Swiss Family Robinson Survival!

I’m gonna shock everybody here, but did you like know that a lot of Reality TV is not real at all?  Like the people in it aren’t really people, they’re actors, and they’re reading scripts – it’s bad actors and bad scripts, but still.  Yet a lot of people believe this crap!

The trend all seemed to start with Survivor – a show that implies you’re supposed to survive something other than really awful characters and that jerk host.  I found that show amusing from day one.  These peeps be all by themselves, survivin’ in the elements like they’re the freaking Donner Party, you know, if the Donners had cameras trained on the at all time.  And if the camera people were just sitting there eating sandwiches while the Donners decided which of their pals looked tastiest.  Yeah, right.  You know if there had been a camera man, the Donners would totally have eaten him first.

This is actually from a French version of Survivor but I still find it hilarious.  Be careful camera dudes!

This is actually from a French version of Survivor but I still find it hilarious. Be careful camera dudes!

Same with Survivor.  Oh, dear, how will they find food?  How will they survive the extreme weather?  How will they keep from strangling the inevitable irritating people they include on the show?  I’m on the edge of my seat here.  They’re in such danger.  At any time a wild animal or something could show up, and they’d be taken away in a plane!  Wow they are so brave!

And that’s the thing . . . if you take away the actual danger, it means nothing at all.  Not to go all geek on you, but there is a scene in a Star Trek movie that proves this point.  In it, Captain Kirk has been in this pretend world that basically lets him do and be whatever he wants.  But then he realizes, when he has his horse jump over a gorge, that he did not feel that same thrill – because he knew he’d make it. He had to make it – this was dream world.  With no possible danger, you don’t have risk.  There is no real accomplishment when there is no chance of failure.

It’s like that old show Swiss Family Robinson, where this family treats their survival of a shipwreck like a family vacation.  They build a way cool treehouse with all the best Western conveniences, and they domesticate an ostrich, a zebra, and of course an elephant.  This is all totes believable right?  I can’t believe Disney didn’t market this as a reality show.

Totally believable.  Hey, how come none of our survival shows have zebra and ostrich riding?

Totally believable. Hey, how come none of our survival shows have zebra and ostrich riding?

But why watch Disney when you can catch the star of  “Man Vs. Wild” survivalist Bear Grylls, who answers the age old question: does a bear crap in the woods?  Answer?  Yes.  This dude is like the professor on Gilligan’s island – though he carries only a knife and some flint, he can craft his own raft, eat bugs, bite heads off of snakes, swim in freezing waters, make a coon skin cap out of a rabid wolverine, etc, all while being followed by a probably really bored camera crew that does not aid him in any way, for reals.  They probably sit back and laugh a lot.  I would.

Anyway, he can do these things in between visits to hotels.  No, Alice, don’t burst the bubble!  Already done, like 7 years ago, proving once again I am on the pulse of today’s news.  A consultant for the show, who was probably getting sick of Bear and his crap (pun intended), tattled to the New York Times that when Bear was “surviving” in the Sierra Nevada mountains, he survived the night in “a luxurious hotel with its own spa on a lake.”  Another time, while surviving on a desert island, he hung out in hotels in Hawaii.  Best of all, in this same episode, he led a team of builders to create a raft out of bamboo and leaves and stuff, then had them dismantle it so he could miraculously put it together on camera!  Bear, you are my hero!

Weee, look a me I'm on a giant branch!  Jump, Jump, Jump! Photo courtesy of Discovery Channel

Weee, look a me I’m on a giant branch! Jump, Jump, Jump!
Photo courtesy of Discovery Channel

Bear of “Man VS Wild and Bad Hotel Service” is hardly the only guy out survivin’ on camera for us.  We’ve also got a hippie guy who wears pigtails and walks around on bare feet along with a slightly more normal friend, a husband and wife team in which the wife constantly yammers at the husband making the real survival him not smacking her, a couple of people stripped naked (with thankfully blurred private parts), and more.  In other words, we’re talking a lot of privileged Western white people playing Swiss Family Robinson on film.

So what do you guys think of our “Survival” reality shows?  Is there a show you’d like to see them make?  Like maybe a man surviving in a little girl’s room, forced to participate in tea parties for hours on end, wear tutus, and play Barbies.  The possibilities are endless, and probably you could find a network more than willing to pick them up.  I’m thinking the best one would be a crossover – like say Cougar Wives Vs. The Wild, where these old ladies have to find a young hottie Tarzan to save them from New York City before it’s too late!

Anyway, I’d love to see your ideas.  Put them in the comments section below, and I’ll highlight the best survival reality show ideas in an upcoming post!


64 responses

  1. Thanks for a fabulous post! I always wonder how camera teams can bear that kind of shows without laughing ( or why they don’t run away lol) Specially shows like RHONY would drive me crazy :o)

    1. Oh yeah, those real housewives are about as real as the ones on that Desperate Housewives show. I guess it’s not as interesting seeing broke chicks trying to raise snotty nosed kids. Real reality bites!

    2. I think your dog should have his own reality show, btw.

      1. he would like that, but I’m not sure if the camera guys would agree too :o)

        1. They film Honey Boo-Boo. I’m sure most cameramen would LOVE to film your dog if they had a choice between her and the dog.

          1. that’s an argument hahaha

  2. Exactly this. I do remember a show where Billy Connolly was in the Arctic, and the camera crew did go away and leave him in his tent. They had also left him with a camcorder so he could record them leaving him to it. Now that’s real survival.

    I have to say that I much prefer survival shows like the one Ray Mears does. He doesn’t advocate drinking your own urine (unlike Bear) and he teaches survival techniques and is nice to his camera crew by feeding them. Plus they visit sites of famous – or infamous – survival feats or fails, to learn from what the people did right and what they did wrong.

    1. Hey, I just looked that guy up. He’s a comedian too – funny. There is one my husband watches called “Survival Man” (after a while all names will be taken) and that guy also travels with his own camera. Only problem is watching it is like watching the Blair Witch Trials with the big face in the camera.

      1. Yes, that is one of the problems of filming yourself! I’ve not actually seen Blair Witch, but I guess I’m not missing anything.

        1. oh, hey, you forgot to submit your own survival show. 😉

          1. I’m already living it. It’s called “Lent in a Convent”! 😉

          2. Subtitle: Sisters are doin’ it for themselves!

          3. It certainly feels that way at times! Team work is two four-letter words to some people.

  3. I find all “reality” shows to be a load of horseshit. Except the cooking shows. And even then I’m not sure they’re totally real.

    1. I’m not sure it’s possible to put that much butter in something without causing damage. Then again, Paula Deen clearly has issues . . .

    2. I’d like to know what reality show you’d come up with – it would have to be awesome.

      1. HA, that’s easy – “The Crazy Life.” The show would follow the life of a newly diagnosed individual as they navigate the mental health system and the joys of medication. Maybe the money they’d earn from the show would be enough to offset all the missed time at work and the expensive meds and doc visits.

        1. I could totally star in that show. Or maybe you force psychiatrists to take random new meds and see what happens.

  4. Hmmmm….seeing as how reality sucks, I don’t know that I’d like any more reality shows. Or, “reality” shows, rather. Though I might watch a reality show that documented the exploits of a real-life Miraculous Man….

    1. who is miraculous man? Is he like that most interesting dork in the world?

      1. ???? Thanks for reading my blog…

        1. I read, I never said I comprehended. Who is he?

          1. Oh, crap, there are so many words in that one and not enough pictures. What good is a post without any pictures? 😉 You got any cliff notes? 😀

  5. Not such a fan of reality shows. If I wanted to see stupid people on my tv, I’d just have a cameraman follow me around.

    1. Ah, so the El Guapo show? A blogger in his daily life. Watch as he types on his keyboard and searches for stupid gifs on Google Images . . .

      1. Hey, I rarely do gifs.

        Maybe add those for a very special holiday episode. Arbor Day, perhaps…

        1. yeah, I spend more time putting picture in and writing captions than the posts sometimes (and it shows!). What I really hate are the moving pics – ughhhhh. And you know who does those? Twindaddy yup. Annoys the crap out of me. I think I’m gonna have a seizure or something.

          1. Sigh….SHUT UP! Just for that, my next post will have ALL THE GIF’S!

          2. I hope one is of Kenny Rogers.

          3. I think TD is trying to numb us all before making a power grab.
            You heard it here first.

            HI TD!!!

  6. I agree with TD and Guapo – reality bites, blogger reality bites harder. Although, Guapo does talk a lot about skydiving … maybe we should do a show about him surviving a free fall into, say … I dunno, cougar-infested foolishness??

    1. Haha, Guap against Extreme Cougars! That’s just so cruel!

      1. I know, right? But the entertainment value is endless.

  7. I totally have a crush on Bear and when I heard that he was all hotelin’ it instead of survivin’ it, it just made me love him more, because who would rather be uncomfortable, starving and cold?

    1. Guess that’s a good point there – you’re supposed to use whatever you find in the wild, right? He found a hotel! A hotel without a microwave and tiny fridge is roughing it enough for me.

  8. I don’t have an idea at the top of my head (those usually come about 3 am when I have to get up and pee), but I do believe there isn’t much ‘reality’ in reality TV. I’m even starting to wonder about the Dr. Phil show. The other day, I watched an episode where a woman breastfed her bunny–or tried to anyway. Really? Would a sane person do this? And if not, then isn’t he just exploiting this crazy woman? The idea of having guests on the show is so that viewers who identify with them can get help from the doctor without having to be there. But is breastfeeding bunnies that common? I’m beginning to wonder if he’s running out of ideas and putting actors on instead…

    1. Breastfeeding bunnies? Clearly I’ve been wasting my time on TLC and not paying attention to old Phil there! I guess it makes sense, though, I mean breastmilk is supposed to be this liquid gold, and like the pet commercials say, you want to give your pets the same diet you have!

      You know, like the commercials where the woman talks about how there are byproducts in the dog’s food and zomg how awful! Like, lady, dogs will eat their own poop. They really aren’t that picky. Anyway, I guess maybe the lady was feeding her kids and had a bunch leftover – oh and was out of her freaking mind from sleep deprivation or something.

      Going to check out Dr. Phil now.

      1. The worst part was, she wasn’t even lactating. I suspect those days are behind her. But she put the bunny to her breast anyway. Um, okaaaaay…

        A man on the show after her was a guy who wanted to be a dog. He dressed like a dog, barked like a dog, and ate like a dog. Needless to say, he’s never been on a date.

        1. TLC should hit up Dr. Phil for new people for their shows. Bunny Boobs and Dog Man struggle for acceptance in our closed minded society!

  9. Pretty much everything coming out of the Idiot Box is garbage, including the “news.” Netflix is my friend and I’m well aware that it’s Hollywood, not “reality.”

    A great reality show would be “A Week in the Life…” and show real people: the single mom, the family trying to live on too little money because there are no jobs, the farmer going broke, the homeless dude under the bridge, people living with chronic conditions, you know, US – the people the politicians and big business owners are crushing every day. It ain’t glamorous, but it would be real.

    1. What are you talking about, lib’ral TV? I mean, like, the single mom hates all men, and the homeless guy clearly wanted to be homeless and the people with the chronic conditions like being sick, and farmers just like playing in dirt, and the families with no money just didn’t major in the right stuff in college! Oh, wait, that would be A Week in the Life of Far Right Conservatives, which would truly be a fictional show.

  10. Space race! A reality show that brings a contest to see who can get themselves back to the moon. Let’s do it!
    Also, we could just do a survival style show on the moon. That’d be fun too.

    1. I vote we send the Kardashians first.

      1. And the Biebers!
        I might actually watch that show.

  11. This is a confession I never wanted to make in public but Survivor is my guilty pleasure and it has been since it started. You have to understand something…I don’t watch TV AT ALL. I mean, never. And it’s not because I’m a culture snob and too good for TV. I just don’t have the time! But I never miss Survivor. I can’t understand it. Who goes on that program without learning how to make fire before they leave home? My wife and I are always amazed at this.

    They should have a show whereby the contestants have to lick the handrail of every subway station in The Bronx.

    1. Yes, it could be like Fear Factor, where people do increasingly disgusting things for money. I loved the episode where they had the cheerleaders eating spiders. hahaha . . . not that I ever watched it.

      1. I’ll watch anything with cheerleaders in it. Or monkeys. I like cheerleaders and monkeys.

          1. Did you have to do that? I have so little as it is.

  12. gentlestitches | Reply

    a reality show where the contestant has to get three kids off to school, put in a days work, collect or organise kids pick up, choreograph kid’s extracurricular activities ensuring all accessories are accountable whilst dealing with extraneous variables, then providing a delicious and nutritious evening meal before chatting with them about their day, supervising homework and getting them off to bed. extra points for getting in some “me” time. 😀 LOL! Now THAT’S a challenge! mountain climbing ha!! easy.

    1. Holy crap you just described my life except one less kid . . . well that and the delicious nutritious meal – wieners and spaghettios count, right/

      1. indeed they do!

  13. I would love to see Survivor meets The Bachelor. Maybe a bit more Hunger Games style. I would absolutely audition.

    1. This is the BEST idea so far!

  14. I’d like to see Honey Boo Boo and her family doing the Survivor.

    1. Honey Boo-Boo, the Bachelor, and all other annoying reality show stars in the Hunger Games would be so awesome.

  15. How about teenagers forced to survive having theirs mothers tag along on every outing. School, work, dates, parties. They could call it, “Drama with my Mama”!

    1. Even better if Mom is wearing hot pants and curlers in her hair.

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