Have you managed to catch Naked and Afraid yet?
When I first saw the trailers for it, I immediately set it to record, but not because I thought it would be good.
I initially thought the show was a joke and only meant to get ratings (but hey no show was ever created just for gits and shiggles, ratings are what keep them alive)
After watching the first episode I have to say I was really interested in seeing how the rest of them pan out.
This show is much different than the other “competition reality survival shows,” in that there is no monetary gain involved.
It is more of a test of the body and spirit of the individual participants as well as a look at how well people from different backgrounds are able to cope and work together.
Does it show you some new great survival skills?
No, not really.
It gives you a brief background of each person and lays out their strengths and weakness’s, but the focal point of the show isn’t to teach you how to survive.
This show is strictly for entertainment and, for me, it did that quite well.
I actually found it quite interesting (which made it that much better to watch) that in the majority of the episodes, the woman carried the man through the competition.
Case in Point:
This is one of my favorite clips from the show. The two survivalists were each alloted one personal item. In this episode, Laura brought along a machete, which is a great pick. Clint however, brought a pair of goggles. In this clip we find out that Clint has a morbid fear of sharks and as soon as they get off the coast, he panics and leaves his partner alone in the ocean, to set their primitive lobster traps.
If you aren’t familiar with the show, check out this excerpt published by Alexandra Cheney in The Wall Street Journal.
Then go ahead and set your DVR to catch the reruns as well as the precursor to the series “Naked Castaway”:
“Discovery Channel is baring it all for its new survival series.
Several other reality survival series have already tested participants’ ability to hunt and create shelter. Discovery chose to up the ante, dropping cast members into remote, wild locations–completely nude. The show is sure to test the limits of what the public will accept from reality shows.
“Naked and Afraid” will feature two complete strangers, one man and one woman, for 21 days as they attempt to survive and navigate their way to a predetermined extraction point, one to 10 miles from their drop-off location. Each episode features a different couple in a different location and will premiere June 23.
As part of the show, the survivalists’ are allowed one personal item of their choosing. They are also given a “rudimentary map” and Go Pro cameras, “which were rolling at all times,” according to Denise Contis, an executive producer on the show.
While navigating the terrain of the Maldives, Panama and Borneo may have been a first time experience for the participants, all of whom classify themselves as “survivalists,” nudity is no longer uncharted water for the network.
“Naked Castaway,” which premiered in April, featured explorer Ed Stafford as he survived for 60 days sans food, clothing or tools on a deserted Fijian island.
“We wanted scenarios that are so real they are unreal,” said Contis, referring to the premise of “Naked and Afraid.”
The cable network, which has produced such documentaries as “Planet Earth” and “Africa” and built their non-fiction programming with “Shark Week,” has increasingly turned from documentaries to the unscripted reality genre to attract new viewers.
“We are telling a magnetic story with compelling characters and a vicarious exploration,” said Contis. “’Naked and Afraid’ touches all or a lot of the key components to our programming.”
In addition to the survivalists’ camera footage, a four-person crew tracked and shot the couple at all times. Once a day everyday, producers would collect the memory cards from the participants’ cameras and check the batteries.
The crew got involved on more than one occasion, when people were depleted or in an emergency situation. But Contis said she does not believe that interfered with the overall show. “There is no manipulation, no element of scripted reality,” she said.
When asked about the potential dangers for the participants, Contis said, “I don’t know that they were very clearly in danger. They were placed in this location, where and how they survived and if they traveled at all, that was up to them.”
Executive producer Steven Rankin was bitten by a Fer-de-lance snake during filming and nearly lost his foot in Costa Rica. He later tweeted a gruesome photo of his injury.”
This show is one of the best ones that I have seen in quite a while, and while it is not necessarily a teaching tool for survival, it is great to break away and watch how others cope.
I’m hoping that Discovery renews this series for a second season.
How about you?