Archive for the ‘Show review’ Category

The second season of The Colony on the Discovery Channel started a couple of weeks ago.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the show, The Colony features a group of everyday people or “volunteers” with varying backgrounds and skills who are trying to survive the aftermath of an apocalyptic event.  This season begins with our survivors coming out of quarantine due to a global pandemic, and are sequestered in a ruined industrial compound in Louisiana.  They must try to survive day-to-day without running water, electricity, communication and outside assistance.  The abandoned compound consists of ruined buildings, rubble, trash, and a bayou running though it.  According to the show, it is a ruined site following the wake of Hurricane Katrina and was never restored.

The show starts our survivors with four days worth of food in the form of unlabeled canned goods that they managed to scavenge.   In the last few episodes, the survivors have found a nearby water source, hunted snakes for meat, harnessed bio-fuel from a pile of rotting pig carcasses and built a foundry from scavenged materials.  The survivors were also “attacked” by outsiders who were armed with clubs and pepper spray.  The outsiders took some of their food stash and pepper sprayed one of the survivors.  I personally thought the survivors should have focused more on security and should have hidden their food stash.  They could have done this by spreading the food out instead of keeping the food in a grocery style shelf but that is my “armchair survivalist” thinking.

Our household is divided on our impression of The Colony.  I basically like the show, and I just sit back and watch how these “regular” people would react to the harsh situation.  My husband, who  grew up in a tough neighborhood, and witnessed first hand the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, believe the show is lacking in realism by not including guns.  I say the show is fine the way it is, you just need to suspend your disbelief.  Yesterday, he and our son had a lengthy discussion on how using paint ball guns would add a degree of realism to the show.  Getting hit would either eliminate the character altogether or the character would have to sit out for a time period due to the implied injury.   Anyone who has ever played paintball knows that getting hit with a paintball at close range not only leaves a mark but stings for a long time.  For the most part, they may have a point, as the actors reactions would definitely change, knowing that they can be eliminated.   The way it stands, my husband has stopped watching the show, my son is impartial, and I like it for the entertainment value.

What do y’all think?

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I started watching the new show Man Woman Wild on Discovery Channel.  The show features a couple:  the man, Mykel Hawke is a trained survivalist who used to be in the Special Forces and his wife, Ruth who is a TV journalist.  At each episode, they are featured in a remote part of the world, where they survive for a few days with minimal tools.  Normally they carry a knife and they try to scavenge items they find around them.  The second episode showed them in Botswana, in the African bush.  They had a couple of water bottles, and a broken down jeep.  They discussed the best way to survive in their situation would be to stay put and wait for help, rather than wander around and possibly get attacked by predators.  They then scavenge what they can use from the broken down jeep and take care of the basic necessities such as water, food, fire, shelter and security.   They do have a camera crew that follows them as they search for water, hunt for food etc.  They describe their survival techniques along the way, such as boiling water for 10 minutes to make it safe to drink, they collect sage branches that they added to the fire to keep insects away and their decision to stay together for protection from predators.

I think the show has a good premise, following a husband and wife team as they try to survive in wild places.  Because of his survival experience, Mykel provides most of the knowledge, but Ruth does show a lot of courage in dealing with the hardships of surviving in the wild.  They seem to react as most normal couples would, with some disagreements and bickering along the way.   This is the first survival show that I have seen that has a female involved, and it is fascinating to me as I can relate to some of her reactions.  There was a scene in the show where they found a freshly killed antelope and she had to slice off the leg for food while her husband stood guard.    She had to do it quickly before the lion who killed it came back, and she did seem very pressured during the ordeal.   I know that situation would stress me out!  She  had some trouble getting the knife to cut properly at first, but in spite of the difficulty, she succeeds in cutting off the leg.  Later in the show, they cook the meat over the fire, and save some of it tied to a tree.  Unfortunately, some hyenas make off with the meat in the middle of the night, forcing them to hunt for more food the next day.

This show makes me think how I myself would react in such a predicament.   Here are some thoughts on what I have seen so far:

–  The couple is able to succeed to a large extent due to the husband’s survival expertise; without this knowledge, they would be in big trouble.  Therefore, it is best to learn basic survival before you actually need it.

–  You may be forced to deal with unpleasantness, such as snakes, insects, predators, so you might as well expect it.  Being mentally prepared is important factor to survival.

–  Survival activities such as hunting for food, searching for water or wood for the fire etc. are strenuous activities so you need to be in shape.  I try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily but this seems like nothing compared to walking for miles collecting wood and dragging it back to make a fire.

–  When in survival mode, it helps to “think outside the box” so you can figure out uses for things than they were originally intended for.  They used parts of the jeep such as a drip pan to collect and boil water.  I hope we can be just as resourceful if faced with a survival situation.  I should have paid attention to those Macgyver episodes and absorbed some ideas!

–  Teamwork is essential in any survival situation.  In spite of some minor disagreements and arguing, the couple manages to work together and succeed in difficult situations.

The show illustrates that surviving in the wild without any of the conveniences we take for granted seems like hard work but it is doable with enough patience and determination and a whole lot of cooperation.

So far I like the show and will continue to see it.

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