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.
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.
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!
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!
A Three Hour Tour from Hell
I have to tell you people – that was not what I was expecting in a cruise. Did you realize that Carnival had been having a wee bit of trouble lately? And by wee, I mean wee wee, of course. And poop. Poop deck took on new meaning on that fateful trip after the engines caught on fire and apparently burned down all the toilets. Or something. But it wasn’t all bad, because the passengers were given bags to poop in – sort of like treat bags from a party, but not!
The trip was so bad, the passengers were thrilled to dock in Alabama, folks. Carnival realized
this was a PR nightmare that they’d done wrong, especially since the ship had allegedly been having some mechanical troubles before all of this (oopsies!) and so refunded passengers their cruise fair, gave them 500 buckeroos, and best of all, gave them vouchers for a free cruise in the future! I bet they all couldn’t wait to use those!
Suffice it to say, I did not realize this had happened. I thought I was getting a super good deal. Since Carnival had to recall so many ships, they only had this one kind of creaky ship left. But hey, it was cheap and the crew seemed so friendly, especially that Skipper guy and his little buddy. So I went ahead.
This was a big mistake.
So we were just sailing around, a three hour tour they said. Got that? A three hour tour. And then this storm hit, and bang, the tiny ship was tossed, and I tossed my cookies right on this movie star’s dress. Then the ship crashed on a deserted island. I’m not sure how we managed to get to a deserted island when we were just going on a short tour, but I’m no navigator. Neither was the Skipper, it turns out.
So we all got out and unloaded our luggage. There was this millionaire couple aboard who had a ton of luggage, but not quite as much as that movie star gal. Just how much did they need for a few hours? I’m not sure why the millionaires were on this cheap cruise. Or the movie star. They were really big whiners. The millionaire guy hit his head and kept mistaking me for his “lovey”.
There was also a girl named Mary-Ann who wore pigtails and chased after this professor guy. I don’t know what his name was. They just called him the professor. He was pretty cool, inventing all this crap while we waited for Carnival or somebody competent to come rescue us. Of course, I couldn’t quite figure out how this professor guy was able to build us all huts and stuff in a few hours but couldn’t fix the boat. Eh, no matter.
The worst part of the voyage, though, was this Gilligan guy. He kept screwing everything up. Eventually, we had a meeting about it around the campfire and voted him off the island. The hard way. Then we ate the s’mores that Mary Ann had thoughtfully packed for us. That Skipper guy ate way more than his share.
Just when I thought were going to start voting more people off the island (my bet was on that millionaire and his wife), we saw a plane! Yes! Rescue! Sadly, no. The plane crashed and all these weird people got out. We had another meeting and voted off some of the most annoying people right away. The doctor got to stay, because doctors are useful, and not because he was cute. We also kept that Sawyer guy, because . . . well, because. But that girl annoyed me, so I went all jiujitsu on her. (Oh, yeah, the island had special powers. One guy got to walk again and I got ninja moves.)
I was really starting to dig my new superpowers too, but then an actual rescue ship spotted the burning plane wreckage and had to come and save us. As it turned out, the people on the plane were already dead, and so were my fellow cruise members, so apparently I had spent a few days in Purgatory without even knowing it.
But all’s well that ends well, and I did finally get home and vowed to never leave the comforts of my trusty computer again. I will start back with my somewhat irregular (snicker) posting (Monday / Wednesday / Friday) on Monday, with the latest recap of 50 Shades of Poop Decks. Oh, and, yes, this story is totally true. So glad you guys warned me about Carnival with your cryptic messages (How was I supposed to unlock those puzzles? Bring a porta-potty? Am I some sort of wizard here?) You guys are swell. To thank you, I have some free cruise tickets, if anyone wants them.