What Bear Grylls–the British adventurer/survival expert/publicity expert–does is fascinating enough. He doesn’t need to be gallivanting around risking his life just so you can get your kicks from your sofa. (He’s an Eton man, after all, and learned to sail at the Royal Yacht Squadron.) But they’re his kicks too, and he’d be out getting them even if the cameras weren’t around–which is what makes watching Running Wild With Bear Grylls, a new series on NBC, so much fun.
Grylls is one of those guys who makes for stunning Wikipedia sentences like this one: “On 16 May 1998, Grylls achieved his childhood dream (and) climbed to the summit of Mount Everest, 18 months after breaking three vertebrae in a parachuting accident.” Go, Bear, go. So the celebrities he recruits for his show are like, man, this is way better than being on Jackass. Tonight it’s Zac Efron, the High School Musical star, who joins Bear Grylls to run wild. They get half naked, mount each other and shimmy down a mountain with ropes. And some other stuff.