I recently got this e-mail from Out There reader Larry Crooks, who had this to say about the Discovery Channel’s “Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment”:
Ouch. I’ll have to admit, there were some folks on the show who were a bit whiney. But when you look at the cast, it looks more like they did what most reality show casting crews do: they looked for potential conflict.
What we got: A New Jersey cop with no wilderness experience. A Wisconsin outdoorsman who was a bit of a loner. A middle-aged southern woman who likes to hunt, but is set in her ways. A lawyer. A personal trainer. A bus driver. All three of them had some outdoor experience. A recreational hiker and a New York hotshot. And lastly, a horse trainer who happened to be gay.
I won’t judge this bunch as harshly. First, they were living on a daily food intake that is less than what most people snarf down in one setting at McDonalds. They had to spend a lot of energy, in the cold, doing chores and finding food. Their hikes, while not long, were off trail bush-whacking affairs that can be pretty tiring. And those packs. Oh, those dreadful Yukon packs. Yuck.
All that said, only two cast members seemed to be somewhat confrontational, and they didn’t last long. The rest hung together pretty well, given the circumstances. Unlike most reality shows, it would appear the circumstances bound these folks together. That, or they found a way to rise above their differences and circumstances and pulled it together.
Still haven’t heard if there’s going to be a Season 3 casting call. But if I hear about it, I’ll post something here. If that happens, Larry, I fully expect you to sign up! I know I’ll be giving it some thought as well.