Over the years I have had some positive, and a great deal of negative, things to say about Doomsday Preppers. While Jack Spirko of the Survival Podcast did a great deal to show me that I wasn’t alone in my quest for self-reliance and Preparation, Doomsday Preppers did make it much easier to talk to people about the topic.
I stopped watching the show in Season 2, when they added a few new things to the show. The addition of a score for each person from “Practical Preppers” (A firm that I believe was created by Scott Hunt and David Kobler – of Youtube fame) whose scores were insanely disparate between each person, as well as when I heard the backstory that Jack Spirko gave from his meeting with the show producer, did much to reduce my interest in watching the show.
That said, I was watching Doomsday Preppers with Kitty the other day, and it was episode 13 of Season 2. We were taking a break from some other work around the house so we were just chilling out in front of the TV when I spotted the show. I haven’t watched Doomsday Preppers for a while, so I was keen to see what the show was up to… and it didn’t disappoint with this episode which was pretty interesting (weird). While as always the show is full of “colourful” characters, the story of Jeff Flaningham was interesting. He was a single man, seeking a partner for the bunker he intended to build in a decommissioned missile silo he bought.
He has apparently spent several years attempting to do the site up, only spending a small amount of time each year doing so – something to which I can relate – time is often a resource which is in short supply. The bunker reminded me of the bathroom from the film Saw, crossed with something from Mad Max – Fury Road. This man had his work cut out for him, it would take a large injection of money or time to really change this place. Whilst his bunker was interesting, the real weirdness factor of this episode was Jeff’s search for a mate. He wanted to find a lady who would help him with the bunker and be his companion should the bunker be needed. Jeff arranged three dates with three eligible ladies and this was the main focus for the episode.
The first lady (Stephanie) appeared very young and was pretty. She had no useful skills that Jeff could rely on in his bunker and she didn’t seem very interested in Jeff. She actually seemed very uncomfortable talking to him.
The second lady, whilst not as pretty as Stephanie, had a great set of skills and appeared to be very interested in his survival scenario. She appeared to be the perfect doomsday companion.
Finally, the third love seeker was a pretty lady who was ex-military. She apparently served as a medic and had a great deal of skills… yet she thought the idea of a bunker was too weird for her, so while she had the “right stuff”, I doubt that she was interested in him or his bunker.
In the end, Jeff selected his mate. Kitty wasn’t surprised by his decision to choose Stephanie for a second date, despite her lack of any useful skills (She appeared to be the youngest of the three and possibly the prettiest).
For his second date Jeff invited Stephanie out to his bunker, asking her to meet him at the gate. The next scene, to which I am sure Stephanie could attest, was like something from a slasher movie. Jeff asked that she wear a blind-fold as he drove her to his bunker. She didn’t want to do it, yet I guess the TV camera crew convinced her. I don’t know why he decided on this step, as she saw the outside of the bunker, and I am sure she could direct anyone to it with little trouble. Kitty was horrified by the fact that Stephanie let a stranger blind fold her to take her to his underground lair. The place looked like something from a horror film and I spent the episode empathising with this young woman, worried about the lasting physiological damage this would have on her.
He showed her around and she was less than impressed. At one point he asked her to abseil down the inside of the water filled silo (apparently it was 17 stories down to the bottom) and she had enough common sense to refuse the request. I could see this turning into a scene from Buffalo Bill’s lair in Silence of the Lambs, yet Jeff showed her that he could do the abseiling himself. After he collected some water from the silo and ran it through his home made water purifier, she failed to drink the water. Something which redeemed her in my eyes.
At the end of the date he asked her if she would like to see him again, and like someone cornered by a predator she smartly said yes, apparently in order to escape the bunker without drawing the anger of Jeff (I joke, yet I am sure that is what she was thinking). In the follow up section Jeff admitted that 6 months after filming he was still single, so hopefully Stephanie escaped and obtained a restraining order against Jeff for her own protection.