The Watchman: New Day for Ray on ‘Mr Inbetween,’ Miner League Players Fight for ‘Gold’

Senior content producer Michael Malone's look at the programming scene
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A new season of Mr Inbetween is on FX. Scott Ryan created the show and stars in it, too. He plays Ray Shoesmith, who does a bit of thug work in Australia and raises his daughter as well.

Mr Inbetween

Mr Inbetween

Season one had six episodes, and season two has 11. “It’s a darker season,” Ryan said. “Ray is pretty bulletproof in season one. But he’s not as bulletproof as he thought he was.”

Ryan promises “more of a character study” in the new season.

We can’t all relate to Ray’s thuggish ways, but the character is relatable nonetheless, like Larry David facing down those who transgress his version of the social code in Curb.

“We’ve all got a bit of Ray in us,” Ryan said.

Nash Edgerton executive produces alongside Ryan. Edgerton’s stepdaughter, Chika Yasumura, plays Ray’s daughter Brittany. Ray and Brittany share a memorable scene in the third episode, after Brittany walks in on Dad in a compromising position.

Edgerton fought hard to have Ryan play Ray on the show. “He’s got a great natural ability,” he said. “He’s very real in any scene you put him in.”

Season eight of Bering Sea Gold, about miners searching for precious metals off Nome, Alaska, begins on Discovery Sept. 17. Shawn Pomrenke is known as Mr. Gold around those parts, but Ken Kerr wants the title. Kerr has a 600-ton gold-digging behemoth working on his behalf.

“What you’re looking at is a true clash of the titans,” said John Slaughter, who executive produces for Discovery.

Bering Sea Gold

Bering Sea Gold

Nome has a lot of gold shops and bars, said Slaughter. It’s dusty in the summer and freakin’ cold in the winter. “Weather plays a huge factor this season,” he added.

After seven seasons, one wonders how many viewers have decided on a career change, setting down their remotes and departing the family room for Nome. Slaughter said there have been a few, though most don’t last.

“It’s a hard life,” he said. “People fall off quickly.”

While Shawn and Ken battle it out on the sea, old hand Vernon Adkison makes his way down the Yukon River to join them. Along the way, he hits a sandbar and gets stuck.

Also on the scene is Emily Riedel, the most successful female dredge owner in Nome.

Slaughter said new strategy, enhanced science and better tactics are deployed this season. They result in the highest amount of gold harvested in the history of Bering Sea Gold.

“It’s a battle between Ken and Shawn for who is top dog miner up in Nome,” Slaughter said. “It’s a neck-and-neck horse race.”

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