Deadliest Catch

Linda Greenlaw Casts Claim That Deadliest Catch Is More Scripted Than You Think

Linda Greenlaw Casts Claim That Deadliest Catch Is More Scripted Than You Think

In Sig Hansen’s estimation, “Deadliest Catch” is not reality television. The veteran skipper regards “Deadliest Catch” as more of a documentary — or perhaps more accurately, a docuseries. Indeed, the long-running series does chronicle one of the most perilous industries, capturing unforgiving conditions and even death.

Still, “Deadliest Catch” is known to gin up drama. And according to the show’s newest cast member, Linda Greenlaw, “Deadliest Catch” is more scripted than you think. A well-known and highly regarded fisherman, Greenlaw is the sole female swordfishing captain on the East Coast, as well as a noted survivor of the “perfect storm” that plowed through the waters of the Northeast in 1991. In the cinematic retelling of that event, 2001’s “The Perfect Storm,” she was portrayed by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.

Greenlaw is also no stranger to reality TV, having starred in Discovery’s “Swords: Life on the Line,” a series that focuses on the Northeast swordfishing industry. In an interview with Spectrum News, Greenlaw admitted, “[The] filming of ‘Deadliest Catch’ was more scripted than ‘Swords: Life on the Line.'”


Greenlaw doesn’t mind that it’s scripted — as long as she meets her quota

Linda Greenlaw at captain's station

Like most reality TV programs, “Deadliest Catch” has long been held under scrutiny for dramatizing scenes, manipulating footage, and generally bending the definition of “reality.” Following the Season 4 premiere, The Hollywood Reporter called out the series for splicing together footage from two different days in order to make a storm seem more dangerous than it was. “Everything that you see in the show happened,” Discovery president John Ford said in response at the time. “Nothing is made up and nothing needs to be made up.”

Luckily, Linda Greenlaw doesn’t begrudge the series for adding some structure, even if a script helps to achieve that. “Hey, 19 seasons in, the show has to be more than catching crabs or not!” she said in the same interview with Spectrum News. “The popularity of the show speaks for itself.” Although she’s a veteran captain, Greenlaw is new to crabbing, and Season 19 sees her determined to meet her quota alongside the seasoned crabbers.

Scripted or not, “Deadliest Catch” is yet another item on Greenlaw’s resume, which includes running a charter business out of Surry, Maine; growing oysters; and penning bestselling cookbooks, memoirs, and crime novels. “Being featured in ‘Deadliest Catch’ will not change my schedule,” she continued. “But I imagine it will increase people’s awareness of me and my life. All good!” As for the series including some scripted sequences, that hasn’t disillusioned Greenlaw in the slightest. “None of this changes my perspective on fishing,” she said.




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