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I have been a big fan and follower of Deadliest Catch on the Discovery Channel since the show first aired six seasons ago, there are few jobs in this world as brutal, devastating and with the number of injuries, deaths as the crab fishing jobs. The fisherman on the boats have become like distant cousins that you watch every week and get to know through their personalities over the years. Even though we all knew that Captain Phil Harris had died from complications due to a serious stroke several months ago, the show is airing the episodes from months ago and it feels like you are learning or witnessing the tragedy in real time all over again.
Some people have chided Discovery channel for showing such personal family footage and accused Discovery of taking advantage of the Harris family by showing Phil in the hospital and his kids at their breaking point about to lose their father. Though I think I read that the family consented to having it aired and I think Discovery did a good job of showing the grim reality of these types of situations, these are every day people facing every day problems. Jake and Josh are dealing with their father Phil Harris critically injured (who unfortunately passed away at 53 years of age in February 2010) and we see the real emotions that pour out in how the kids are trying to deal with it while making sure the boat and Phil’s legacy survive.
Meanwhile you see how visibly damaged the rest of the crab fleet become when learning of the news and you can tell that they are a brotherhood and care about each other no matter the disputes and differences. Few moments in reality TV exude this much “realism” and emotional drama that is not forced or put on for the camera’s but is harsh and palpable.
I myself was very much emotionally touched and felt for the Harris boys and I have no idea how the next episodes deal with Phil’s impending death but I will be glued to Discovery every Tuesday watching with anticipation and a heavy heart.
Discovery did a great job I think covering the very sensitive passing of Captain Phil and because of the Deadliest Catch his legacy will be immortalized. Here is hoping to his sons Jake and Josh a speedy emotional recovery and Jake getting some much needed help.