Posted: 04 Jul 2011 04:20 PM PDT
Reality TV series Swamp Brothers follows the adventures of two brothers and their dealings with dangerous animals.
ROBBIE and Stephen Keszey are undoubtedly one of the most unlikely pairs of brothers.
Robbie has a penchant for reptiles whereas his younger brother is herpetophobic (fears reptiles). With such different personalities, it remains a mystery how the duo run their business – Glades Herp Farms, Florida's largest reptile sanctuary and exotic reptile dealership.
"Unlike me, Robbie is comfortable with dangerous reptiles. When I was seven years old, a python bit my nose. The frightening incident left an imprint in my memory and since then, I have been terrified of snakes," said Stephen in a long distance call from their farmhouse in Bushnell, Florida, recently.
Robbie chipped in: "Yes, Stephen is very scared of snakes. We're trying to change him into a man. Sometimes, I think I have a sister named Stephanie instead of a brother named Stephen."
Their friendly banter (and more) is part of new reality TV series Swamp Brothers, premiering tonight on Animal Planet (Astro Channel 556). The 26-episode series follows the Keszey brothers' adventures capturing pythons, crocodiles and rogue bobcats, and returning them to a safer environment without losing a limb (or life) in the process.
The season's premiere puts the brothers in dangerous alligator territory. Stephen tries to distract an aggressive mother alligator while Robbie attempts to save her eggs from being eaten by wildlife.
The first episode also zooms in on Stephen's careless mistake of admitting wild hogs into the farm. And there's more – Stephen turns white (no pun intended) when he comes face-to-face with snakes.
"If a snake bites me, I still jump and yell, despite having protective gloves on. My brother laughs at me because he can't believe I'm still like this. Since joining the farm, I've been trying to work with snakes. So far, I have started being 'friendly' with non-venomous, colubrid snakes. I don't know if I'll ever go to the venomous one, but I'm slowly moving on to bigger ones," confessed the 42-year-old who worked as a bartender for 15 years before joining the farm.
In 2009, Stephen quit his bartending job in the Big Apple to help Robbie care for their ailing mother and help with office work. After their mother's demise last year, Stephen was roped in to help with the animals.
Heavily tattooed Robbie, 45, shares a different story. After high school, he moved to Los Angeles to play bass in a rock band and became personal assistant to C. C. Deville, lead guitarist of glam rock band Poison.
Eventually realising his true passion was for wildlife and reptiles, Robbie moved to Florida and set up Glades Herp Farm, bringing with him his rock 'n' roll attitude and a penchant for living on the edge.
The father of three is a herpetofauna expert who specialises in crocodiles and venomous snakes. The Keszey brothers' farm also houses exotic animal species from Florida's International Teaching Zoo.
"I developed a passion for animals when I was about five years old. My parents had a big piece of land and I used to catch different animals like turtles, frogs and reptiles. It is my dream to open a zoo and educate people on animal conservation.
"I'd like to teach people that the fear of reptiles is a learned trait, not something you were born with. There really is nothing to be afraid of if you respect animals," explained Robbie.
Although Stephen is fearful of getting hurt, he has gained some reptile knowledge from his brother.
"I want to be like Indiana Jones, but once I am on top of an alligator, I feel like Jerry Lewis or Lucille Ball, crying and screaming for help. Ironically, I like dangerous adventures and the adrenaline rush despite being scared," said Stephen, an Ohio State University graduate.
Robbie chipped in: Stephen has made tremendous progress with reptiles but has a long way to go. It really helps that his heart and interest are with the animals. His perseverance keeps him going. But, remember, I call him Stephanie every time he whines."
Swamp Brothers premieres tonight (10pm) on Animal Planet (Astro Ch 556) with repeats every Saturday (noon and 11pm) and Monday (midnight).Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.
Posted: 04 Jul 2011 04:18 PM PDT
Suspending disbelief can sometimes become a strenuous mental exercise.
NO, way! That's just toooooo ridiculous! Have you ever found yourself reacting that way to a TV show? All the time, right? And we're not only talking about shows like The Bold And The Beautiful – although that one takes the cake for storylines that are (way) out there.
Talk about enduring relationships: Ridge and Brook have been in love with each other since we were teenagers. We are ... (ahem) much older now and they're still hooking-up only to break up and hook up again.
Okay, that's not too unreal, but what about Brook marrying Ridge's father and brother in the interim? Come on! Are there only 22 people in Beverly Hills? The incestuous relationships on the series are just plain bizarre.
So, yes, Indra watches The Bold And The Beautiful (or at least she used to until it was unceremoniously yanked from the screen) and ridiculous as it may be, the daytime soap isn't the only programme on TV that is full of improbabilities.
Let's take a popular present-day drama series as an example: Grey's Anatomy. When have you ever been to a hospital and seen so many beautiful people? From interns to nurses to doctors and even patients: so many lovely-looking people fill up the halls of Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital.
Small matter? Okay, how about the ghostly love affair between Izzy Stevens and Denny Duquette in Season Five? Although the writers covered up the sick story arch with Izzy's brain tumour (hence her hallucinations), it was just too ridiculous a pill to swallow.
Still not convinced that Grey's Anatomy deserves an eye roll? How about this: Season 2, Episode 6 – two patients who get impaled after a train wreck are rushed into the E.R. and guess what? They're still talking to each other (with just slight grimaces). Come on, already. A staple in our finger and we're ready to faint!
Even medical drama House M.D. deserves a "huh?" every now and then.
Why is it never lupus? Right? And how is it all the patients know exactly what the doctors are talking about ... when most of us go 'what did he just say?'
Do they teach kids the different types of infectious diseases in American schools or something?
By the way, the beautiful people observation holds true for police and lawyers and heck, even crime scene investigators. When did they all get to be so darn good looking?
And the "how did everyone get so clued in on medical jargon" applies to other subjects as well – for instance in Numb3rs, Charlie Eppes and Dr Fleinhardt do go on about Applied Mathematics and everyone seems to be able to follow and worse, accept their way-out theories. Ditto forensic science.
At least on shows like the X-Files and Fringe, the theories are so far-fetched you don't really have to understand them completely ... they're out there, and you only need to "want to believe".
While we're on the subject though, ever noticed how Fox Mulder was colour blind ... but if that were the case he could never have been an FBI agent? Just saying.
Now, onto some general observations.
How come on TV, people always find parking spaces right in front of where they're supposed to go? And how come they never lock their cars after they park? And why do people still leave their car keys neatly tucked away in their sun guards – don't they watch TV? Don't they know that's how all the cars get stolen?
While we're on the subject, do you know even one single person who can hotwire a car or pick a lock, or for that matter, bake the perfect chocolate souffle?
At the rate it happens on TV, you'd expect every one in three people to have this skill.
Another pet peeve: How come women on TV look so good when they wake up from sleep? Yeah, yeah, We know make-up is necessary but can't they make it a teensy bit more realistic? Do they shower with their make-up on too?
In a world of Desperate Housewives, it would seem like women have the uncanny ability to do it all – from vacuuming and scrubbing toilets to jogging, gardening and romping around in bed – with nary a drop of sweat falling from their beautifully groomed brows.
And let's not forget about Superman in The Adventures Of Lois & Clark (and as a character in general). Seriously, can a superhero hide his identity with a pair of dark-rimmed spectacles? Lois, look harder ...
Why have we all stood for this flimsiest of disguises all these years? What force compels us to accept that Lois never knows Clark Kent is Superman? Does the man from Krypton have control over her thoughts too? He is Superman, after all. And then there's the undies on the outside ... why?
Superheroes and their supercostumes ... now, don't get us started.
Take The Incredible Hulk, for example. Granted, some of us (read: Ann Marie) may have grown up being totally smitten by Bill Bixby (as Dr David Banner), but that didn't stop us from wondering how his pant-seams would never bust at the waist ... Lou Ferrigno (aka Hulk) is a professional bodybuilder who stands at 1.96m and weighed a good 130kg in the 1970s. The shirts would rip apart instantaneously, and even the legs of the pants would shred. But there was something magical about how he never got completely free of those pants. Rest assured the Conspiracy of the Incredible (Hulk) Pants will continue to generate a lot of discussion for years to come.
While we're in the 1970s, does anyone remember Patrick Duffy, in his pre Dallas days? Does the name Mark Harris ring any bells?
Yep, though it was a short-lived series, Man From Atlantis kind of left an indelible mark in our memory. But the point of bringing him up is to ask, where on earth did he stash those yellow trunks of his? Did he just constantly wear them? And why would a man from the lost world of Atlantis – who had webbed hands and gills so he could breathe underwater – wear yellow trunks?
We have other gripes about clothes – like how the people in Lost can stand the stench ... I mean none of them ever changes right?
And on the other end of the spectrum, we have the likes of the women in Sex And The City and Friends who absolutely never wear the same outfit twice. Ever.
And then there is 24. Our colleague Mumtaj Begun has an unanswered question about the series. She loves the show but wonders how come Kiefer Sutherland's Jack Bauer never has to go to the loo.
After all, the show is supposed to count down every minute of the hour. So, how come he never needs to pee?
A weird observation, but one that caught Mumtaj's attention simply because she has the opposite problem – she racks up frequent flyer points at the ladies.
Looks like we've rambled on long enough now that we've broached toilet habits. Write to us at email@example.com if you have any strange things that go on in TV stories that you'd like to share.Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.
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