What? How did no one tell me that Running Wild with Bear Grylls, quite possible the shining crown jewel in all of TV history, quietly and with very little fanfare from NBC premiered its second season last night. What do you mean it’s my job to know that? Oh, it is. That’s fair.
But, yes, season two premiered, and it was like we hadn’t missed a beat together, Running Wild. As many/absolutely none of you probably remember, last season I was this show’s most stalwart fan. I’m also not sure how it’s possible not to be. It’s just nature-cyborg Bear Grylls taking famous faces out into the wilderness and trying to commit murder-by-wilderness for an hour. Channing Tatum back-flipped out of a helicopter. Tom Arnold fell down a mountain. Zac Efron forged a shirtless man-bond with Bear that will most likely last until the end of time. It was great fun.
This season started things off with Kate Hudson, who Bear refers to multiple times as the “queen of rom-coms.” Which would be a fantastic title to have, if Bear didn’t immediately follow that up with “but there’s nothing romantic [dramatic, manly pause] about the wild.” Which actually seems like a pretty general conclusion to come to, but Bear Grylls said it so I take it as gospel. Sorry, nature-loving girlfriend.
Without further ado, here are the most pivotal moments of Bear Grylls and Kate Hudson’s expedition through Italy’s Dolomite Mountains.
- Before we go a-venturin’ we get some opening comments from Kate Hudson, who ensures us she’s a big fan of Bear Grylls. She then tells us she’s not a big fan of helicopters, which doesn’t make sense because it’s actually impossible to be a fan of one and not the other. That’s like saying you’re a fan of sandwiches and not bread. But moving on. Ms. Hudson repeats that she has two children, so Bear needs to take extra care as her guide.
- Bear proceeds to push Kate Hudson out of that ski lift. Okay, not push but he does ask her to rappel about 150 feet to the ground out of it. Which she does. Quick note: a general theme of this episode is that Kate Hudson, despite what previews may have had you think, is pretty much fearless when it comes to rappelling hundreds of feet down mountainsides. I assume she picked up some skills attempting to escape the set of Something Borrowed. Oh, also she mentions she’s spent time in mountains because Kurt Russell, who basically raised Ms. Hudson, lived in Colorado at one point. Related, Bear makes a mental note to one day also forge a shirtless man-bond with Kurt Russell.
- Going higher up into the mountains, Bear makes it over a particularly troublesome rock by using Ms. Hudson as an anchor for his rope, because anchors should always way a minimum of twenty pounds less than you. Oh, for those new to all this, on a list of things Bear Grylls thinks are stupid and unnecessary, safety is at the top. It is also the only thing on the list. He makes it over, though, and Ms. Hudson follows while providing the exact commentary appropriate for hanging out with Bear Grylls in the mountains.
- Once over the rocks, Bear and Kate share the first one of those segments where they sit down and soft piano music plays and they discuss personal topics because it’s just them and the wild. Also the cameraman and every person watching at home. They discuss Ms. Hudson’s movie career, and Bear reveals Fool’s Gold is one of his favorite movies, and nothing has made more sense in the history of the world.
- Bear figures the quickest path to take is not over the mountain, but through some left over Italian tunnels from World War 2, which I assume he knows the location of because he dug them himself with his bare hands in 1943.
- This episode turns into an action-adventure reboot of The Blair Witch Project real quickly, with Ms. Hudson being terrified of dark, enclosed spaces and the tunnels being one, long dark enclosed space. Bear, as always, keeps his spirits up.
- In these abondoned horror-show tunnels, Bear finds dinner. Well, he sees dinner. I see pigeons that are most definitely possesed by the spirits of long-dead Fascist soldiers. Our opinions are different on these sort of things. At the very least, Bear gives the pigeon he captures a clean death.
- Eventually, though, they make it out of the tunnels and after some more rappelling, finally make camp for the night. I could describe to you how much Ms. Hudson helped in setting up camp, but sometimes a picture is all you need.
- Okay, to be fair Ms. Hudson did contribute a lot to cooking that recently murdered pigeon. Bear, for his part, used a bullet they found in the tunnels to start a fire. Despite the fact this definitely angered the desperate-for-revenge souls trapped in the Italian mountain tunnels, it’s actually a pretty neat camping trip trick. Ms. Hudson, for one, plans to use it on future expeditions.
- It’s then time for serious convo number two, in which Ms. Hudson discusses her past, her family and her life and Bear Grylls continues to day-dream about living in the woods with Kurt Russell.
- The second day of the trip is, unfortunately, pretty uneventful. Ms. Hudson makes Bear do some meditation stuff. Bear casually jokes that a swift kick to a piece of ice Ms. Hudson is standing on would send her to a swift death, Basic stuff. The final obstacle before these two can ATV out of there is yet another rappel down the mountainside. Atter hyping all episode that Ms. Hudson can not do this because of pure terror over and over and over, she…well she just does it. She even calls it fun. She is un-terrified enough at the bottom to shed some happy tears and do a little fist pump. “Don’t You Forget About Me” plays and everything.
- The premiere ends, as all shows should end, with Bear Grylls careening down a road and out of the mountains, Kate Hudson on the back. It’s a beautiful scene. It’s just a beautiful thing to be back to Running Wild as well. What show. What a scene. “Don’t You Forget About Me” actually plays this time and everything.
Next episode, Bear takes Jesse Tyler Ferguson out into the snowy wilderness. Because Mr. Ferguson is a part of Modern Family, I think it’s safe to say Running Wild will finally win an Emmy.