You can’t believe anything that you see on TV, but I’m willing to take a leap of faith on this one and say that it seems pretty real for a reality show. With this underlying assumption I can say that Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment is kind of awesome. It represents a pinnacle of the survival reality genre. It is so good in fact, that it will almost certainly be canceled outright.
The show is premised on the idea of dropping off a bunch of “regular people” in the Alaskan back-country with nothing but a brief survival orientation, a pile of outdoorsy junk, and a map to civilization. It seems realistic because the cast members are acting as I would expect regular people to act in this kind of a situation. There’s a little friction early on, but it pretty much melts away by the second episode because everyone gets hungry. They spend the remainder of the season obsessively looking for food and firewood. By the time they get out of there everyone has lost a bunch of weight and just wants to find a grocery store.
Watching people get along out of necessity and eat mice and gophers and porcupines without cringing or making a big deal of it just isn’t inherently entertaining, and many people have trashed the show for that. If you’re looking for loud-talking, buffoonery and bar fights, skip this one and see if there’s a rerun of Jersey Shore on somewhere. If you love survival stuff, self reliance, hunting, camping, escaping from the world as we know it… TV doesn’t get any better than Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment.