REVIEW: Swamp People is a high-risk, highly entertaining insight into a different world
Most of us wouldn’t go near a wild alligator, let alone choose to hunt them for a living. That’s what makes Swamp People, the series about people who do just that on BLAZE, so continually fascinating.
September in Louisiana is alligator season, a time when alligator hunters are given a limited number of tags for alligator kills during a thirty-day period. During this period, some hunters can earn most of their entire annual income. Swamp People follows several teams of alligator hunters as they compete for the most impressive catches and ensure they use all their tags within the season.
The real life world of alligator hunting is so far removed from the average television audience member that it makes the series almost seem like fiction. As with any high-risk activity, there’s a constant sense of danger. As with any wild animals, there’s a level of unpredictability with each capture and kill. As with any career, there are struggles and disappointments. It all makes for a thoroughly engaging insight into a lifestyle most of us have never seen before (and will probably never see again).
That’s not to say Swamp People is completely unrelatable. Nothing could be further from the truth, which is part of why the series has captured hearts worldwide. We sense the hunger to compete, the disappointment of failure, and the resilience when things go wrong for the alligator hunters. Most importantly, we sense that these alligator hunters genuinely enjoy their work, and there’s something very watchable about people doing the things they love.
Swamp People is a reality show with real stakes. Every episode, we watch hunters face life or death situations, all because they love their work. There are people worth rooting for, and when they taste victory, the audience tastes victory. For us viewers, safe at home behind our television screens, it’s a win-win situation.