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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Coal Runs Deep Well Received

The first episode of "Coal" delivers a riveting  story line (the mine could go bankrupt if they don't get enough coal out) and illustrates the dangerous lives these guys lead.

"It took us four years to find a mine to get into," said executive producer Thom Beers, the grandfather of tough-guy TV who also makes the docu-reality cable series "Deadliest Catch," "Ice Road Truckers" and "Ax Men." "We got offered mines, but they were big mines and big corporations. As you know from our shows in the past, it's all about the personal stakes."

David Hinckley of the New York Daily News writes that “ the most engaging moments of ‘Coal’ are the ones it spends in the mine, where the working environment looks even harder, dirtier and more dangerous than most of us spoiled above-ground workers imagine. It's somber stuff and grownup stuff, which is worth noting because most Spike programming is aimed at younger dudes. Sure, almost everyone eventually has to get a job, but as a recruiting video, "Coal" plays more like "Scared Straight."

Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter (“Coal”) immediately stands on its own as a worthy subject, not just a way to capitalize on a trend. The men who go into the coal mines in West Virginia are originals with the kind of amazing stories and backgrounds, vocal patterns and lifestyles that conjure a documentarian’s dream. Of course, “Coal” is billed as a docu-reality series and will undoubtedly, in future episodes, fall into some familiar patterns (human behavior and editing being what they are).

New York Daily News gives Coal Runs Deep 3 out of 5 stars.

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