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In Gold Rush: White Water, One Episode Stands Out From The Rest

The Discovery Channel has undoubtedly hit the episodic TV motherlode with its line-up of wildly popular gold-hunting reality shows featuring stout-hearted miners in search of glittering fortunes amid rugged wilderness environments. After kicking off the franchise in 2010 with the original entry "Gold Rush" and its deeply engaging, real-life narrative of placer miners battling the elements in the Canadian Yukon, the network would eventually spin off a total of seven sister shows, with "Gold Rush: White Water" debuting in 2018.

Following the further gold-seeking adventures of original "Gold Rush" veteran miner "Dakota" Fred Hurt, the show finds Fred and his son Dustin making a return visit to McKinley Creek in Haines Borough, Alaska. There, the team sets themselves up to go for the gold via suction dredge diving in the creek's fast-flowing current: thus, the series "White Water" title. Airing on Discovery for five seasons, the series has delivered over 60 episodes of man-against-nature and, most of the time, man-against-mechanical-breakdown adventure as it chronicles the day-to-day drama of the "Dakota Boys" and their determined efforts to strike it rich underwater. With all of the above in mind, what one episode from "Gold Rush: White Water" seems to stand out from the rest for fans of this long-running series?

The show's first episode stood out with fans. And not in a good way.

During its five years on the Discovery Channel, "Gold Rush: White Water" would find the "Dakota Boys" and their support crew not only facing the life-threatening task of dredge diving in the creek's often dangerous rapids, but with a range of other challenges including everything from wild animals to hypothermia (via TV Tango). However, despite what would seem to be plenty of TV-friendly adventures to offer audiences, the truth is, when viewers compared the show to the original outing "Gold Rush" — and, for that matter, other entries in the franchise — audiences found the new enterprise lacking right from the very first episode: "Between Craziness & Insanity."

Posting on a Reddit discussion of the show's premiere, user undteej complained, "...series is off to a rough start. there's too much emphasis on the danger and not enough substance." Another disappointed viewer at least seemed to feel things got better later in the season, saying "Ya don't waste your time. Like I did. Skip to episode 8." And summing things up for like-minded fans, Redditor u/sosostu agreed things weren't looking good for the newly launched series, writing simply, "It's the worst."

So, while apparently things improved as the series progressed, for a number of fans the first season's first episode of "Gold Rush: White Water" stood out, all right — but not for the right reasons.