Since its 2010 debut, Discovery’s hit “Gold Rush” has become one of the best-loved series in the reality TV landscape. With 12 full seasons to its name and popularity with viewers that seems to be all-but unshakeable, “Gold Rush” — which follows gold mining outfits trying to strike it rich in the Alaskan Yukon territory — will likely remain one of the network’s centerpieces for years to come.

The wildly-popular series has, naturally, also made legit celebrities of many of its central cast members. That’s particularly true of long-time “Gold Rush” cast members Parker Schnabel, Tony Beets, and Rick Ness, who’ve more or less been around since the show’s early days. While Schnabel, who joined the series as a precocious teen prodigy, has essentially become the face of the “Gold Rush” franchise, all three of the castmates have developed fiercely devoted followings over the years.

“Gold Rush” has, of course, regularly brought new faces aboard to keep things fresh. Not all of those new faces have stuck around, however, and quite a few have earned ire from the series’ fanbase. So much so that the absence of new faces in a Season 12 episode had many fans hailing it as one of the best editions of “Gold Rush” in recent years.

The “Gold Rush” episode in question is Episode 19 of Season 12, and it was indeed focused entirely on the adventures of Parker Schnabel, Tony Beets, and Rick Ness. Some Reddit fans were so happy about that fact that they claim it is the first episode of the season they didn’t feel compelled to fast forward through. That much was clear in the original post from u/Sweet_Love27 who wrote, “It was GREAT to see Gold Rush S12 Episode 19 last night with Just Parker, Tony & Rick. I didn’t have to fast forward and I enjoyed the show …”

They were not the only Redditor holding that opinion, with u/blue_gold_jets posting, “Yes. 100% agree with you. It was the longest episode of the year for me,” and u/Estime_Fine chiming in about the episode’s old-school feel with, “Back2the olden days without that bearded @#!*” The bearded expletive in question is none other than Fred Lewis, who’s been a “Gold Rush” mainstay since Season 10. He’s also been one of the series’ more divisive cast additions, with many commentors appreciating his absence in the episode, including u/maggiemos4, who stated bluntly, “It was really nice having a break from Gomer Fred [Lewis] and his misfits.”

Seems the Lewis faction still has their fans, though, with u/OgOggilby disagreeing about the Lewis-less “Gold Rush” episodes by writing, “not me. wanna see the … clowns and halfwits on tv … this show’d be great if it was say, three totally clueless mining crews having at it and let it unfold …” Fred Lewis stan aside, most of the “Gold Rush” faithful were clearly quite happy with the O.G. trio fronting the Season 12 episode.

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