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The Island

Review: survival reality shows Alone and The Island

After two of the men of The Island caught a live caiman and tied it up, one of them, Jud, told the camera, “This is like five steps removed from my expectation.” His description of his experience also describes my experience of the NBC series, which had a weak start but quickly surprised me. It …

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Turtle CPR makes a camera operator The Island’s breakout star

What happened on last night’s episode of NBC’s The Island is something I never, ever could have expected or predicted: turtle CPR by a camera operator. That scene was so incredible–the turtle CPR actually worked!–as was the fact that we were watching someone who’s ostensibly a crew member break out as the show’s star. I …

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Cameras off when dehydration leads to threats on The Island

The Island with Bear Grylls got very interesting in its second episode, which for me was a huge improvement over the first episode. The lack of fresh water lead to dehydration; threats of suicide and murder; and conflict over the actual filming of the series. While last week seemed like tiresome, childish bickering, this was …

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First thoughts about NBC’s The Island

NBC continued its obsession with Bear Grylls by debuting his latest series last night: The Island. The show has aired two seasons in the UK, and doesn’t exactly break new ground. Actually, the first episode was very reminiscent of two better series: Naked and Afraid, which does survival television perfectly. Part of its formula is that …

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Naked and Afraid gets spin-off, Bear Grylls knock-off

Discovery’s hit reality TV series Naked and Afraid is spinning off a new series, while NBC has nearly simultaneously ordered a show, The Island, that sounds extremely similar. When Discovery announced the fourth season of Naked and Afraid, which returns in April, its press release started with, “There have been many copycats, but nothing ever comes close to the original.” That’s …

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