I know I’m not the only one watching Naked and Afraid. To be honest, usually, the show amuses me. Yes, it is more about the drama than the survival. It’s a bit like Alaskan Bush People (known as the Trainwreck Show in my house) in that way. You get caught up in it and you can’t look away! You want to see if Honora really does throw that big a tantrum or if karma will find Alana for her cruelty.
Naked and Afraid XL is just a supersized version and is rapidly becoming a PSA about bullying. If you don’t watch the show, it drops a bunch of people in exotic locations with very little equipment to survive for a set amount of time. XL has 12 people instead of the usual 2 and they are divided into groups of 3. Apparently Columbia is the perfect location to go crazy in.
Yes, this is a TV show and they edit it to be as interesting as possible. There are a LOT of hours of footage to fit in a few measly hours of entertainment. But, no matter the editing, those actions took place, those words were in fact uttered and that’s not ok. Certain people should be ashamed of themselves. Very.
One contestant through a toddler proportioned tantrum and threw everyone’s tools to the bottom of a pond. Because that’s healthy and helpful. It doesn’t matter if her teammates didn’t necessarily deal with the tantrum the best way (I’d bet neither of those men have children), her actions were inexcusable.
Another contestant was on the verge of breaking and, according to the edits we saw, that lies at the feet of one mean girl and her lackey. Sure, now they’re home and saying it’s the edits but they haven’t acknowledged how awful their words were regardless of how edits have maybe manipulated their position and intent.
I don’t watch a lot of reality TV for this very reason – I’m not big on the soap opera aspect (I’ll watch General Hospital for that thanks!) and I don’t trust the editors as they want the most compelling tv not the truest telling. It’s one of the reasons I love Face Off – I’m there for the makeup not the drama and, with few exceptions, that’s what SyFy gives me. I would honestly rather see how they build the mold rather than listen to one contestant gripe about how another contestant was snippy with her.
Regardless of intent or edits or however they want to justify their behaviors, we should be using this as a teaching moment – here we see what happens when you treat people terribly or throw a temper tantrum that you are twenty years too old to be throwing. Look at Shane and see the effects of harsh words, cold shoulders, and snobbery. It could be used as a training for people who don’t see the effect of their words. Bullying isn’t just something kids do, adults do it too and they are so much more cruel. Why can’t we all just be nice. If you don’t have something nice to say, keep your mouth shut. The world would be a happier place if we encouraged each other more than tearing each other down. But, the whole world loves to watch tension and arguments.