I anxiously waited for the new episode hoping Jake would get and stay clean (which he has done so far) and I still hope for the same with Kirk.

Probably the saddest statement of all though is that watching the show made me wish they needed a new producer (and that I could do it). I still feel the pull of that kind of chaos and excitement. Of course then I remember I have a husband and two kids and I'm vaguely afraid of water...

Anyway, there's my treatise on Deadliest Catch... The fam and I will be heading to NYC in a couple days and I'm working quite a bit before then, plus trying to get everyone packed and the house ready, so I probably won't be writing much till we're back. So, see you all later!


Evil Twin's Wife said...

I watched several episodes of Deadliest Catch last night, too. It was very intriguing and informative. I can't imagine working under those conditions...

Paige said...

I panic at the aquarium so I'm sure I couldn't handle it. But it was definitely fascinating.