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Russell Hantz vies for more than 15 minutes of fame with new pilot - by Ajay Rochester

Posted on 05/30/2014 by Ajay in Survivor and General News

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Russell Hantz is often referred to as one the greatest Survivor players in the history of the game, a title he shares almost as often as he does the dubious moniker of being called the greatest villain of all time. If you asked Russell which title was more accurate, he would not so humbly boast that both are accurate and he may well go on to say a whole lot more. Russell is far from shy, has been on three seasons of Survivor, has taken Jeff Probst and the producers to task claiming there is a flaw in the game simply because he didn’t win the million dollars despite in his own words, “Playing the better game” than his opponent (One would argue the best game played is by the person holding the check at the end, but therein lies Russell’s argument, recently shot down in flames when so called villain Tony Vlachos snatched the money from his all too friendly opponent Woo) and if you happen to watch Survivor AND be on Twitter at the same time, you will see a live running commentary from this mouth from the south usually based on his expert opinion of who may or not be as good a player as he was.

Hey, he’s great TV. On Survivor. Sadly, that didn’t translate to his last foray into extending his fifteen minutes of fame, on his cancelled A&E show Flipped Off. But, in true Survivor fashion, he has picked himself up, brushed the plasterer's dust from his face and is trying again, this time with his own show, starring the entire Hantz family and based on the premise that they are going into the Hospitality trade and buying a restaurant (no, it’s not a comedy pairing the word hospitality and Hantz) and the family dynamic will supposedly live or die based on the success of the soon to be family business.

He’s picked a good time to pitch this show as Hillbilly everything seems to favor well with TV execs - you can’t argue with the success of Honey Boo Boo or the numbers Duck Dynasty brought in before they realized that homophobia was not supported, not only by “the gays” but by the general population, who otherwise had been faithful to the multi million dollar business which even included duck dynasty onesies and pet wear - a far cry from the regional duck whistles this family business/show was based on. Ratings dropped nearly 30 percent after the anti gay slurs were made by the head of the family and it sent producers scrambling for the next Hillbilly cash cow they could milk for all it was worth.

Cue all sorts of shows including Hollywood Hillbillies on Reelz (just renewed for another two seasons), Hillbilly Handfishing, Swamp People, Bayou Billionaires, Rocket City Rednecks, American Hoggers, Hillbilly Preppers and Filthy Riches  to name just a few –  where mothers, fathers, sons, daughters and very close cousins of the South make moonshine, chase wild hogs, stuff dead pets, carve duck calls, wrestle alligators, catch catfish with their bare hands, dig up worms, mess around in swamps and generally hoot and holler with subtitles so us non southern folk know what them darned hillbillies are sayin!

Russell’s seven minute show pitch seems to include all of the above and perhaps just the right amount of Hantz family dynamic to make this a show worth watching, should he actually sell it to a network. He is a “lovable” rascal (okay love or hate him, he is the kind of trainwreck television you not only can’t stop watching but certainly creates water cooler talk whenever he opens his mouth) and he banks on that, claiming to try to follow at least three or four of the commandments in the bible at any given time and if you have watched this villain in action you know his tongue is planted firmly in his cheek when he says this…or is it?


In the seven minute reel uploaded to Youtube this week he and his family also touch on a subject that will no doubt make the networks nervous - a seemingly (?) religious southern family FULL of alpha males wrestle with more than just (two foot) alligators but the coming out of their gay family member Seth, who it seems is finding it tough being a "devoted" member of the Hantz family while being true to himself and perhaps this is where Russell and his family may have struck television gold. If this show gets picked up (and I believe it has a good chance of doing just that) they have an opportunity to right the wrongs of Duck Dynasty and even make up for the recent anti semitic comments from MeeMaw on Hollywood Hillbillies, showing that not all people from the south are red neck, moonshine swilling, s'getti making, gay and jew haters, that they may also have room in their hearts to love and accept each other as they are and to grow beyond the Hollywood stereotype currently taking up more than enough time on our TV screens.

I liked it. Russell embraces his bad side, shows us he may just have a “good” side (I'm stretching), his sister “Melon” is already a stand out character, his out of control, gambling baby alligator wrestling brother is hot (not the sweaty hot either), there’s the outspoken father, the all too picky mother and a whole host of cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews enough to make me want to watch more. Sure, there’s no real restaurant yet (as far as I know...I did reach out to Russell with some questions but he didn't get back to me), but if you believe the Kardashians (and almost every other reality show being made lately) just happen to do all they do without a bunch of producers sitting there plotting the series out then I have a bridge in Brooklyn you really need to buy. Reality TV in this format, is about the characters and how much they can grow while you watch them. Kim K started out draped on the arm of Paris Hilton and filmed a sex tape to make her famous……now she sits naked on a motorcycle of her humble rapper baby daddy while they film his music video clips…and we’ve invested 7 years on that growth arc. Who says Russell Hantz and the Hantz family show Holding Hantz can’t do the same?

I’m all in! Producers, it’s now in your Hantz……….

If you have your own pilot, or plan on making one and want it seen by producers then SUBSCRIBE to Reality Wanted’s Youtube channel here https://www.youtube.com/user/realitywanted/featured?view_as=public  as we have some very exciting developments coming up on the site and subscribers will be the first to use these extra options available to get their work seen by the very producers making and casting the shows currently on air.


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