'The Legend of Shelby the Swamp Man' review: He's a character

"The Legend of Shelby the Swamp Man" is

"The Legend of Shelby the Swamp Man" is the History Channel's new swamp-themed show. (Credit: Handout )

UNSCRIPTED SERIES "The Legend of Shelby the Swamp Man"

WHEN|WHERE Premieres Tuesday at 10 p.m. on the History Channel

WHY TO WATCH "Do not try any of the harebrained things I do!!"

WHAT IT'S ABOUT And that's just the preshow warning. Tain't no more'n a minute into "The Legend of Shelby the Swampman" when you seen a pig and a gator and a snake, whose head done gits bit off. Plus some wrecked-up boats and shot-off guns. This be some dadgummed show!

Cue the subtitles. Which weren't on my preview disc, and I done wished they were. Louisiana good ol' boy Shelby Stanga from "Ax Men" has got some ax-cent on him. And he don't enunciate none as good as Jed Clampett from "The Beverly Hillbillies," neither.

Shelby has a four-legged roommate named Willie-dog and a hurricane-wrecked houseboat. So, nice lady "Pud'n" Waller, ignoring all the bullet holes in the wall, helps him/them scout a new one. But it's in dolgurned St. Louis! Shelby has to get on an escalator (say what?) to get on a plane (hoo-wee!). And what does he find upriver? Oh, no -- that's the reveal. I'm just gonna mention skulls and swords and a naked lady and a pneumatic cannon.

MY SAY TV listings today alone also show "Swamp Wars" (3 p.m., Animal Planet) and "Swamp Murders" (8 p.m., ID). Maybe you caught Sunday's "Swamp Loggers" marathon (Destination America). Then there's "Swamp Pawn" and "Swamp Men" and "Swamp People" and "Swamp Brothers" and "Swamp Hunters." And "Gator Boys" and "Gator 911." And "Duck Dynasty," another Louisiana sensation that quacks into its fourth A&E season Aug. 14. That's right after Monday's "Katie" repeat of the big spring "rural reality showdown" between the ducky Robertsons and the Landry-Edwards-Broussard boys of History's on-hiatus "Swamp People."

So what do I really need to say here? Shelby's a character. He rides a jet boat and a forklift. He lays it on thick. There's the growly-voiced narration of some Western folk tale. And the producer is Thom Beers, the macho-reality mogul behind "Deadliest Catch," "Ice Road Truckers" and "Storage Wars." Can't imagine what else you'd need to know to decide if this is for you.

BOTTOM LINE Never bet against Thom Beers.

GRADE B+

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