‘Gold Rush: Alaska’ Season 3 vs ‘Jungle Gold’ – Which One is Better?

Published 2 years ago by

gold rush jungle gold Gold Rush: Alaska Season 3 vs Jungle Gold   Which One is Better?

After spending three years with the Hoffman clan in the great northern tundra, Discovery is throwing a tropical twist in with their new series Jungle Gold, where the familiar rough Alaskan terrain of Gold Rush: Alaska is replaced with the dangerous African jungle. Both have the same goal. But which one do you think is better?

Todd Hoffman and his (now) divided crew kicked off television’s proverbial gold rush after heading to Alaska as amateur gold miners attempting to bring home money to provide for their families. Though this element has largely been passed over as of recent – likely because the cast is part of one of cable’s strongest series – some additional storylines have been included to help fill the series out.

Parker Schnabel has, for all intents and purposes, taken over where the Hoffman’s family storyline began. No longer a series about just gold mining, Gold Rush: Alaska began to show one of reality television’s most earnest coming-of-age stories, showing the best and worst of adolescent enthusiasm and conviction. Additionally, “Dakota” Fred helps keep track of things back at the original claim. Though short in story, there’s still more to Fred than the villainous character he (sometimes) portrays. Maybe.

But now, three years after the series began, Jungle Gold comes into the picture, serving as a supplemental series to help strengthen Discovery’s hold on Friday night. Jungle Gold tells the same tale that Gold Rush: Alaska began with (see above), but this time they’re taking the mining to the dangerous African jungle, where tribal chiefs are the only ones able to keep the peace and avoid bloodshed.

gold rush season 3 jack Gold Rush: Alaska Season 3 vs Jungle Gold   Which One is Better?

Instead of the rustic touch of Hoffman and Schnabel, Jungle Gold has Scott Lomu and George Wright VI, two former-millionaire realtors now struggling to pay the bills. Lomu and Wright may have a sharper plan with their gold aspirations than the Hoffmans initially had, but their location is 10x as dangerous, and not exactly full of gold.

Lomu and Wright pretty much have the same financial goals as the Hoffmans, except that Lomu and Wright will have to remove almost all of the gold in their claim to reach that mark – while the Hoffman’s limits appear to only be their ability to run as much dirt as possible. Even if the stories may be similar, Jungle Gold is much more of a suspenseful watch, and not just because of the gold mining.

jungle gold premiere Gold Rush: Alaska Season 3 vs Jungle Gold   Which One is Better?

In Gold Rush: Alaska, stray bears and broken equipment are generally the only dangers we’re used to see associated with the mining trade. Now thanks to Jungle Gold, those preconceived notions of flannelled miners are replaced with black market gold buys, armed miners, tribal chiefs and potential bloodshed. And that’s just in the first episode.

Comparing Gold Rush: Alaska and Jungle Gold really isn’t fair as they both present a different point of view in the world of mining, even if that point of view is of an amateur. Still, it’s almost impossible to say that Jungle Gold isn’t a more instinctively compelling series, no matter how strong the cast stories of Gold Rush: Alaska may be.

If anything, story may be where Jungle Gold is lacking most. Everyone can relate to the notion of wanting to provide for your family, and Jungle Gold does a good job of conveying that element. However, the former-millionaire backstory and quick pace in which Lomu and Wright are able to progress in the goals, from small (sending money home) to large (finding a new claim), weakens those emotional ties, relying on the dangerous elements of the African jungle to help fuel its story.

But who’s to say which is better? Viewers are. So we leave the question up to you: Which do you think is better? Gold Rush: Alaska or Jungle Gold.

[poll id=”429″]

Gold Rush: Alaska season 3 airs Fridays @9pm on Discovery

Jungle Gold airs Fridays @10pm on Discovery

TAGS: Gold rush
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  1. There should have been a fourth voting option: “Both shows are garbage!”

    • This article probably doesn’t apply to people who would choose that option.

    • I was sick one day and watched two episodes of Gold Rush. It was the worst show I have ever seen on Discovery. Just a lot of stupid drama.

    • you right, haha

    • That’s why you’re on web looking this show up. lol Tool

    • That’s why you’re on here looking up the show.

  2. Talk about “Between a rock and a hard” place…

    Reality TV isn’t even an option! With the exception of “Top Gear”.

    • I hate top gear boring,Boring.

  3. I actually enjoy watching Gold Rush, but I must admit, it is disheartening to see how much land they rape just for a few ounces of gold. I hope that, after they level and scrape through everything, they have to replant/reseed…and believe me, I’m not a tree hugger.

    • I have had that same thought because I really don’t see how what they are doing is much better than what was done in the early 20th century.

      I do believe however they are obligated under contract to return the site to a “natural” state before they leave.

      • I hope, and would presume, that you are correct about the contract. I wish they would have an episode, if they haven’t already, that shows what they do to clean up the area and return it to its more natural state. Again, I’m not a major tree hugger, as I believe natural resources are here for our use, but they do really steamroll a lot of acres for just a small jar of gold, and they should be obligated to both clean and reseed the land.

        • They showed Mercury being used on Gold Rush, just after the local Mining Authority told them they can lease a claim if they follow the rules and not pollute. It’s sad how toxic and raped these grounds get just so some shmuck can put a few thousand bucks in his bank account.

          • If I recall correctly, that was not in this country, nor was it one of the Gold Rush crews, but rather, one of the native crews.

    • I thought it was interesting to note that the miners actually burned through a ton of money “raping” an area of “virgin, old-growth” land, due to their analysis of the height of the trees and general growth patterns, only to find out that the entire area had been raped just 50 years before.

  4. Gold Rush shows guys working for a living. Jungle Gold is just a couple of D-bags looking to exploit a situation. Which is how they made all the money they don’t have from their real estate ventures. Get a real job, provide for your families, ditch the steriods and quit embarassing America while abroad.

    • @Ajay I feel the same way, those 2 are douche bags. Get a real job, don’t abandon your family and have them beg for $100.

    • I am shocked more people aren’t up in arms. These people are ROBBING the GHANIAN PEOPLE of their raw goods and then get pissed off at the Chinese for land grabbing. All of them should be kicked out of the country for trying to mine what is not theirs and cheating the local people our of a lucrative lively hood – the locals will not make nearly the money they deserve for the deal. The UN should put a stop to them -these guys are arrogant theives…I hardly feel sorry for them.

      • Yes…and we should stop borrowing money from China to help support ourselves, too.

    • These guys have no skills, they don’t even run the equipment. They are a good example of why the rest of the world hates Americans.

  5. Gold Rush feels much more real. Just a bunch of guys out to try and mine the land and the trials that go along with it.

    Jungle Gold conversely felt very contrived, forced and scripted to me which I didn’t like.

  6. One thing that I don’t get is, if this is a tv show, why don’t the gold miners get any money?
    This is basically a “reality” show right? And the cast from reality shows always gets lots of money (as does the cast of any tv show or movie), yet these guys seem (emphasis on SEEM) really, really poor.

    So, the show gets high ratings and is obviously making lots of money, which raises the question: are they desperate for gold or not?

    Please correct me if I’m missing something because honestly, I don’t really watch reality shows and I’ve only seen a few episodes of Gold Rush…

    • You are missing that reality shows are scripted for drama. They are basically just low budget shows with actors that are so bad that they can only play warped versions of themselves, with a lot of fictionalized drama and scripted dialogue added to the mix. Of course they are not hurting for money, and if the primates on Jersey Shore are any indication, they probably make more money than they could ever spend. Reality shows are nothing but big scams that take audiences for fools. Successfully, unfortunately.

    • People on reality shows don’t typically get paid as much money as you would think. Scripted television can range from 30k-2million an episode, however, reality TV is generally around 10-20k an episode for a show like Gold Rush. Take that, cut 40% off of that number, and that’s what they’re bringing home from the show. Considering how much gold they’ve yet to actually find, they’re not exactly making a bunch of money off of this show.

      You also have to remember that not everyone on the show gets paid equally. The producers and network are the ones making most of the money off of the show.

      • I knew that the producers would be the ones making the most money, but I was under the impression that the miners would also get a chunk of the profits… now I know.
        Thanks Ant.

        • You are correct though in your thought process that, even if they don’t pull gold out of the ground, they are still making money off of the show itself. You have to wonder how a crew who didn’t come away with their wanted quota of gold last season could suddenly afford to add a claim and double their equipment.

    • I think you’re absolutely right. I happened to see Todd, the Gold Rush guy, on the celebrity gossip/papparazzi show TMZ. They filmed him going int a rather expensive LA restaurant. So, I assume he’s got money coming in from somewhere. But I guess they figure it’s compelling TV if someone’s talking having it all on the line financially. It wouldn’t be very dramatic to have someone say that they don’t really need to find gold because they’re getting paid by the show and they make a tidy income doing personal appearances all across North America.


  7. I think the Jungle Gold is a joke. I find it hard to emphasize with two former real estate millionaires who are now so deep in debt that they have resorted to gold mining in Africa just “to put food on our tables.” George especially comes across as a hot head. It especially didn’t interest me to see these two at their elaborate homes all the while the viewers were hearing about how Scott and George needed money to put food on the table. Then what about the clip of George’s wife asking for a couple of hundred dollars to keep their health insurance? Look around you babe, sell something in your home. The whole show is like watching a couple of rich, preppies who lost their shirts in the real estate market and now are mining for gold to save their elaborate homes. It is not something I want to watch since these two obviously did not manage their monies well (at least that is what it seems like to me). Discovery channel better chuck this show and find some more believable characters. Both the men and their wives do not appear to have hit “hard times” or rock bottom. It is not something I can relate to.

    • Ellen, your assessment of Jungle Gold is 100% accurate. George and Scott said in the first episode they did not want to get regular jobs because it would take too long to dig themselves out of debt. No sympathy here for them. I bet it didn’t take these two egotists too long to get into debt. I hope Discovery is not rewarding them for their bad behavior.


  8. They are both TV shows made for entertainment, and not documentaries. But for those seeking entertainment, it doesn’t get much better than these gold shows. Men and mother nature have been raping the land forever since time itself. Most people don’t even know the land used to be one supercontinent (Pangea), and the earth is being recycled all the time via tectonic plates. If your mind is now completely blown, it may be time to change the batteries in your remote control.

  9. Those two on jungle gold are d-bag’s and I hope they fail, honestly they I could only imagine how much more of a d-bag they would become if restored to wealth …..

  10. No real thinking needed on this one, I enjoy the Hoffmen Gold whinners way more than the poor little rich boys having such a hard time in the jungle

  11. Jungle gold is an absolute outrage and a terrible depiction of a beautiful country. For those of us who’ve been to Ghana and met the locals, its so disgusting watching the production and narrative of the show. Even worse, destroying the poor local farms forever to enrich themselves. The Ghana government should grow a pair kick every miner out of the country.

  12. These are two totally different shows. I like them both. Gold Rush is good in a “I can relate to these guys” kind of way so I want them to find a lot of gold and get rich. Jungle Gold is good in a “I want to see if these survive” kind of way. Gold Rush is more interesting, Jungle Gold is more exciting.

  13. I watch discover a lot I no all the show and there times but gold rush is
    My favereit


  15. I seriously doubt that either of these shows are anymore than scripted ” dramality’s “. As for those posting about Ghana being raped by foreign miners i suggest you look at the world economy and search for articles on foreign investment. If not for countries with developed business’s investing in these less socially advanced countries they just fall further behind. As someone who has mined in africa ( inc Ghana ) i can say the portrayal of the Ghanain people being untrustworthy is correct but of them being dangerous in nothing short of slander. In my opinion both of these shows should have a prefix saying ” based on real events “

  16. If you are all slating the show’s so badly why are you watching them? Why do you know everything about the shows? Television is for entertainment! THATS WHY WE WATCH IT!! So if parts are enhanced and scripted… SO WHAT! It doesnt mean these people arnt struggling just because they are on television… Stop being so jelous and quit with the hatred towards people that are actually out there doing it instead of sitting in there bedrooms writing about how fake it is!!

    • I agree how is of the show is so bad and these guys are such D-bags then why do watch. Why would you want these guys to fail? Its my hope they at least suceed for their children and yes I do feel bad for people who lost everything in the real estate collapse.

  17. It going to be hard to determine which one of these shows has the biggest JACKASSES.

  18. When it came time to decide my favorite stooge, I could never decide on Larry, Moe, or Curly Joe.

  19. Based on what I’ve read so far about these shows I think the 80/20 rule applies. 20% based on reality and 80% totally fake and scripted. Because of this I stopped watching and started reading forums like this one and researching the internet for a clearer picture of the reality of gold mining.

  20. Goldrush maybe the first season was real. Now look at what they got for the show so much expensive equipment, stupid tweets coming up during the show. The real guys are jungle gold, in a very dangerous area trying to get out of dept. These dude are in ganja Africa risking it all, there hardcore and real. Gold rush is for the children or the 9 to 5 job people.

    • There is no such thing as a “reality show”, however, how much of each episode is fake vs real depends on the final edited product. These shows are scripted and most scenes are setup. Hundreds of hours of footage is edited down and pieced together for dramatic effect. Wake up people. Stop being so naive. Of all the “Gold Rush” shows (Bering Sea, Alaska, Goldfathers) Jungle Gold is the most fake. Shaky cams, gun shots, fights, chase scenes, danger around every corner, the evil Chinese, LOL. Here’s how I’d break down the ratios’s for fake vs reality on all these shows:

      Bering Sea Gold – (Fake/Real) 25%/75%
      Goldfathers – 20%/8%0 This show is mostly real because it lacks drama which is why I like it.
      Gold Rush Alaska – 40%/60% (Some reports from previous “cast members” and insider leaks clearly indicate things are definity not as they seem.
      Jungle Gold – 80% FAKE/20% BASED ON SOME REALITY…George and Scott’s history and motivations are total fabrications. Google this yourselves as there have been some “leaks” as to who these two guys really are.

      Probably the “most real” reality show currently is “Farm Kings”. Why? It’s not at all very exciting and has little drama. Creative editing is done without a doubt however. There are other shows as well that are “more real than fake” but remember any show can take a turn for more drama to shoot for higher ratings and more $$.

      The production companies keep a tight lid on all aspects of show promotion and “reality star” interaction with the general public through all forms of media. Show participants backgrounds are always “whitewashed and remastered” to maintain and strengthen the shows narrative. Show participants also have a financial/contractual incentive to keep their mouths shut or maintain their “character” while out in public. If the show becomes more popular and more seasons are producted they get bigger paychecks per episode.

      This is “show business” and you the viewer are the target (ad revenue). You are the GOLD THEY ARE MINING. Nothing more than another exploitable resource.

  21. Disappointed that discovery would support strip mining and show such disregard for nature. Alaska gold is white trash and jungle gold is frat boy punks. Hope they all fail in there hunt for gold!

  22. They are both scripted and fake.

  23. Stop with all the commercials

  24. jungle gold what a couple of morons they know nothing about nothing they are not mechanically inclined they have no idea how to mine and they have no business being there

  25. Can,t wait for this weeks Jungle Gold episode,one of the gasoline containers cracks and they have to go into town and look in the rubble for another one. what?! you want more ? ok I heard (Shhhh’ don,t say anything)that in 2 weeks one of them has to go home and rake leaves because it fall in the states and they have no money to pay the lawn guy. This show is total crap. ok I gave my opinion.

  26. Wow, a lot of hating going on here or Jungle Gold. I don’t carry the same hatred for Jungle Gold as a lot of people out here. The two dudes running the show were real estate speculators and they lost their shirt. Getting a “Real job” to try to pay of millions in debt isn’t really feasable. So if they want to avoid bankruptcy and get even they need a really bold move. Traveling to the African jungle to mine for gold isn’t a walk in the park and takes a lot of balls.

    As for what is happening to the people of Ghana yeah well it’s not ideal to say the least but it’s not like you’re going to find a lot of people in the village there with a few hundred thousand to invest in machinery to mine these claims. What’s important is what the miners do AFTER they’re done such as replanting trees.

    As for Gold RUsh, I like that show. What I find funny is that it seems 95% of the time is spend fixing broken machinery, and not mining for gold. If they could get a good month long period where nothing major breaks they might even clean out enough dirt to make some money.

    • I suggest you take some time and do a little research on “reality tv shows” like Jungle Gold. Let me just bottomline it for you. The reality is this show is completely staged and scripted from start to finish. The two charactors that you so admire and their backgrounds are not real by any stretch of the imagination – “certain aspects” of truth are stretched usually to an extreme beyond the BS zone. Don’t believe me? That’s fine. Enjoy the show. Ignorance is bliss.

      A reality show’s segment producers or story editors (my brother is one) usually assemble storyboards and shooting scripts, important tools for shaping the direction of the show. They’re generally not recognized by the Writers Guild of America and so aren’t union employees. This distinction could be seen as a disservice to the segment producers and story editors, but it benefits the show in that it lowers production costs — and it helps preserve the idea that the shows are real and unscripted which is of course a lie. Which is why these shows can “get away with” calling themselves “reality shows”.

      The bottom line I guess is that studios don’t want to pay real actors or writers to do television because they have to hire union workers and pay more money. Those bastards have figured out how to make TV entertaining without spending big money by eliminating talent from the equation. At least the cameramen are safe, or at least until they can train a monkey to hold a video recorder. The Jungle Gold “shaky cams” and chase scences are just as hilarious as the acting.

      The saddest news in all of this is that Americans absolutely love this format, and most people don’t even question whether what they are seeing is real or not. The shows are entertaining and people are fiercely loyal and identify with particular characters, despite the fact that they are really just underpaid actors whose lives are scripted for our amusement.

      As I said “ignorance is bliss”…