I used to enjoy watching Todd Sampson on Gruen. I found him pleasant and informed and he had interesting insights that led me to better understand advertising.
But I guess at some point someone decided that he was so good at delivering messages that he should be the message. Because from what I can tell, BodyHack is basically a show about him being worldly and adventurous and a thinking person's tough guy. He goes to live among people who do super hard stuff, like Sherpas and French Legionairres and takes on the physical challenges that are part of their everyday lives. Last nights episode he lived amongst a group of people who are seaborne, called the Sama- Bajau who do seem super fascinating.
They can walk on the sea floor, holding their breath for some time to do it. And because this thing is super awesome and super hard, Todd just HAD to try it. But did he really? I mean, when I am informed that someone can hold their breath underwater for four minutes and walk along the sea floor the equivalent of six floors below sea level, I can use my mind grapes to interpret that and be damned impressed. When I see footage of a person doing exactly that, I am further impressed and amazed. When Todd Sampson then tries to do it, i just think he's a smug fuck. And I think get out of the way man, you're not the message, they're the message. But that's what this whole show is about. Todd telling us some truly interesting things and visiting truly interesting people, then lodging himself smack back in the centre of the action. And he wears a lot of active wear, or gets around topless. Keep it to yourself, guy.