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There has been a recent trend in television of new shows depicting the men who work in some of the world's most dangerous professions. These shows are extremely popular because they tend to highlight some charismatic, yet completely relatable characters, plus they treat audiences to slices of life in worlds that they would not otherwise be able to see or visit. One of the newest programs to fit into this subset of reality programming is the History Channel's Ax Men. The title of the show perfectly sums up what the show is about in two simple words, but the program goes much deeper than simply depicting the work lives of men whose primary tool is the ax.

Throughout its run, Ax Men has depicted a number of different logging companies operating in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States in places like Oregon, Washington and Montana. It spends a significant amount of time telling the stories of the individual characters so that audiences have a chance to relate to them. Then, it sends the characters out to do their jobs, which are often very dangerous. The danger of the work permeates every aspect of the program, and it gives extra weight to the relationships depicted between the various people who are documented on the show.

Ax Men also goes into detail regarding the unique lingo and jargon spoken by its characters. As is the case in most industries, logging has its own language and set of rules, and newcomers to the profession often believe that professionals speak in some kind of made-up language. Thanks to the show's research and its ability to get the characters to relate to the audience, many members of the viewing audience now know that booger wood is a term for useless lumber, while a skyline is a cable strung across each logging site. Additionally, the show spends time examining the history of logging and its impact on people, as well as society at large.

Reality programming is becoming much more specific as time goes on, but the public does not seem to mind. This is because shows like Ax Men let them see a world that would be mysterious and unknown in any other set of circumstances. Ax Men is now in its fifth season, and if it continues to offer great human drama mixed with idiosyncratic education, it will air for many more seasons.

Sunday 9:00 PM et/pt on History Channel
9 Seasons, 156 Episodes - Currently Airing
March 9, 2008
Reality
4.4/5
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Ax Men Full Episode Guide

  • The battle for King of the Mountain all comes down to this. In Alaska, Papac Logging is barely holding on to their lead. With the skyline down, their chances of keeping King of the Mountain are fading fast. On the Rygaard logging site, it's going to take all three generations of Rygaards working as a team to have any chance at reclaiming the title, but the only question is can they set their differences aside? Shelby is under the gun to deliver his order on time, but he has a secret map to a possible stash of sunken logs that may be worth his time. Greg Chapman is doubling down with extra boats and men to retrieve what he hopes is a haul of legendary proportions. Down in the Mississippi Delta, after last week's disappointing visit to the mill, Gary and Eddie have one more day to save their company from sinking to the bottom of the swamp.

  • The Rygaard loggers return; Papac Alaska Logging continue to their last section; Gary and Eddie find out if their risk has paid off; Shelby Stanga calls for backup; and David Zitterkopf must come up with a plan to finish the job.

  • In Louisiana, a storm is about to hit and it's threatening to wash away the Swamp Man's hopes of filling a massive order.

  • A job in Alaska is endangered due to arguments. Also, Gabe's son finds out about rigging and is pressured too far; David Zitterkopf goes back to work in Wyoming; and the Chapman group returns to logging in Florida, only to run into a storm.

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