The scariest season-preview trailer in reality TV history

The “this season on” trailer for Whale Wars‘ fifth season, which aired at the end of its first episode on Friday, may be have the most frightening preview of a reality TV season ever, and I remember when we learned that a contestant would poop on the floor of a mansion. The Animal Planet series increases its tension and drama each season, and this promises a season with even greater excitement.

Every image selected for the trailer is powerful–I said “holy shit” twice in the first 20 seconds–and the situations seem even more dire thanks to the music and the dialogue that’s been chosen. Of course, there’s some editing magic at work here, with actually dramatic situations exaggerated and appearing even more perilous thanks to the quick cuts and lack of resolution in the trailer.

But it’s a few seconds in the middle–shortly after night vision footage of Sea Shepherds boarding a Japanese whaling vessel–that are the most terrifying, as captain and Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson appears to be throwing someone to the ground on the darkened bridge of the Steve Irwin. Besides the camera operator, there doesn’t seem to be anyone else around. I’ve watched it frame by frame to try to figure out what’s happening, but I cannot. Clearly, it does its job of encouraging us to watch to find out what happens in each of these moments:

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.


Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.