Sunday, November 29, 2009

Storm Chasers Rip Through a Season Finale

I tend to hate season finales. All too often, they fail to live up to the hype. Smallville teased a Superman VS Doomsday fight for over a year, only to have it end with three punches and a distant explosion within 5 minutes. The last time I watched Chuck, the nerdy retail employee turned hapless spy turned super spy in 2.3 seconds as he was uploaded with kung fu skills powerful enough to allow him and the entire cast to jump the shark simultaneously. Reality shows tend to be far worse, with anti-climactic wrap ups that fizzle out to nothing and may as well fade to black with a lead character shrugging into the camera like bugs Bunny. I can't say I watch many of them, unless you count paranormal shows and Destination Truth...and a killer show called Storm Chasers!

I've had an odd fascination with tornadoes ever since I was a child. I've had many dreams about them, often with me being far too close but eerily calm beside them. When the movie Twister came out, I was first in line. Despite the cheesiness of the film and weird little love triangle plot to set the storms against, I've shamelessly watched it time and again. The Discovery Channel's Storm Chasers is the closest you'll ever come to watching people live that movie and this season was the most chaotic yet.

You've got the nearly psychotic "extreme" chaser Reed who bankrolls amazing amounts of money into high tech equipment, a giant red armored vehicle and even a mini plane that is flown alone the outside of a tornado to drop probes into it (just like Twister!!..well..almost.) Then theres IMAX film maker Sean Casey in the ultimate storm crashing vehicle, the TIV and their storm tracking vehicle Dog House. The rest of the crews seem to rotate in and out ranging from super scientists with an army of vehicles to normal guys only armed with a truck, a camera and a heavy foot on the gas pedal. What makes this show work is that the drama doesn't seem to be forced. These are quirky individuals who butt heads from time to time and we are allowed to see all of that in between some amazing visuals of developing tornadoes. You'll even accidentally learn something!

The season finale had everything you could ever want from this show and, by far, the most amazing tornado footage I've ever seen. I don't want to give too much away as some of you probably dvr'd the 2 hour event and the rest of you can easily catch a replay some day soon, but I will say that my jaw was dropped so completely that I'm still tasting carpet. You'll get super vehicles driving right into tornadoes, lesser cars running from the carnage, towns dangerously close to the action, all manor of landscape uprooted and the awesome electric guitar soundtrack backing it all up. HOW CAN YOU GET MORE AWESOME INTO ONE NIGHT??!! It's impossible. This is a tornado enthusiast's dream come true and shows us just how raw and incredible reality TV can actually be. Do not miss this one!

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