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Do We Really Need a "Naked" Survival Show?

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April 26, 2013
Do We Really Need a "Naked" Survival Show? - 5

My instinctive reaction to the headlined question is, “No, I don’t believe I want to see a wardrobe-less survivalist trying to do perform survival skills on a deserted island.” The whole thing stinks of gimmicks and exploitation.

But I had to make myself watch at least one episode of "Naked Castaway" (Sundays at 10 p.m. on Discovery) before I made my decision. 

Don’t worry, he’s not completely naked. By the grace of God, and maybe the FCC, the grass skirt on this fellow is reasonably thick. Thicker than this show’s premise: A former British Army captain must endure 60 days alone on a tropical island with no significant amount of clothing, tools, or weapons. Struggle and survival are what’s going on. But there’s still plenty to look at, and I don’t mean the guy’s posterior. The backdrop for the show is breathtaking. Discovery selected for the setting a small, uninhabited Pacific island 200 miles southeast of Fiji. But don’t let the scenery fool you, pretty places like this can shift from paradise to hell without much effort.

The show is shot in Les Stroud’s self-filmed, support crew-free style that we saw in "Survivorman," and it’s hard not to draw analogies and make comparisons between "Naked Castaway" and "Survivorman." Former British Army Captain Ed Stafford films himself working and living on the tropical jungle island. The show’s pace is slow, and the program seems to stress the difficulty of performing survival skills for subsistence. Stafford looks perpetually tired and stressed, and it appears that he’s on track to be bored out of his mind after a few weeks on this postage stamp-sized island. This all seems truer that the average “hyped-up” survival shows, with their chills and spills and personality conflicts, which are almost certainly staged. My take on Naked Castaway boils down to one lean sentence. “It’s not that bad.” I guess we’ll have to keep watching a few more episodes to see what happens to this chap. But I would bet good money that he’s not getting paid enough to be used and abused like this.

Have you seen the show? Would you miss it if it gets cancelled? Tell us what you like or dislike about it in the comments.

Comments (5)

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from captjim wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

I watched a little of it and my first impression was he's not as good of a survivalist as I thought he would be. Didn't do any homework on what plants to eat or how to trap or kill the wildlife. I would have used one of those washed up plastic bottles to see under the water and hunt for food. The guy is a pretty tough cookie you have to hand him that. I saw his amazon trip and that was pretty impressive.

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from 6phunter wrote 1 year 11 weeks ago

EVERYONE is entitled to their own opinion,I thought it was a lot more iteresting than some of the shows that try to make me laugh with weak gender orientations.

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from Bob Hansen wrote 1 year 11 weeks ago

Hi...

If I caught some of it while channel surfing, I'm sure I would watch it for a while, just to see what it's all about.

If it's like most other survival shows (or like most any other shows, actually), I probably wouldn't be tuned in for long.

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from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 11 weeks ago

I try to avoid "reality" TV whenever possible. I find my everyday life provides me with all the reality I need.

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from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 11 weeks ago

Honestly, I probably wouldn't watch it Tim. I couldn't even get interested in Bear's show or any of the others.

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from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 11 weeks ago

Honestly, I probably wouldn't watch it Tim. I couldn't even get interested in Bear's show or any of the others.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 11 weeks ago

I try to avoid "reality" TV whenever possible. I find my everyday life provides me with all the reality I need.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bob Hansen wrote 1 year 11 weeks ago

Hi...

If I caught some of it while channel surfing, I'm sure I would watch it for a while, just to see what it's all about.

If it's like most other survival shows (or like most any other shows, actually), I probably wouldn't be tuned in for long.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 6phunter wrote 1 year 11 weeks ago

EVERYONE is entitled to their own opinion,I thought it was a lot more iteresting than some of the shows that try to make me laugh with weak gender orientations.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from captjim wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

I watched a little of it and my first impression was he's not as good of a survivalist as I thought he would be. Didn't do any homework on what plants to eat or how to trap or kill the wildlife. I would have used one of those washed up plastic bottles to see under the water and hunt for food. The guy is a pretty tough cookie you have to hand him that. I saw his amazon trip and that was pretty impressive.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)