What do the Incredible Hulk, a 160-foot-tall radio tower, and the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have in common?
They were all cargo that had to be hauled on the debut of the eighth season of Shipping Wars, the reality TV show that aired Tuesday night, on A & E. The show has a new format and new cast, both of which prompted more than a few negative comments on the show's Facebook page after the first episode of the new season aired.
Shipping Wars debuted in 2012 and ran for seven seasons, the last being in 2014-2015, and attracted about 1 million viewers per episode. It used the online reverse auction site uShip to connect shippers with drivers.
The season that began Tuesday night didn't use uShip, and there was no competition between haulers for a load. It also has a new cast.
In that first episode, a flatbedder named Natasha had to pick up a 160-foot-tall radio tower in Colorado and deliver it to Texas. It was loaded on her trailer by the older farmer who had used it for many years to get a TV signal to his rural farm. Only after it was loaded did she learn it qualified as oversized and needed to scramble and pay extra for a permit.
She said the load was "a little harder than it should have been" but she got it delivered only half an hour beyond the requested time, and turned a profit of $4,750.
Also on Tuesday night's show, Dwight and Tyesha, a husband and wife team of hotshotters were tapped to deliver a large replica of the Incredible Hulk comic book character and four oversized models of the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which weighed over 300 lbs. each. The two struggled to get them loaded and wrestled with tarping the load and keeping it tarped. This prompted Tyesha to say, "I hate this tarping thing."
They arrived late for the drop off and the Hulk had a couple of scuffs that caused a $250 deduction. But, in the end, Dwight and Tyesha banked $2,125, and Dwight said, "At the end of the day, it was a good load."
Another hotshot couple, Molly and Russell, likewise struggled to get their load -- a large, animatronic model of the movie monster the Slayer -- onboard and tarped for a 500-mile trip from Illinois to a haunted house attraction in Tennessee.
Many folks who watched the first episode of the eighth season were not impressed, and that's putting it mildly. Here's what some viewers said:
Cory Spinelli, himself a trucker, said, "Definitely not as good as the original. Probably won’t watch it much. Very disappointing."
Rachel Lyon added, "They left out the wars. Should have just started a new show called shipping."
Gene Somerset wrote, "New Shipping Wars sucks, the old cast was much better, they took a good show and screwed it up."
Jeffry Gobeli added, "Just turned on the new shipping wars. Watched 5 min. Turned it off. Won't watch it again."
Craig Nystrom wrote: "Well, this won't last very long. This is just terrible. The new cast is unwatchable and unlikeable. It needs Jennifer, Jarrett, Marc, or someone from the original cast."
Kenny Pearson said, "This isn’t cutting it so far. I’ll be watching the reruns of the old crews and style of (the) show."
From David Castillo came, "Yikes I was hoping to like it but...... nope!"
Luciano Guerra said, "I gave the new Shipping Wars a chance but I’m not going to watch another single episode. How is it a war when the shippers have no interaction at all? It’s as if they don’t even know each other. And Why the heck does Tamara have to yell so much?!?!?"
Tricia Farr was more philosophical and said, "Things change! Just like life! Geez, it’s a show, people!!!!
But Bradley LaraI offered a different view when he said, "(I) don't get people not liking it's almost the same as the older ones just different people and they don't do the fake bidding. It's a great show."
Shipping Wars airs Tuesday at 10 p.m. Eastern, 9 p.m. Central on A&E.