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Frontier House

2002-04-30 17:19:35+00 by TC 11 comments

Frontier House is amazing and must see for all you Survivor fans or backwood Libertarian nuts. Really great TV! Basicly it's 3 families go to montana for 5 months and live on homsteads with 1850s tech only!

[ related topics: Politics Libertarian Technology and Culture Theater & Plays Television ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-04-30 19:21:42+00 by: Anita Rowland

I enjoyed it too, but they did a better job of showing the personal problems Real-world stylee than they did on portraying actual techniques of 1880s living. Some complaints from LA dude father were legit -- they should have given him a hat that fit, since a man of that time wouldn't have bought a hat that didn't.

#Comment made: 2002-04-30 19:53:26+00 by: ziffle

But I am not sure a right sized hat is always available 'way out there'. So maybe it is realistic.

I liked her comment about how nice it would be just to go into the kitchen and have a cup of coffee in five minutes. And fresh tea - not to mention air conditioning, eh?

And the daughters attempt to stand up while she pees, _like the boys do_...

I always wonder if they felt amourous at night after working in the fields all day - with no bath until Saturday(!), and the children right next to them.

#Comment made: 2002-04-30 20:07:40+00 by: dexev

The show had to make some compromises -- the LA dude's hat maybe should have fit, but then he also should have had to worry about one of his kids getting appendicitis and *dying*, or of them all really starving to death and there not being MedEvac available.

They did like to shoot footage of those girls milking the cows, though...

#Comment made: 2002-04-30 22:17:31+00 by: TC

Sure there were lots of compromises but I think they got the effect right. It's interesting to see their problems shift from looking cute in makeup to getting dry clothes so they could go milk cows in the snow. I also find if fasinating to see this micro society of 3 families interact and how they help each other and what causes friction, the primary axiom being "DO NOT ENDANGER OUR SURVIVAL" followed but "do not endanger our comfort". What an elegant set of societal mores.

favorite scenes:
The runaway buckboard that almost killed the mom. Not that I wish any harm on these people but they actually filmed a hand lossing control of a horse team in the middle of a wagon train. I gave a real sense danger.

girls learning to pee standing up. Why? because it's practical. nuff said. It sorta showed how people become practical when they need to.

I might need to buy this series to watch it again. I think they pressed DVDs

#Comment made: 2002-05-01 17:06:06+00 by: other_todd

I caught a little of this last night. It amused me. I mean, I have no illusions about my ability to survive in those conditions, but, man, these people are ... naive. I mean, like, not-even-having-ever-read-Laura-Wilder-books naive. Like not knowing how much work haying by hand is, or how much livestock eat. (I guess none of them ever kept a horse.)

I also wondered - one of the families had kids, apparently, and the kids were really having problems dealing with this. Is it ethical to sign on for this with your kids? What I'm saying is, it's like an informed-consent thing; same reason you can't in good conscience have sex with a kid, because even if the kid seems willing and able, they aren't capable of fully realizing the ramifications of what they're getting into.

That said, one silver lining: These kids, unlike all of their peers, will never think that meat springs into existence already plastic-wrapped at their supermarket, ever again. Might be nice to expose everybody in the country to such conditions just for a little while. Would make more aware consumers.

#Comment made: 2002-05-01 20:20:30+00 by: dexev

I don't see the problem with the kids, really. The experience isn't much different than Outward Bound or other wilderness schools. Yeah, the kids may be uncomfortable, but the producers took steps to keep everyone as safe as possible. If you saw last night, they even sent a doctor to check on one person when he thought he was losing too much weight.

BTW, that was the most fascinating part about last night's show to me -- seeing the before and after pictures of Mr. Clune. Almost 40 pounds in six weeks, and the doc saying that he's down to a healthy weight. When they first showed those pictures, I was convinced the guy was malnourished. Show how living in a 'developed country' has skewed my vision.

#Comment made: 2002-05-01 21:21:54+00 by: Shawn [edit history]

I hope they did press the show to DVDs. It sounds facinating, but my schedule (including the staple of shows that I make a point not to miss) has not been condusive to my seeing any of the episodes.

Like not knowing how much work haying by hand is, or how much livestock eat. (I guess none of them ever kept a horse.)

Why would you expect this to be [semi-]common knowledge? I certainly don't know these things, and I spent one summmer taking care of a neighbor's pony. (It was a deal I made with them - I took care of it [fed it, washed and rubbed it down, cleaned it's hooves(sp?), etc.] and I got to ride it. Until me, it was just left alone to wander around it's fenced yard.) I don't think I even know anybody who might know these things.

because even if the kid seems willing and able, they aren't capable of fully realizing the ramifications of what they're getting into.

While the law relies on this premise, its actual truth is highly debatable.

#Comment made: 2002-05-01 22:17:52+00 by: TC

I find this show/experiment totally engrossing. I don't know if the producers are lucky or geniuses but social intermix is amazing and complex considering there are only 3 family units. We watched the Glenns start strong and disintegrate and the clunes start clueless and get stronger. A MOONSHINE STILL? That Mr. Clune is a wiley ol bastard.The Brooks family is coping the best even though they started with the least it was a shame to see the father leave after the wedding. I misunderstood the project, I thought they need to try to make it through a montana winter but it looks like they just need to make it till winter with enough projected stores to theoretically go through winter(very much easier I would think). I'm bummed that it's up against the West Wing tonight(only show I watch reliably) so I need to pick which one gets TIVO'd. BTW those that missed the first shows should be able to catch rebroadcast coming next week. I highly recomend it...

#Comment made: 2002-05-02 18:11:05+00 by: other_todd

Shawn, I admit I often guess wrong about what information is esoteric and what isn't. I tend to assume people know more weird stuff than they do. But I also think that to frequently and verbally express surprise at the amount of time and work it's taking you to hay by hand - I mean, c'mon, size of field, hand tool, do the math - shouldn't he have KNOWN that this was going to be many days of hard labor from sunup to sundown?

Of course, maybe it could just be that I really took an instant dislike to Mr. Clune, who strikes me as a whiner. Never mind.

#Comment made: 2002-05-02 20:50:39+00 by: ziffle

"watched the Glenns start strong and disintegrate and the clunes start clueless and get stronger"

I enjoyed watching that part too. The men seemed to enjoyed the clarity of it all - and the one wife who really was not with it, hated it. They showed the 'after' last night and the husband actually moved out of the house into an apartment in town, 'to think things over' I think they said - I think he saw his spouse in a new light and did not much care for it. His love of life was not reciprocated.

#Comment made: 2002-05-02 22:00:18+00 by: Shawn

todd (other); Ahh... I appear to have been taking it out of context. I certainly agree that faced with the actual field (as in standing at the edge of it) with tool in hand, one should have a general expectation of how hard the work is likely to be. I thought you were saying that they should have known before they had the benefit of this input. My bad.