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Matthew J. Webster – Writer

Wicked good fishin’

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CAMBRIDGE — 3/29/12 — MATTHEW J. WEBSTER

Call me a “homer,” but the gala pre-screening of Wicked Tuna’s season one premier, at the Wilbur Theater last Tuesday night, was the best 42 minutes of sports television I have seen.

The NatGeo channel premier is 10PM Sunday, but these wicked sharp sportsmen (and one woman) are already big stars, covering national TV news, radio, and broadsheets in the past week. Wicked Tuna portrays exceptionally genuine, hard-working characters, all fishing out of the historic seafaring city of Gloucester, MA., which is also my own home town.

Bluefin are wiry, intelligent animals weighing up to a thousand pounds. Wicked Tuna’s narrative pacing is graphic and authentic — long, tedious, waiting periods at sea building to action sequences of fishermen hooking and harpooning tuna, culminating with crafty overhead shots of the long, steaming beasts pulled onboard along the narrow side berths* of boats no longer than 38 feet.

Wicked Tuna is about huge, tasty fish and the thrill of the hunt, but NatGeo also does the right thing by explaining that none of these cursing, probably stinky, real-life fishing characters is finally concerned with plundering the environment, or a fat paycheck.The bulk of their work really supports tuna conservation, and it’s very hard work.

The show’s innovative under-and-aboverwater photography makes up for the occasionally creative editing and its loose points regarding day-to-day fishing business.

One of the guys on the show is called Pirate. Pirate’s cool, all the elegant ladies wanted to have their pictures taken with Pirate at the Wilbur.

(*Dave Marciano will call me a “landjob” if I get the nautical terms wrong.)

Written by webster71

April 4, 2012 at 23:10

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