Here’s another show from Discovery Channel that I cannot seem to get enough of. Moonshiners is a show that’s content is pretty obvious from its name. It is indeed about people making moonshine in the southeastern United States. A tradition in that region that goes back many years.
The fact that I had been planning a move to North Carolina heightened my interest in this show back when I started watching it and was still living in New England. I would have watched the show regardless of that fact, because it’s just darn interesting to me.
I really had no idea that this kind of thing was still going on in the south! I was instantly fascinated when I started to see previews of this program before its debut. Now it’s kind of odd for me to think that I am living not all that far away from the mountains where Jeff, Mark and Jim Tom have been cooking up their liquor.
The show started out with the two guys in Virginia,Tim and Tickle. They’ve gone their separate ways for the time being and it appears that the shows producers are trying to turn Tickle into some kind of celebrity or something. I suppose since he’s on national TV, he is a celebrity, but I think they have been pushing him a little too much on the viewers lately with his little opinion segments following commercial breaks.
Hey, I think he’s a pretty likable guy and definitely a character, but I really don’t care much about his opinions on world events and whatnot. I just want to see the guy making moonshine and stumbling around with his ever-present can of beer nearly setting himself on fire!
Lately they’ve been starting to give old Jim Tom the same treatment and although I enjoy listening to the guy within the context of the program, I think it would be easy to overdose on him if they start giving him too much special treatment like they have been doing with Tickle.
Here’s what I don’t get about the whole thing and it’s something I’ve wondered about from the outset. How is it that these guys are on national TV doing something that’s illegal and they are not being caught or at least quit doing what they’re doing so they don’t end up in jail?
After all, one of the main characters, Tim, is the fire chief in the town of Climax, Virginia. He’s surely recognized by everyone living in that area. Heck, they probably all know Tickle as well. You would think that the law would be watching these two like a hawk after last season but they seem to be going about their business without any trouble this season.
Now I’m not as naive about this as I might sound right at the moment. I know we’re talking about TV here and we all know that we cannot trust everything we see on the old tube to be the truth. I have to wonder if these guys are actually brewing up moonshine to sell to real customers or just going through the motions and making it look like they are making it for the sake of the show.
Perhaps they were granted some kind of special license from the state or something after the Discovery Channel big shots showed up and started talking about making a television show. This is obviously all speculation on my part, but I know we don’t know everything that’s going on with this show. You can’t have someone blatantly violating the law and showing themselves on TV unless some “arrangement” has been made in advance or something.
Some news stories I found online report that there is no actual moonshine being made on the show and therefore no laws are being broken. Other reports quote show producers who claim everything being done on the show is for real. One of the show’s stars, Tim Smith indicates that the show was filmed a number of years ago and he cannot be prosecuted for something he did at that time, especially without any physical evidence.
Despite all that, I believe the tactics and techniques they show those guys using when they make moonshine are genuine. I’m not going to pretend I’m Tickle and start talking about how I feel about this whole moonshine thing. I’ll just say that I definitely have a very strong opinion on the topic and leave it at that.
Anyway, it’s a fun show and for those that may be all uptight about it being unlawful, there has to be something going on behind the scenes that is keeping those guys our of hot water. Anything is possible on TV, right?
Here are some sites that may be of interest to Moonshiners fans: