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Matthew J. Webster – Writer

Wicked Tuna Breakdown – S1/E3

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4/16/12,  CAMBRIDGE – #MATTHEW J. WEBSTER

Episode 3 begins with our seamen fishing on a summer weekend, a situation they prefer to avoid because of waters crowded with troublesome “googans,” or amateurs. Here they have no choice, as they’re up against foul weather predictions for the week ahead.

The treatment of the googan problem exemplifies Wicked Tuna’s balance of genuine, entertaining characters with informative reportage. The screaming down that Captain Ralph Wilkins gives one weekend warrior fishing too close to the Odysea might seem unnecessary if not followed by Ralph’s explanation that, as the tide turns, his baited lines could easily snag with the googan’s anchor line.

The live-action scene is followed by an animated sequence illustrating the circular motion of two boats drifting with the tide, which then plunges to an underwater perspective to show their lines tangling.

Once again, I’m impressed by the authenticity and depth that Wicked Tuna achieves within the reality television format.

Like all good journalists, the show’s producers identify conflicts that arise in commercial tuna fishing, a time-consuming and often tedious occupation.

But Wicked Tuna’s most enjoyable asset is, without question, its characters. They don’t just love fishing, they’re obsessed with it. If only Nat Geo would redo the show’s opening voiceover with the word “Gloucester” pronounced correctly, I’d have nothing to complain about.

WICKED TUNA QUOTE OF THE WEEK (4/15/12) “(Googans) all wear orange pants, like they know what they’re doing. They should require a test before you get a pair of orange pants.” — Captain Ralph Wilkins, F/V Odysea

Written by webster71

April 16, 2012 at 14:03

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