'Independence U.S.A.': For once, Glenn Beck doesn't go far enough

“My name is Frank, and I’m not crazy.”

When most people say that during an introduction — especially on a reality show — best to keep your distance. But Frank Belcastro, the paterfamilias in Independence U.S.A., seems pretty sane for a guy who is determined to live “off the grid” to prepare his family to fend for itself should society falter. If it sounds familiar, it’s because Belcastro and his family have done this before, starring in the nearly identical Apocalypse, PA, the blink-and-you-missed-it reality show that aired on History Channel last year. Resurrected by GBTV, Glenn Beck’s live-streaming video network, the Belcastro’s might find a more attentive audience this time around.

“This show, for me, is a fun and sometimes funny way to get people to open their eyes and see what’s going on,” said Belcastro, in a statement. “Americans are so reliant on the infrastructure around them but when you can create something with your own hands and everybody works as a team, everybody does a part, you can focus on the positive of this.  You can spend time with your family and your community.”

Take a look at the trailer:

And then compare it to this:

Am I a bad person for wishing this show was more hard-core? Maybe I’ve watched too much Walking Dead, but I would be much more inclined to watch a show about a serious band of survivalists. I really would enjoy learning how to function independently once if the world goes dark. This trailer, on the other hand, makes the family seem like sit-com amateurs — a fact underscored by the identical stunts attempted on both versions of the Belcastro show.

Independence U.S.A. debuts on Jan. 18, and will air on GBTV on Wednesdays.

Read more:
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Glenn Beck launches GBTV: Will his audience pay to watch him online?

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