Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Don’t Rock My Boat
Should I Stay Or Should I Go Now
Sink or Swim
Gonna Build A Mountain
Have You Ever Seen The Rain
Hazy Shade of Winter
Hot Fun in the Summertime
Best Laid Plans
Another weekend rolls round and another slice of reality TV drops on Netflix. This time it’s Big Timber, a show that revolves around a logging business over on Vancouver Island.
This family-run business is the brainchild of Kevin and Sarah, who work together to try and haul lucrative timber across to various clients. It’s tough work, with work on “the claim” involving steep inclines and tough deadlines.
Kevin has pumped 1.5 million into getting this business set up too, and he’s joined in the field by sons Erik and Coleman. Sarah meanwhile, handles matters back at the office. She answers the phones and keeps the sales ticking over but the drama her end feels much more contrived than that out in the field. The height of her drama in the first episode features the shock of a rat in a bathroom.
The first half of the series though essentially revolves around work over on the claim and getting acquainted with how this business works. The main crux of drama centers on a bridge being built to try and cut work time down, along with a barge which ends up as a key focal point going forward.
The second half of the show then injects a lot more drama enter the fold as equipment breaks down, deadlines loom and the winter begins to close in.
If seeing people hauling logs about and trying to lift them up in a crane is your jam, you should find enough to like here. The show is designed in much the same way series like Ice Road Truckers are shot, with all the tension and drama that comes from this. Unlike Ice Road though, the drama here does feel quite contrived at times.
The other part of this show that’s never tackled comes from the environmental cost. Even late on, when the guys venture out and start to expand beyond their barren wasteland of The Claim, not once do the subjects of wildlife or the environment come up. This feels starkly juxtaposed against some of Netflix’s documentaries that have been warning about the dangers of deforestation.
Now, I’m not an expert and maybe Kevin and Sarah’s operation doesn’t affect any part of the forest. Maybe it even helps new trees thrive. However, an acknowledgement and a reinforced reminder that all is well wouldn’t be amiss. As it stands, there’s something off-putting with seeing dead trees and an ugly graveyard of fallen trees alongside such lush greenery.
Visually though, the show does quite well with its interactive map, smoothly tracking from the claim to the office and back again between scenes. It’s a small touch but a welcome one.
If you’re in the mood for some contrived drama about wood then you should find enough to like about Big Timber. The characters constantly find themselves at loggerheads, as one would expect from realty TV, but the lack of awareness about the environment is very disappointing. It’s not the worst reality show of the year, but it’s not exactly good either.
Verdict - 4/10