Man, Woman, Wild

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Man, Woman, Wild is a show about Mykel and Ruth Hawke, a husband and wife who put themselves in survival situations in the vein of shows like Dual Survival and Man vs. Wild. Mykel is a former Green Beret and his wife Ruth is a British actress and field journalist who goes with him to learn various survival skills. While Myke is obviously more experienced than Ruth in terms of active survival, Ruth has surprising amounts of knowledge as well. Unfortunate Implications about the competent-man/inexperienced-woman aside, many admit that Ruth is the easiest to identify with and a refreshing change from the usual "survival show" star. Man, Woman, Wild is at the end of its first season and had garnered a reasonable amount of fans.

Tropes used in Man, Woman, Wild include:
  • Apologetic Attacker: Myke apologizes to animals he or Ruth have caught before he kills them for food, and thanks them for sustaining them afterwards.
  • Audience Surrogate: Ruth. Gender aside, she's an average person with average physical skills. She clearly has a harder time of things than Myke, and sometimes finds it difficult to keep her morale up in the face of physical hardship, dehydration, and lack of food.
  • Badass: Mykel, obviously.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted hard on the health side. Ruth is a textbook example of what happens when normal people get stuck in the desert without adequate water (near-fatal heatstroke after a few hours) or swim through a freezing river three times (she threw up once due to the constant extremes in temperature).
  • Character Development: Ruth is on the show to learn survival skills, and she learns well. Even in the beginning, she has quite a bit of general knowledge due to her time as a TV field journalist and living with a Borneo tribe while making a documentary. She's also beginning to take a more active role in the show as opposed to "stay at camp and don't do anything too dangerous."
    • By the Bermuda Triangle episode, Ruth is calmly taking care of her weak, heat-exhausted husband after three days out at sea. To the point of giving him a hydrating enema because there wasn't enough clean water to drink. Myke may be the survival expert, but Ruth can pull both their weights when she needs to.
  • Cool, Clear Water: Averted and inverted. When they boiled water in Tasmania, it went from clear to murky brown. And Ruth said it smelled awful regardless of how it looked. When dropped on a volcanic island, Myke celebrated finding smelly, filthy-looking, sulfurous hot-water pools... because the sulfur, heat, and underground source mean the water is most likely safe to drink.

Mykel: It is safe. It is wet. It is wonderful. But man does it taste like poo!

  • Double Entendre: The show is hosted by Ruth Hawke and her husband, Myke. A lot of the time she hugs or touches Myke. For the sake of humanity I will refrain from any jokes about Ruth hugging Myke Hawke. Considering Mykel was born Mykel Pierce, this means neither of them can be unaware of this.
  • Fan Dumb: Aside from people complaining about how Ruth is always stressed out and jumpy, and why doesn't she just calm down for five minutes? They complain about how nobody's in real danger since the camera crew is there to help. The camera crew is there to call the medic in case of emergencies and look out for themselves, not to make things easier for Myke and Ruth. Never mind the obvious disclaimer at the beginning of the show stating that this show is educational, and that some events are presented to the Hawkes to show the audience what to do if they find themselves in similar situations.
    • The complaining about Ruth's attitude is also a bit hypocritical considering that many of the fans are not survival-trained themselves and would, put in her place, probably do no better at best.
  • Follow the Leader: Clearly modeled after Man vs. Wild.
  • Happily Married: For some people, this is the best aspect of the show. It's certainly the most unique one in light of the genre.
  • The Heart: Ruth, both for Myke and the audience. If the show was just about Myke, people would be panning it as another Man Vs. Wild knockoff--more than they already are, that is.
  • Harsher in Hindsight (or Funny Aneurysm Moment): Myke mentioned that he prefers foraging when possible, because "plants don't fight back." When he had Ruth help out with hunting an opossum to get her used to killing, it fought back instead of playing dead like he expected. His reaction was "Oh Crap" and Ruth was practically in hysterics. To her credit, she still forced herself to cut its head off.
  • Hidden Depths: Ruth gets a lot of flack for acting like a normal person rather than a calm, experienced ex-soldier, but she's the one who came up with the show's idea and she gets better about managing her emotions as the show goes on. And whenever she can, she reads up on the local flora and fauna.
  • High Octane Nightmare Fuel: Tasmanian Devils making a kill and eating it several yards away from camp. No wonder Ruth couldn't sleep.
  • Minored in Things That Most Actresses Have No Clue Exist: Even considering that Myke is American, how did Ruth get so familiar with American wildlife that she can identify water moccasins swimming in a murky swamp--while she's dangling seven feet up in a tree?
    • Considering she has traveled a lot, it shouldn't be that surprising.
  • Real Men Eat Meat: Averted. Myke forages as much as possible because hunting takes up a lot of energy.
    • In addition to being generally less dangerous. In Mykel's own words: "plants don't fight back."
  • Recycled in Space: It's Dual Survival BUT ONE OF THEM'S A WOMAN!
  • Squick: The swamp water in Louisiana is seething with insects and snakes.
    • Their time on a tropical island where Ruth finds eggs, which turn out to have been fertile after she boils them. Mykel gets the one with the three-fourths-developed embryo. They also briefly resorted to sea-cucumbers, which are not at all vegetable-like and resemble lumpy sacs of goo.
  • Super Dickery: In the Tasmania episode; Mykel narrates that they are simulating a worst case scenario, as he and his wife are paddling on an inflated raft.

Mykel: Most survival situations start with some sort of traumatic event. Our scenario is; We just went out for a day paddle and the current forced us far up the coastline, when all of a sudden, unexpected like, (extremely cheerful looking, holding a kukri)we got a puncture in our raft. (Jams the kukri to the hilt into the raft. It instantly loses buoyancy and cut to a shot of Ruth losing her balance and falling into the water.)

    • Also from Tazmania, Mykel checking Ruth for leeches.

Mykel: (looking at Ruth's back) Oh my goodness!
Ruth: Eek!!!

Mykl: There's nothing there.

  • Tear Jerker: In one episode in the American Southwest, Mykel and Ruth are unable to find drinkable water by the end of the first day. By the next morning, they have to cancel the rest of the trek because Ruth has become dangerously dehydrated. The whole sequence in generally is truly nerve-racking and it speaks volumes for Mykel's training that he's able to stay as calm and collected as he does while his wife goes into convulsions and starts vomiting.
    • After Ruth finishes crossing an ice-cold river for the third time, what does she panic about when she stops vomiting? Nearly losing her wedding ring. It really strikes home how important it is to keep morale up, and married viewers must have gotten a nasty reminder of how much stock they put into a piece of jewelry.
  • The Stoic: Myke, although he shows shades of Deadpan Snarker and is very affectionate with Ruth. In a twist, some people consider him a bit too level and calm--compared to Bear Grylls and Les Stroud, he's just another survival expert making a show.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Myke says that Ruth is significantly more capable in the wild at the end of the season 1 finale.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: In the desert island episode Ruth kills several Coconut Crabs on screen (which look almost like Starfish Aliens) and seems quite pleased with herself but in the Louisiana Swamp episode killing a furry possum causes her to burst into tears and we also get a Gory Discretion Shot.
  • Why Did It Have To Be Snakes And Spiders?: Ruth is no friend of snakes and insects. When they were marooned on Tasmania, she wanted to check all the bushes near their shelter and when Myke said they didn't have time for "homemaking," she insisted it was "snake-avoiding."