Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Three Sheets vs. The Thirsty Traveler: TV drinking show showdown!

Do you get thirsty when you travel? Hell, I get thirsty when I "travel" from the couch to the bathroom. Fortunately, juxtaposed betwixt those two sacred things lies... The Beer Cave. Much like Batman's Bat Cave, mine is also filled with all the essential tools that any spandex wearing, caped crusader ("The Mad Beer Man") would need should someone dial in on the Beer Phone.

But I digress... as usual. (By the way, I don't wear spandex, but I do have a cape.)

As long time readers of this slice o' beery goodness know, I have a man crush on Zane Lamprey and his show, Three Sheets, which airs on MOJO HD. I pimp him (and the show) like a $2 hooker whenever I get the chance. Which is often. Ask anyone. Now for those spineless, Politically Correct (which is just another way of saying "I'm too afraid to have an opinion that might offend someone") nimrods shouting "conflict of interest" -- suck it. That is not what's going on here. I freelance for their community website (The Beer Bucket List on MOJO 135, every Wednesday - same beer time, same beer channel!) because I love the show. End of story.

For the last few months I've been hearing about another show similar in nature to Zane's, called The Thirsty Traveler. Well, Fran and I finally got a chance to catch several episodes (a big marathon ran over the weekend) which airs on the Fine Living Network. Sadly, it is not in High-Def in our neck of the woods (thanks Comcast), nor does it spell out which episode is which (thanks again Comcast). So I basically have to tape every episode. Strike one.

After doing some research (so I would sound edumacated because... that's what I do) for this particular article I discovered that Brad Schewaga was given a ROSIE award for "exemplary work as the series' Director of Photography" by the Alberta Motion Pictures Industry Association. Based on the episodes I saw, it is a well deserved award. By the way, this show needs to be in HD (talking to you Comcast; so far you're not so "Comcastic") because the cinematography is stunning.

And therein lies the rub... I thought I was watching recent episodes. Not. Apparently there are 4 seasons of the show, which started airing way back in January of 2002. Who knew?! I've never heard of this show until a few months ago. Good advertising people! The episodes we watched were: Absolutely Aquavit and Alaskan Beer (the first two episodes from Season 2); My Dear Maderia and Ga Ga for Cognac (from Season 3), and Wines Down Under (last episode of Season 4, which appears to be the last episode taped).

None of the seasons are available on DVD. At least not that I could find. Granted, I only spent a few minutes looking, but if it's not easy to find... it ain't easy to buy either. The websites for FLN and TTT are very well done, but there is no online store on either one. TTT's website is flashy and cool, but not very updated. Which leaves me wondering if this show is actually shooting new episodes, or has been canned. Strike two.

It's all too much work to be honest because, while the show is good and offers a lot of great information, it's not nearly Three Sheets good. And the host, Kevin Brauch, whom I'm sure is a decent enough fellow and I have absolutely nothing against him personally -- I just don't like him. Kevin just doesn't make me feel like pulling up a barstool and having a beer with him. Zane does. Strike three.

Now, I totally understand that the show isn't trying to be Three Sheets, and Kevin isn't trying to be Zane, but... Fran and I both came away feeling like we could have lived without watching the show. Which ain't the same feeling we get when we watch Three Sheets. We simply cannot get enough of Pleepleus and his human sidekick, Zane.



Speaking of... there's an incredibly good interview with Zane on TV.com, which lets us in on the wild and wacky Lamprey, including the origin of the show and his furry friend Pleepleus (apparently it started with his wife, naming their first born Pleepleus, a traveling companion, and secret messages). It's a must read if you're a fan!

8 comments:

Lager_Lady said...

God, you and my husband could be the same man! LOL He promotes Three Sheets and shares the show via word-of-mouth with just about everyone he meets!

Eli the Mad (Beer) Man said...

Hey it's Lager_Lady! Nice to see you... thanks for visiting my blog, it's much appreciated.

You gotta get your hubby onto the Three Sheets forums (and my site). ;)

blair said...

Please email me regarding episodes of The Thirsty Traveler. I have seasons 1-3 on DVD.

Jinja said...

We DVR both Three Sheets and The Thirsty Traveler - it's great for marathon sessions of light teevee after an evening out (drinking).

I like both Kevin and Zane, because they are so very different. Kevin learns more about the product and the area and is more reverent and respectful of the people he meets.

Zane is the goober who never turns down a streak and who enjoys mocking people and really goofing off.

I can enjoy both series and appreciate their individuality.

And it is interesting how often they go to the same places. Gives you a very well-rounded impression!

Ron said...

That's what I'm talkin' about! The Three Sheets show wants you, heck! (I said Heck) makes you want to drink with him and further more go and drink in those places with him. I don't know if that even makes sense? But the fact is the show's incredible! A show my wife and I love to watch and drink together with.
Cheers!!!!!!

bill kozel said...

zane: love the show, you are funny, but whats with the gesture to the forehead after a burp? my wife thinks i am an idiot (i am) because i do that now after a burp. please enlighten, thanks in advance.

Eli "The Mad Beer Man" Shayotovich said...

Hey Bill, thanks for reading. The hand to the forehead means "good burp." It's like a salute of sorts. And ya... I have my wife and all my friends doing it as well. ;)

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I'm totally on the other page from you about this. First, as you said Kevin Brauch was first. And better. I feel like I've gone on a mini-vacation with Kevin, often in some local's home. Fun and respectful of the local culture.
Zane on the other hand comes off to me as a class A overage frat boy. I could tolerate him as host if they didnt add those @#$%&! "glug-glug" sound effects! I feel like I'm trapped in a 3 Stooges episode!