Survival seems to be a popular topic nowadays. TV shows like Extreme Preppers show how people are preparing for the upcoming apocalypse by storing food, building shelters, and amassing ammunition. Other shows like Survivor are merely games where contestants must outlast each other to become the sole survivor and the winner of one million dollars. This week, survival was at the forefront again with two TV shows that baffled my mind.
First, we witnessed Nik Wallenda “survive” a tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon. Nik was not harnessed or tethered to the wire so one misstep could have sent him plummeting 1500 feet into the river below. Had this happened, it is doubtful that Nik would have survived, but ratings of the replay would have gone through the roof.
Nik’s adventure was a combination of courage, a need for attention, and a religious revival meeting. As he embarked on his 22 minute journey, Nik spent the entire time talking to Jesus who must have been watching the show on the Discovery Channel. This fact alone should make for great promo for the channel. “Jesus watches Discovery, shouldn’t you?”
Apparently the Lord was listening to Nik because he made it across safely even though there were very windy conditions and angry Navajo Indians who claimed Nik was trespassing on their land. After completing his walk, Nik said that his next challenge will be to walk a high wire between the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building in New York City. This will be even more dangerous because if he falls there, he could land in a garbage filled dumpster or on a hot dog wagon, either one capable of leaving him with an indelible stink.
The point I am trying to make is that Nik survived his walk and had viewers riveted. He had me so involved that I continued to watch Discovery for the program that followed entitled Naked and Afraid.
In this broadcasting gem, two people, a man and a woman, are dropped off in the Costa Rican jungle completely naked for 21 days. All they were equipped with was a machete and a crude map, with the goal of not dying. So many things were wrong with this show that I am not sure where to start.
First, I’ll have to admit, that I was drawn to the show by the “naked” aspect. I mean, who doesn’t want to look at naked people in the jungle? Unfortunately for us prurient voyeurs, Discovery blurred out all camera shots of the naughty bits on the people so all we got were occasional shots of bare asses walking through the woods. (note: If you Google Naked and Afraid, you will get some pictures from the show and a lot that definitely aren’t. Be warned)
Then we watched them struggle to build a shelter and hunt for food while remaining naked. If I was naked in the jungle, the first thing I’d want to do was to fashion a pair of pants and some shoes out of the available materials. Heck, even Adam and Eve used fig leaves to their advantage. Eventually, the woman made a jaunty top and bottom for herself but the guy preferred to dangle. At this point the show went from a survival epic to a giant “Eew” as we tried to imagine how disgusting it must have actually been.
I have to assume that the couple survived because I did not survive the end of the show…which it turns out is a new series. That means every week two new nudies will be released into the wild and we are expected to follow their adventures. Apparently Discovery will do anything for ratings, and if that’s so, here’s an idea they can have for free. Have Nik Wallenda cross between New York skyscrapers while naked. It’s the best (worst) of both possible shows.