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This Is What Viewers Really Think Of Big Timber's Kevin Wenstob

One of the most appealing aspects of reality shows is getting to follow real-life characters around in unusual situations: learning about their work, their families, and the challenges of their daily lives. In "Big Timber," the History show from Canada that's been earning new attention on Netflix since it became available there on July 3, viewers are getting a look at the often-vilified, more-lucrative-than-most-people-realized industry of logging, as seen by Kevin Wenstob and his family. They have a remote claim on Klitsa Mountain on Vancouver Island, and the 10-episode series covers Wenstob's quest to get hundreds of truckloads of timber off before winter shuts him down. Wenstob's wife Sarah and son Erik help him out, and Coleman Willner, his right-hand man, helps manage the team that's moving the logs. 

In its review of "Big Timber," Decider calls "goofy fun with lots of great scenery of the mountains on Vancouver Island." People seem to be enjoying it, given its No. 10 status on Netflix's Top 10 TV Shows list as of July 12. But that doesn't necessarily mean that everyone's sold on the main character of "Big Timber," Kevin Wenstob. Here's what viewers are saying about the lumberjack.

Some Redditors are calling Kevin Wenstob names

On Reddit, user u/xwxv titled a post, "Is anyone else watching 'Big Timber' on Netflix?" and said, "Kevin is w***er. He has zero communication skills." In responses to the post, Reddit users called Kevin Wenstob other names, including some that were rather unkind. They pointed out that Wenstob doesn't treat people well, is tight-fisted with money, isn't using safe equipment (and blames this lack on others), spends a lot of money on cheap and broken items, and is overly dramatic (like when he says that if the team doesn't don't get a certain number of loads out, his business is finished).

Redditor u/lwantadc2 wrote, "The guys entire day is shouting about dangerous cheap old broken s*** he bought, breaking down. Then threatening his staff with the sack for not hitting his arbitrary targets, because his old broken s***, is broken." Elsewhere, u/Educational-Seaweed5 said, "Kevin strikes me as an only child or someone who has never actually had a boss or accountability (family operation forever or family money). Guy acts like a total idiot and thinks everything is just hunky dory as long as he's the one controlling everything. Then he throws tantrums when s*** doesn't go his way and acts like its everyone else's fault. Dude wouldn't last 5 minutes at an actual worksite — people like that are toxic timebombs."

Others pointed out that Wenstrob didn't treat his right-hand man Coleman, supposedly a 23-year-old, very well. U/Mightyllama called Wenstrob "too cheap to pay a pro," and u/Educational-Seaweed5 added this was probably "because he doesn't want to do the hard labor anymore, so he gets a green dude to do it and provides like zero mentoring."

After another responder said that his way of firing someone was "awkward, weird, and unprofessional," u/WitShortage said, "I think 'awkward, weird and unprofessional' sums him up really."

Others consider him hardworking and resourceful — a 'colorful character'

However, many others came to the thread to defend Kevin Wenstrob, noting that reality TV shows are usually edited to amp up interpersonal conflicts and other events within the series. 

"It's clear Kevin knows his s***, hires family & friends, mentors younger workers and gives them a chance to work hard, has a decent sense of humor and treats his employees pretty well as a small family-owned business," said u/cdev. Redditor u/eeememaa also had kind words for Wenstrob: "I have warmed to him massively. He grafts hard and is extremely resourceful. I quite enjoy his wry sense of humour too. Lots of pressure to get shit done and he just doesn't give up. You see the fate of neighbouring mills so it must be tough to keep things going."

User u/Novostar93 also dismissed the conflicts as over-dramatization, adding that Wenstrob's personality doesn't mar enjoyment of a series as a whole. "Notwithstanding those gripes I found it entertaining and didn't hate any of the cast — Kevin is clearly one life's colourful characters and that isn't unusual for successful people, even if he was a bit of a prick, he was a hard worker," they wrote.

"Big Timber" — with all its colorful characters, broken-down equipment, business-threatening obstacles, and other idiosyncrasies (not to mention raunchy double entendres) — is currently available to stream on Netflix.