Frontier House

Frontier House

DVD - 2002
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Three modern families were chosen to learn to survive as if the year is 1883. Using the tools and technology of that time they must make difficult choices and cope with the consequences in the Montana wilderness.
Publisher: Alexandria, Va. : PBS Video, c2002.
Edition: Full screen ed.
ISBN: 9780793695973
Branch Call Number: DVD 978.6 FR
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (ca. 6 hr.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.


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Dec 06, 2016

Well-done documentary. The ONE takeaway from this series is: if you MUST live by your wits and what the land can provide for you, do NOT go where the weather is inhospitable in winter. AND learn today while you have resources available to teach you what you may need to know during any emergency.

Dec 02, 2016

After watching several great western films this year, I remembered this fascinating PBS reality series from 2002. It featured 3 modern day families, who live for 5 months in Montana, like homesteaders did in 1883. Life was not easy. It wasn't the romanticized West that is shown in some films and TV shows. There was the usual bickering that you see in reality shows, but overall, the series was very well done. Every day was about survival and the families lost weight with lots of physical labor. The ultimate diet!! I highly recommend.

xaipe Feb 01, 2016

Frontier House is an historical reality television series that originally aired on the Public Broadcasting Service in the United States from April 29 to May 3, 2002. The series followed three family groups who had agreed to live as homesteaders did in the state of Montana on the American frontier in 1883. Each family was expected to establish a homestead and complete the tasks necessary to prepare for the harsh Montana winter. At the end of series, each family was judged by a panel of experts and historians on their likelihood of survival for each group.

Each family was very different from the others. The Clunes were an extremely wealthy family who lived in Malibu, CA and were used to only the best of everything. The wife begins by obsessing about how she is going to be able to survive without makeup and toiletries. The husband, president of his own company, is a chubby, pampered man with his family business to run. By the end, they become a family of moonshining egg-and-baked-goods barons.
The Glenns are in a middle-class family from Tennessee in a disintegrating marriage made worse by the hardships and the husband's growing unhappiness with being a step father.
The Brooks are a racially mixed, newly married young couple who live in their log cabin and cope best with all of the hardships of the frontier.
The challenges faced by these three families seem insurmountable. The law of the open range threatens to destroy all their hard work as cattle are driven across their land. The families face famine without enough provisions. Sickness, desperation, the weather, and each other are just a few of the hundreds of daily challenges we see on Frontier House. How much wood do you need to chop to make it through a plains winter? What if animals get into your garden? What's it like to till the soil using a sled and a mule?
This show has an amazing amount of charm and appeal. We've all dreamed of "simpler" times without the hustle and bustle of modern life, but this is no romanticized "Little House On The Prairie."
We watch the three families as they try to adjust to a way of life that got the better of most people who attempted it. The three families find out just how much life can change in 120 years, and it is a wonder to behold. The best part of the series is how obviously good this was for everyone involved… with one exception. At the end of the show, I was left wondering how the families adjusted to their return to life in the 21st century and how much they missed the difficulties and joys of frontier life.

Jan 24, 2012

So fun! definetely a must see! way better than any reality tv show on now!

Nov 30, 2011

I'm not normally into actuality TV shows, which this series almost falls under. I found it very interesting to see how these families coped in such radically different circumstances and found that the story has lessons to teach about modern First World living.

Jun 03, 2011

when we run out of crude oil we will be doomed. those people lived one summer in conditions like 1883 and they almost didn't make it. i don't want to get stuck like that.


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