Reality shows require a lot of creativity and pushing the limits of what people want to see. And if you find the right kind of personality, you can make a reality tv show out of anything!
Swamp People follows the day-to-day adventures of alligator hunters in the Atchafalaya Swamp in Louisiana. These hunters spend a solid month hunting alligators to earn their yearly income while spending the rest of the month hunting other animal species. It's hard work, unstable and dangerous!
However, like most reality tv shows, everything is not as it seems. And we're here to expose it! Here are fifteen things about Swamp People that are not shared with their viewers.
15 Louisiana Doesn't Get The Best Portrayal
Taking place in the swamps of Louisiana, it's natural that the Cajun lifestyle is at the forefront. However, Louisiana doesn't get the best depiction. It makes it seem like all middle and working-class Cajun people purely hunt alligators and speak in stereotypical accents. There's so much more to Louisiana than gators!
14 The Gators Don't Put Up That Much Of A Fuss
A lot of the excitement comes from watching the cast wrestle and catch alligators. However, there are a few slight manipulations. Since the hunters have to use guns, the alligators may be already dead when the wrestling occurs. A lot of the action comes from the editing.
13 The Cast Is Made Up Of Shady Characters
Sometimes choosing personality over character isn't the best choice when casting a reality show. Many of the people on Swamp People are convicted criminals, with a list of crimes ranging from assaulting police to wildlife violations. It seems that getting on these people's bad sides is not advisable.
12 Close-Knit Family? Not Quite
The cast is portrayed as having a strong moral and family ethic. However, that's been proven to not be entirely true. After many of the cast were fired during the seventh season, one of them commented that "Some cast members [...] should practice what we preach". Quite the dynamic!
11 The Gators Aren't Out Of The Jurassic Period
Alligators are deadly predators in the animal kingdom and they've been known to be quite massive. Many alligators in Louisiana can grow up to be 500 pounds. However, despite what they show, not every alligator caught on the show comes out of the late Paleozoic! Many are probably pretty average-sized.
10 Not The Most PC
To play the diversity card, the show brought on RJ Molinere and his son, members of the Houma Nation. While they demonstrate aspects of their spirituality, it turns out that a lot of it is played up. This includes rituals, such as lighting candles to keep evil spirits at bay.
9 The Camera Shots Are A Bit... Fancy
You can't have a reality show without a camera work, editing... and some staging. The shots of alligator wrestling on Swamp People are effective and very well shot, but not that realistic. It's surmised that a lot of these battles with wildlife are pre-filmed, staged and then stitched together.
8 Tend To Stick To The Same Neck Of The Woods (Literally!)
The cast of Swamp People runs around to various locations to follow the alligators. However, a lot of the scenery seems very familiar. Certain viewers have theorized that the cast sticks to the same swamp, with the narrator (and tv magic) making it seem as if they're in another location.
7 Original Cast Was Replaced...
It's routine to cycle through cast members on a reality tv show to create new storylines or dynamics. However, after Swamp People's sixth season, a large chunk of the cast was fired for now apparent reason. The History Channel never actually gave these cast members a formal reason.
6 ...And They Have Something To Say
While many of the cast members were diplomatic, Liz Cavalier wasn't. She has voiced her displeasure about the firing on multiple occasions. She also explained that both the History Channel and the show's production company attempted to silence her, despite a lack of non-disclosure agreements being signed. Very fishy indeed...
5 Reality Show Jumpers (ZZ Loupe)
Reality show cast members have been known to jump around a lot. Swamp People's Zamariah "ZZ" Loupe entered the world of reality tv fame when he was on Trading Spouses at the age of seven. His time spent with a vegan mom was defined by defiance and more than a little animal eating!
4 Even The Good Ones Are Bad!
Among less than savory reputations, Chase Landry had the most positive one. Known for his kindness and good nature, he had a brush with the law when he shot at another person's boat, hitting the gas tank. However, it was a warning shot because the boat was going way too fast!
3 A Bit Too Possessive Of Their Wittiness
Troy Landry, father of the aforementioned Chase, has created many catchphrases, including "Mudda Fricka" and "Choot 'Em". However, he's known to be quite possessive of them. He has since taken a few different companies to court for trying to use his catchphrases on their merchandise without his consent.
2 Even Their Clothes Are Brought Into Question
Troy Landry, as well as his iconic catchphrases, also wears an iconic striped polo shirt. He first claimed that this was his "lucky" polo shirt and that he bought multiples to keep the luck going. However, he recently revealed via Facebook that he wore them for editing purposes.
1 Alligator Hunting...Not As Badass As It Seems
As we said, many of the exciting bits are either edited or staged. This makes the act of alligator hunting a lot more badass than it is. For example, putting one's arms directly into the water is insanely dangerous. If it's on the show, it's more than likely stock footage.