I Hate “Reality” Shows
And for hating reality shows, I seem to be posting about enough of them.
Been caught in another one that I find very intriguing. It’s called “The Colony,” on Discovery Channel.
The premise is simple: A super-flu-like outbreak has wiped out most of civilization, and now a small group must survive in the rubble.
For this, they’ve assembled about a dozen people from differing backgrounds, isolated them for a period of time, then turned them loose in a decimated section of New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina to fend for themselves. Originally, the “Virus Outbreak” agency was supposed to transport them to safety, but in the opening scene, the helicopter lifted off and left them.
In this area, they’ve left them burned out buildings, cars, rubble, a small stock of food, some batteries, and a few tools. The idea is they are supposed to adapt and survive for a couple of months on their own.
One problem, though, is they are almost constantly being harassed by “outsiders,” those outside their little group coming in to steal supplies and generally cause trouble. Of course, this is set up by the show to simply put stress on them.
I find this show interesting, and partly because I want to just yell at them! First thing, though, it IS a TV show and an “experiment,” and everyone knows it. There is an end, and it isn’t “real.” To that end, any confrontation with the outsiders can’t be too harsh. Obviously, they can’t actually have someone getting physically harmed for the sake of a TV show.
That being said, they ARE pushing them to some limits. Nearly everyone in “The Colony” brings some form of expertise from their “former” life with them; one is an auto mechanic, one a building contractor, a logger, etc. When the familiar fights start (he’s lazy, she’s never helping), the ‘target’ of criticism seems to come through and pull their weight.
No one is “voted off” in this one, no competition. But it’s very thought-provoking. There is a lot that we don’t see here. The area they are in is quite large, yet we only see a small part of it. Last episode, it was revealed, after being hinted at, there was someone sneaking among them. Turns out, while these winners were starving and trying to figure out how to make a windmill to recharge the car batteries they ran their tools off of, a former Marine Sniper was literally living with them without anyone ever seeing him. And living quite well, food wise, at least.
But, I digress. I’ve always been one, being a country boy, to try to at least think about living off the land. It always comes back to sustainability, and defense. You can have the best vegetable garden left in the world, but if just anyone can come in and take it does you zero good. Same thing goes with the tools and such they have in this show. They have a small supply of gasoline, they roasted rotten pig carcasses for some bio-diesel, and are brewing some high-octane alcohol for a boat motor to escape. But is any of that sustainable?
I know that when the “outsiders” get in to harass them, it can not be literally life-or-death as it would be if the situation were real. Let me tell you, a weapon of some kind is the first thing I’m finding: whittle down a handle on the end of a 2X4, find some nails to stick out the business end of it, and you are not coming near my MRE’s without regretting later!
But in the end, it really does give you something to think about. We are dependent in many ways on many levels of infrastructure. Grocery stores, power plants that supply that invisible current, gas stations to fill up the car, lawn mower, and buy a bottle of water, and a hardware store to find or replace other needed items.
But what happens if all of that is suddenly gone? Now, you have eat what you can find, catch, or kill. You have to make sure the water you drink doesn’t poison you, and if you shower, leave enough to drink later. How about preserving the food that’s left? I’m not sure I’d be very effective at a lot of long-term survival things, but one thing for sure, I’d be able to get day to day, thanks to the wonderful upbringing I had learning how to hunt, grow, build, and recycle.
Overall, I have to say I enjoy that show, even if I do find they are idiots half the time.