While we enjoy a good fictitious survival film or, even better, one based on a true story, television survival series should not be overlooked. Viewers who watch reality television may have difficulty distinguishing between what is real, false, or manufactured. While Bear Grylls went to fame for his “survival” series, Man vs. Wild production and Grylls revealed it was a hoax, and in many cases, Grylls stayed inside hotels and resorts during the overnights.
Alone (2015-Present) (2015-Present)
Think you’ve got what it takes to put your camping abilities to the test in a real-life survival situation? Consider again. Throughout nine seasons, men and women from all around the world attempted to outlast the conditions in order to earn $500,000.
Each season, ten competitors are dropped in isolated regions around the world through a rigorous screening procedure, all with the same purpose. You must be the last person standing. In addition to requirements such as a first aid kit, each individual is allowed 10 items in their bag. Participants can push the call button and tap out at any moment, with some reduced to medical taps due to injury, illness, or starvation. Full seasons can be viewed on the History Channel app.
In Survivorman, Canadian survivalist Les Stroud faces a series of simulated life-or-death circumstances. Stroud only uses the surrounding goods to make it 10 days, simulating everything from a plane accident to a car breakdown in the icy woods. These solo journeys would take him all over the world, visiting various climates and areas.
Survivorman premiered in 2005. Stroud relied on his expertise of plant life and geographical knowledge to survive in the majority of his settings, all while operating and carrying his own video equipment. In one episode, Stroud backpacked across the mountains with two others to imitate a real-life hiking adventure gone wrong. The episodes are available to watch on YouTube.
Naked and Scared (2013-Present)
While the show has revealed that producers are highly involved in the participants’ day-to-day activities and resources, two people are still placed nude in the wilderness with only a few resources to survive. Naked and Afraid sends two persons, or four for a team challenge, on a trip to survive 21 days in diverse locales throughout the world.
A pot of boiling water, a machete or knife, and a fire starter are normally supplied to each team. The resources provided at the start differ depending on location. A primitive survival rating is assigned to each contender. Camera crews and producers are filming for the most part, with cameras left overnight.
Bear Grylls’ The Island (2014-2019)
The Island with Bear Grylls, which is still controversial due to Grylls’ involvement in the project, placed groups of British men, women, or a combination of both on a remote island to live for six weeks. Each season, there were trained camera personnel with outdoor experience among the men and women. Grylls added that the production team made certain that the island could be inhibited if the groups could learn and comprehend how to use the resources.
Grylls revealed in the first season that caimans were added to the island so that if the male participants killed them, the environment would remain in balance. Whether or not the producers were involved, watching 10-13 people on a remote island try to get along while starving makes for compelling reality television. Amazon Prime has the seasons accessible for streaming.
Living Below Zero (2013-Present)
Life Below Zero, winner of eight Primetime Emmys, is not a reality television show, but rather a story of real-life survival in the harshest of conditions. The documentary series follows some residents of Alaska’s most isolated places as they attempt to survive the frigid temperatures and harsh situations.
For some, the nearest neighbor is 300 miles distant, while for others, sled dogs are the only means of transportation. While reality television is fascinating for its short form, this series is raw and true about living in one of the world’s harshest locations. Because of its success, National Geographic has produced spin-offs such as Life Below Zero: First Alaskans. The original series may be watched on Disney+.