No one is more skeptical of so-called “reality” television than I am. On those very rare occasions when I actually watch cable TV (who does these days other than our parents?), I quickly flip past any and all reality television shows. They aren’t reality, but are rather cheaply made faux dramas that only exist so that the big stations don’t have to hire writers. As someone who routinely turns down offers to appear on reality TV shows, I was not sure what to expect from SOFREP TV, but after previewing the first episodes of “Training Cell” while at a company strategy session in San Juan this month, I became a believer.
The show features special operations veterans conducting various training events. Most of these shows feature SOF guys putting civilians through selection courses. Personally, I don’t think there is anything more boring in life than watching someone do push-ups, but to each their own. In “Training Cell,” the guys are rappelling from rooftops and explosively breaching windows before making entry into the building. Now that’s pretty cool.
I was actually shocked watching it because television is always kept dumbed down to the Barney level for the masses. Producers sell Americans short by catering to the lowest common denominator. “Training Cell” actually talked up to the audience rather than speaking down to them. The footage I watched was some pretty advanced stuff—even I was learning things.
The real breath of fresh air: The instructors are experts and the participants in the exercise act like the professionals they are. No fake baby alligator tears or contrived drama between teammates on this show. SOF actually looks like it’s made up of professionals on this show rather than the bunch of babies many others make us look like.
As for the future of the series, I’m told that the participants are fishing up an episode that features tactical driving. I’m sure other episodes will include things like parachuting, marksmanship, sub-surface infiltration, maybe even surreptitious entry or combatives. The show is pretty much only limited by what the producers can legally get away with showing.
So a big THANK YOU to Time Warner, which recently became Spectrum and subsequently jacked up my bill for no reason whatsoever. I’ll be canceling my cable service and sticking with streaming media. Unlike cable television, “Training Cell” is something that I’m looking forward to watching.
You can check out the first episode below.