Thoughts about TV Tornado "Documentaries"

I would tend to agree with Dr. Doswell on many of his points there. The quality of TV documentaries about tornadoes has declined in recent years. TLC used to have a good series titled simply "Tornado"; with four episodes-"Awesome Force", "Touchdown", "Survival" and "Chasers" that covered the major tornado events of 1998, 1999 and 2000. They seemed to have a good balance between scientific information and human drama, and at least appeared to make an effort to get the facts right. I haven't seen anything as good since.

"All the time, the footage from real storms is shown with no regard for accuracy - people describing experiences with a particular tornado while the footage from a completely different day and place is showing, footage from several tornadoes intercut with special effects simulated tornadoes, and so on."

"The crock-umentary producers of late seem obsessed with the notion of an F6 tornado, so they’re constantly conjuring up “mega-tornadoâ€￾ and "Super tornado" scenarios that are unprecedented - "freak" events, if you will."

Both MAJOR pet peeves of mine with some of the last few NGC/Discovery shows.
 
My favorite documentary, which I saw for the first time about 10 years ago or even longer, was called "Twister: Fury on the Plains". I think that one was my favorite mainly because it dealt with chasers and you saw the real deal, not some made up crap. I'm so sick of seeing on TWC the "It could happen tomorrow" episode about an F-5 wiping out Dallas-it's getting old. I can usually catch Fury on the Plains at least once a year now on TLC, right about the time chase season starts. There aren't too many other documentaries out there that I like, unless Howie Bluestein is in on it-then I know it's good!
 
There aren't too many other documentaries out there that I like, unless Howie Bluestein is in on it-then I know it's good![/b]
But what if Chuck Doswell is on it? Just as good? Are you saying that Howie just happens to pick the right programs to appear on and Chuck doesn't?

News for you - If Howie, Chuck, or anyone other famous severe weather researcher or chaser is on the program, you should still approch the program with extreme caution!
 
I agree with Chuck, but I can't state it as eloquently. My version?

Production companies suck. The crews, the producers, all of it. I did two bits for television years ago because I was totally broke from chasing and needed to pay rent and that kind of thing. I've regretted it ever since. I provided raw video and honest interviews, but the stories ended up making me look like an ass. The book thing a few years ago was the same way. It was a pleasant experience talking with the author and answering questions, but the result wasn't what I expected at all. I cringe now when I read my parts. Lesson learned: No more dealing with media of any kind.

It would be nice if chasing would run its course for popularity and the focus would return to the storms themselves, instead of this modern day fixation of trying to figure out those who pursue them.
 
But what if Chuck Doswell is on it? Just as good? Are you saying that Howie just happens to pick the right programs to appear on and Chuck doesn't?

News for you - If Howie, Chuck, or anyone other famous severe weather researcher or chaser is on the program, you should still approch the program with extreme caution!
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No that's not what I'm saying at all. Any one like Bluestein, Doswell, Dr. Josh wurman, people with excellent knowledge of severe weather I am interested in watching, I just haven't seen any with Doswell and I have with Bluestein and I really liked them, that's all.
 
IMO the last decent one was the original NOVA presentaion back in 1986 or so. It has been all downhill from there. Seriously.


Patrick
 
I'm so sick of seeing on TWC the "It could happen tomorrow" episode about an F-5 wiping out Dallas-it's getting old.
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Its because Dallas is far more important than Oklahoma City, Kansas City, St Louis and Chicago.. i personally believe that cities outside of Tornado alley are at far greater risk from a strong tornado, let alone something on the scale of the Moore 99 event. Chicago may not be hit often but violent tornadoes have hit close to the city, (plainfield F5, Lemont F4, Oak Lawn F4, Elgin F4, Crystal Lake F4). The general lack of knowledge and common myths about the lake have me thinking that Chicago is at a far greater risk of of huge loss of life and tremendous damage than dallas.

i was very disapointed with that new discovery channel program, with a tag line like "when the conditions are right, everything will go wrong" it could be so much better but it was nothing more than a terrible docudrama.
 
Its because Dallas is far more important than Oklahoma City, Kansas City, St Louis and Chicago.. i personally believe that cities outside of Tornado alley are at far greater risk from a strong tornado, let alone something on the scale of the Moore 99 event. Chicago may not be hit often but violent tornadoes have hit close to the city, (plainfield F5, Lemont F4, Oak Lawn F4, Elgin F4, Crystal Lake F4). The general lack of knowledge and common myths about the lake have me thinking that Chicago is at a far greater risk of of huge loss of life and tremendous damage than dallas.

i was very disapointed with that new discovery channel program, with a tag line like "when the conditions are right, everything will go wrong" it could be so much better but it was nothing more than a terrible docudrama.
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I just wrote a summary with my thoughts on 4/21/67 (Oak Lawn) in my new blog as part of my top-ten tornado outbreak list. I think I'll let the words I've already typed speak for themselves.
 
I will be honest, I don't bother watching tornado documentaries anymore. If I do, I end up laughing and making fun of it. Everytime I end up seeing one, it's too hyped, erroneous, etc. The last one I remember that I enjoyed was the Fury on the Plains one. I wasn't impressed with the Chasers segment on Tornado. They took some dimwitted wannabe female chasers, one said they wanna get like what? 40 feet close to a tornado? Are they nuts? And they had to ask other more experienced chasers on where to go. It was stupid. It was like they didn't know what they were doing out there.

If I wanna watch tornadoes on the "tube" (heh excuse the pun), I will watch chaser videos instead. Or better yet - in person! And Shane's right, production companies do suck. They are in it for the money, so they hype it up and blow things out of context sometimes.
 
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