I have an unique taste in TV. I’ll admit it. Generally my favorite series get cancelled after the first season (Firefly, Flashforward, Dresden Files). I also primarly watch true crime shows. (Most of my set recordings are ID Network). However since moving here I discovered the Viceland network. It’s quirkly off beat and edgy. One series that I record from there is Balls Deep. It is a series starring Thomas Morton where he immerses himself in a subculture to better understand the members. He’s a very unassuming man with a quiet deameanor but he’s game to experience various cultures.
Honestly I discovered this series where he was working on a Tug Boat in New York harbor. The life at sea but living in the city was very interesting. Seeing the next one was about Bear Week and the bear culture in the gay community. Just the sheer diversity hooked me. I set the recorder to catch. From there I enjoyed Tent Revival, Alaska Natives, Ramadan with an American Muslim family, and into Season 2 Seniors, Trump Supporters, Sheep Ranchers, Goths, Freelance Autopsy Pathologist, Zen, and on.
That’s a pretty diverse list of subcultures and some how Thomas investigates each honestly and openly. His quiet deameanor isn’t intrusive. His open curosity and willingness to listen without judgement is refreshing. He does address the camera with his thoughts but they are more about what he’s learning about the culture than telling what we should think about it. The fact the man moves seemingly effortlessly between each and was most at home with the Seniors says a lot. He’s come to these groups not to judge to but to learn from them. He comes as a student of humanity. We are all the richer for that approach. At the end of each episode I see each group more sympathetically and find they have more in common than one might imagaine. Humanity is diverse and colorful. However we all have life struggles, want to be happy, are looking for better answers, and are trying to live our lives the best way we can. In the end that’s what I get from Balls Deep, a warm feeling for humans and humanity. That’s rare today with so much tension and conflict. I’ll be tuning in for season three to again have my faith in us restored. In the end if we go to each other with the honest desire to hear and understand we might be in a better place even if we are vastly different.