REASON TO WATCH: A how-to that guides the panicked and imperiled through a worst-case scenario.
WHEN/WHERE: Tuesday nights at 10 on Spike TV
This 10-episode series, hosted by former Navy SEAL Cade Courtley, will take you through some potentially nasty life moments, including nuke attack, home invasion, fire, avalanche, lost at sea, hurricane, biochemical attack, mall shooting and earthquake. Passenger jet hijacking is the premiere episode.
The episode incorporates simulations of a hijack, with blue-eyed, square-jawed, tousle-haired Courtley mixed among the passengers. He dispenses asides to the viewer as the disaster unfolds, like "[the hijackers] have already killed a passenger and it doesn't look good" or "if [the subdued hijacker] gives you any trouble, take his upper lip and drive it up into his nose, and the guy'll dance for ya."
Experts explain more, like flight commands or the real-world peril of those fighter jets that suddenly appear alongside your 'jacked plane. And remember, reader: "121.5 is the emergency channel."
BOTTOM LINE: One hesitates to append the word "important" to any show that airs on Spike, so I just think I'll go with "good," and "Surviving Disaster" is good. Tautly produced with corn kept to a minimum, most viewers will have one regret - that Courtley won't be around if/when disaster strikes.
The show's biggest drawback (if the premiere is any indication) is its studious avoidance of Murphy's Law. Things do go wrong in the midst of chaos, and terrified people do tend to make bad decisions. So the sound overall message of "SD": Keep your head, and keep cool.