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Matthew J. Webster – Writer

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Wicked Tuna Breakdown – S1/E5

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With Captain Kevin Leonowert of the f/v Christina coming off a season-high giant tuna catch in the last episode, Week Five finds him hooking and losing not one but four likely keepers.

NatGeo’s producers show their savvy by positioning Leonowert to personify Aristotle’s concept of peripitea, as described in Poetics: it’s more dramatic to portray a once-vaunted man who has fallen on hard times than the other way around.

Capt. Dave Marciano makes a smart move by bringing his teenage son, Joseph, out on the Hard Merchandise, and is rewarded when the lucky youth reels in a 600-pound fatty. Marciano coaches confidently as his son finishes the job, and the crew is treated to a traditional family greeting when they find Dave’s wife, Nancy, and their youngest daughter waiting at the dock for their return.

Capt. Ralph Wilkins, of Provincetown’s f/v Odysea, comes up short for slobs this week, but demonstrates sufficient patience and chum-chucking technique to show he’s a break-even skipper at worst, and more likely a badass fisherman. Bravo to NatGeo for also including an informational spot during the third commercial break to let a balanced selection of scientists and experts outline their perspectives on tuna conservation.


“I’m not arrested, and we’re good to go.”

–Paul Hebert, first mate of the, after Coast Guard officials have completed a routine onboard regulatory check.

Written by webster71

April 30, 2012 at 14:03

Wicked Tuna Breakdown – S1/E3

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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.

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Written by webster71

April 16, 2012 at 14:03

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