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JustYield

Anyone Watching Channel 4's "the Island, With Bear Grylls"?

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I've seen all 4 episodes so far and I wanted to hear other people's opinions about it. If you haven't seen it, don't be put off by Bear Grylls' name being all over it, it's not about him but a group of 13 normal British blokes stuck on an island for a month, with all the dynamics you'd expect - and I find it fascinating.

It's unfortunate that they know before hand that they will be picked up after 4 weeks. To me just knowing that prevents the true longer term group dynamics coming to the fore - we see a lot of tolerance and acceptance of some pretty poor behaviour which would not be the case, IMO, if they did not know when their "captivity" would end.

Thoughts?

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It's good TV, isn't it? Not for the "survival" aspects but for the individual and interpersonal dynamics.

Maybe my prejudice is showing but I don't think the younger generation is coming out of it too well. Mr Call Centre simply cannot cope. Mr Hairdresser and Mr PorkyWelshBloke think it's an all inclusive beach holiday with the other guys as servants. Dr Doctor is the epitome of happy-go-lucky limpwristed experience-seeking shallow generation. While I agree with his statement that it's important to be a creator not just a consumer, spending his time building hat stands, mug trees and swings is misdirected frivolity. Mr BlackBloke seems the best of the bunch; quietly competent and socially rounded. "Handy to have him there" said my small daughter in a not too racist manner I hope, "you need someone who knows his yukkas and coconuts".

The older guys are showing better. With exception, of course, of PC Mainwaring.

Last night's episode was an epic fail tale of Mr RupertFailedActor trying to establish himself as the Alpha Male group leader by dishing out bollockings to the slackers and by leading a croc hunt. Both endeavours ran into the sand and showed (to him, most painfully) that while he might be putting the hours in, he didn't have the respect needed for the role.

Of the gang, the one I most respect is Mr HookHandedSoundMan. Seems a sound guy. Ho Ho.

Naturally, every week's episode is a tale of editorial weaving rather than of actual events and personalities so the judgements above are pretty much of fictional characters. However, it's a very watchable fiction.

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It's good TV, isn't it? Not for the "survival" aspects but for the individual and interpersonal dynamics.

.

Naturally, every week's episode is a tale of editorial weaving rather than of actual events and personalities so the judgements above are pretty much of fictional characters. However, it's a very watchable fiction.

Good analysis. I also wish there were less editing and more raw footage, but what there has been so far is interesting. Also agree that 4 weeks is a bit of a cop-out. They should have been told that a ship will pass by within visible range some time in the next 4 months and that they should keep a keen eye open for its arrival and make plenty of rafts (otherwise the next one will pass by some time in the subsequent 4 months and so on)! Would have given it that 'survival' edge.

I think call centre guy and Mr Cop were put in there to wind everyone up and to see if they might end up becoming a 'Piggy' figure. I think I could have possibly been persuaded to vote for cooking either of them by about Day 3...

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The Welsh bloke may be bone idle but at least he was prudent enough to take a years supply of food with him...

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Not very well faked! I think the opening voiceover said that the crew had ensured that there was sufficient food for the men - which I took to mean they'd added a bit. Certainly, when we got first sight of the fresh water source I thought "ah, that's artificially provided" - it was so obviously a recently dug "pond".

And does anyone really believe they're dumped there unmonitored and unable to call for help? Try getting that through a H&S risk assessment!

Of course I'm "happy" with it - it's TV. If I want real life I walk out of my back door and see what's out there. But as soon as I turn on the TV I accept that everything is staged to a greater or lesser extent. Even the news and current affairs programmes. Which is why I rarely watch TV as I have a limited appetite for fiction. But this programme is pretty good as TV fiction goes.

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Not very well faked!

.

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But this programme is pretty good as TV fiction goes.

That's probably the right attitude to have, but I must say I'm a bit disappointed to find they left a lined pool and introduced the caiman. Either do it for real or don't bother (ie, find an island with its own caiman or other 'prey', film in rainy season so they can collect rainwater etc). Why not introduce some cows or some fat hogs, domesticated chickens etc?!

Frankly, I'm amazed none of them thought about creating simple traps to catch birds or small mammals - so easy to do with a knife, some sticks and a piece of cord... Maybe told not to in order to protect local wildlife?!

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It's good TV, isn't it? Not for the "survival" aspects but for the individual and interpersonal dynamics.

Maybe my prejudice is showing but I don't think the younger generation is coming out of it too well. Mr Call Centre simply cannot cope. Mr Hairdresser and Mr PorkyWelshBloke think it's an all inclusive beach holiday with the other guys as servants. Dr Doctor is the epitome of happy-go-lucky limpwristed experience-seeking shallow generation. While I agree with his statement that it's important to be a creator not just a consumer, spending his time building hat stands, mug trees and swings is misdirected frivolity. Mr BlackBloke seems the best of the bunch; quietly competent and socially rounded. "Handy to have him there" said my small daughter in a not too racist manner I hope, "you need someone who knows his yukkas and coconuts".

The older guys are showing better. With exception, of course, of PC Mainwaring.

Last night's episode was an epic fail tale of Mr RupertFailedActor trying to establish himself as the Alpha Male group leader by dishing out bollockings to the slackers and by leading a croc hunt. Both endeavours ran into the sand and showed (to him, most painfully) that while he might be putting the hours in, he didn't have the respect needed for the role.

Of the gang, the one I most respect is Mr HookHandedSoundMan. Seems a sound guy. Ho Ho.

Naturally, every week's episode is a tale of editorial weaving rather than of actual events and personalities so the judgements above are pretty much of fictional characters. However, it's a very watchable fiction.

Spot on, agree with all that. (Which probably means we both followed the same heavily edited narrative!)

Rupert lost the moral high ground unexpectedly quickly! Instead of dismissing Sackie, the black guy, as having no balls he should have realised his refusal to go macho-hunting again was an important signal that he'd lost his support. Sackie is playing a mature consensus driven game, and so far doesn't appear to have any weaknesses.

If they do this again hopefully it will be open ended - with opportunities to end early if they attract passing ships / planes etc as suggested above. As it is, they do radio the support team each night to say all is OK and each man has a 24 hr radio mic on, in case they go AWOL. But it is only TV - while every man knows he will never be killed for his bad behaviour, we continue to see the Big Brother type effeminate nonsense and a sort of passive acceptance that some people are clearly a waste of space.

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Watched it for about 10 minutes last night. Switched off when I saw some bloke having a hissy fit and crying about not seeing a turtle. Why is this sort of thing worth watching?

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Haha so it's not a programme of people stuck on an island with Bear Grylls. I thought he would pop up Alpha male to resolve problems eg. No food, fighting wildlide. Better than an island with Cliff Richard :)

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Watched it for about 10 minutes last night. Switched off when I saw some bloke having a hissy fit and crying about not seeing a turtle. Why is this sort of thing worth watching?

To find out what would you do if you were stuck on an island with him?

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it's thin fare beyond the somewhat contrived group dynamics, which don't really interest me.

Was surprised how useless they all are; what was it? 16 hours to light a fire? lamentable attempts at fishing.

4 weeks is a joke anyway. you could hunker down and survive that without doing anything.

God help the majority in the UK if the balloon ever does go up.

This is how it should be done:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxaDOazi730

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I hunt and shoot but I don't agree with killing for either entertainment or TV/film audience ratings.

You mean the caiman? Not sure how it's different to you hunting/shooting? It was for sustenance, after all.

If it had been me, I probably would have gone straight back into the mangroves to hunt more crocs whilst I was still feeling energised from the decent meal. Amateurs.

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I hunt and shoot but I don't agree with killing for either entertainment or TV/film audience ratings.

I've raised my own animals for meat and I've shot and fished and have come to abhor unnecessary killing or cruelty. Indeed, my meat eating is only occasional these days.

But I don't mind seeing killing for food on TV. It at least acts as a counter to the vacuum packed detachment that most Brits these days have from their food sources - and particularly their meat and fish.

The Island blokes were killing for food and doing so in a considered and unwasteful manner. Maybe they weren't perfect in the way they went about it but overall it seemed reasonable and thoughtful. Look at it this way, 13 blokes sat at home in the UK would have eaten far more meat and had far more animals killed remotely on their behalf in heartless, remorseless, relentless death factories that our abattoirs are these days. Animals that not only died in deprivation and terror but probably spent all their short lives in that manner.

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I've raised my own animals for meat and I've shot and fished and have come to abhor unnecessary killing or cruelty. Indeed, my meat eating is only occasional these days.

But I don't mind seeing killing for food on TV. It at least acts as a counter to the vacuum packed detachment that most Brits these days have from their food sources - and particularly their meat and fish.

The Island blokes were killing for food and doing so in a considered and unwasteful manner. Maybe they weren't perfect in the way they went about it but overall it seemed reasonable and thoughtful. Look at it this way, 13 blokes sat at home in the UK would have eaten far more meat and had far more animals killed remotely on their behalf in heartless, remorseless, relentless death factories that our abattoirs are these days. Animals that not only died in deprivation and terror but probably spent all their short lives in that manner.

I agree with what you say about where food comes from and 'our' detachment

But 13 fed, western blokes who didn't need to be on the island other than for contrived entertainment, and so the caiman didn't need to be killed. Pointless exercise.

Want to show killing for food ? then follow some Inuits hunting Narwhal or any other hunter gatherer society (all been done too), or for westerners, show cattle from the 'ahhh' of calving to the blood and gore 'urgh' of an abattoir, but the latter is probably too close to the bone.

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You mean the caiman? Not sure how it's different to you hunting/shooting? It was for sustenance, after all.

If it had been me, I probably would have gone straight back into the mangroves to hunt more crocs whilst I was still feeling energised from the decent meal. Amateurs.

None of them needed to be on that island were it not for TV, so the caiman died for TV viewing pleasure.

If they were genuinely castaway on the island then, by all means, kill a caiman.

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None of them needed to be on that island were it not for TV, so the caiman died for TV viewing pleasure.

If they were genuinely castaway on the island then, by all means, kill a caiman.

Point taken, but as justthisbloke has pointed out, more innocent animal lives would have been lost had they stayed at home, it's just that the deaths occur at a distance, unseen. More pointless cruelty goes on in factory farms and posh restaurants every day of the year than on reality TV shows... Important to keep things in perspective imo.

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If they'd been REALLY hungry, that turtle would have been toast last night. Some of the 'revelations' are hardly earth shattering such as the trained crew. They'd have no chance otherwise.

But the cayman thing makes sense now. If the bloddy things were indigenous, then wading up to your knees looking for them in the pitch black would have been more than a little foolhardy.

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I abhor hunting done as any sort of "sport" or "fun" but as has been said, it was for food. The argument "it was still only done for TV" doesn't cut it - if it did then you shouldn't have a TV show where someone goes into a restaurant and orders a steak either. At the end of the day something died because people needed to eat something rather than because they wanted to kill something (well, I assume, I've not seen it), and as has already been said something else would've died and got eaten had they stayed at home - i.e. nothing remotely unique about this.

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I abhor hunting done as any sort of "sport" or "fun" but as has been said, it was for food. The argument "it was still only done for TV" doesn't cut it - if it did then you shouldn't have a TV show where someone goes into a restaurant and orders a steak either. At the end of the day something died because people needed to eat something rather than because they wanted to kill something (well, I assume, I've not seen it), and as has already been said something else would've died and got eaten had they stayed at home - i.e. nothing remotely unique about this.

Killing for food, clothing or pest control - fine

But that animal died to provide entertainment, primarily.

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Wasn't something similar done years ago with "Castaway"? (sorry unable to see this latest venture). Not really that different to a long camping holiday?

Edit: Didn't realise that Castaway 2000 was meant to last a year...and Ben Fogle had threatened to quit at one bit.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castaway_2000

There was something long before that where the BBC took a group ad transported them back to the stoneage (I think) in a camp somewhere in the UK - possibly one of the earliest group reality shows.

The aim was to see how people coped. However, I always thought it was inevitably compromised as the 'players' obviously had the knowledge of modern inventions to draw upon when coming to solutions to problems or designing their wooden tools.

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Caymen aren't usually very dangerous to humans - well that's what my guide told me when out adventuring in the pantanal years back. Up to our chests in water hunting for piranha and caymen. One big giude caught a caymen with a big bit of chicken launched onto its snout as bait. Worked a treat. We didn't kill it though - a few piranhas got it though. Not bad eating.

Anyway - not quite sure what my point is .

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Killing for food, clothing or pest control - fine

But that animal died to provide entertainment, primarily.

As has already been pointed out, far less meat is being consumed by these men than if they were all at home, buying sanitised food from the supermarket. And they made very good use of the caiman (but they should have dried and smoked some meat and rationed it, rather than consuming it all in one day).

Perhaps they didn't need to show the moment when the lizard was slaughtered and the resulting blood. But that decision was made for better or worse and I was pleasantly surprised to see such realism and the reactions from the softer men. If they didn't show it there would be more cries of "fake". So given that this experiment is going on and it being filmed for posterity then I support them showing the actual killing. Finally, the caiman was dropped onto the island as extra "food", so his number was up already.

If anything I'm more peeved by things like the lined, rectangular water hole and the finite duration.

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