Author Topic: Alone (reality TV survival show)  (Read 6514 times)

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Alone (reality TV survival show)
« on: March 24, 2021, 11:51:44 PM »
Apparently there have been threads on this in the past, but starting a new one.

Have you watched the History Channel show Alone yet? I know there are a couple of fans on here, but I'd recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone even slightly into this stuff (or who's just into good reality TV). It's astonishing what some of these people are able to do with what's around them, and how comfortable they're able to make themselves in incredibly harsh conditions: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alone_(TV_series)

Cheers for that, watched ep 1 tonight. It's very different to Naked and Afraid, which by contrast has a lot of drama and some quite visceral suffering. Like you say it's amazing the tools they create out of bits of stone and wood. If they were out there six months I reckon they'd have some kind of functioning computer made from moss.

Yes, as far as I'm concerned it's leagues beyond Naked & Afraid - and almost any other reality show of that ilk, except maybe Survivorman. I can't think of a show in which you really get to know the bones of its participants, with zero influence from producers or other contestants (or more or less anything, for that matter). I like that it's pretty honestly edited as well - obviously it's impossible to tell the whole story when cutting down hundreds of hours of footage per contestant, but it never feels manipulative. Most of the contestants seem happy with the way they were depicted, in any event (some of them are pretty active on the subreddit).

Believe it or not, most of Season 1's participants are fairly amateur compared to some of the ones that appear on later seasons. I fully believe the winners of the most recent two seasons could have lived quite happily out there in the Arctic for twice as long as they did - the last one seemed almost ambivalent about leaving when told they'd won!

Can't recommend it highly enough.

This is great, thankyou so much for recommending it. We started off watching the arctic beast one, less in-depth, just a half an hour for the full thirty days. The next series available was season five, Mongolia. Thought it was great. Beautiful scenery- ChrissieBrmc loved the shots of the silver birch trees standing majestic in the snow. I liked hearing the wolves howling in the distance. Like you say, you get to see what the contestants are made of, without interference. I like seeing the different strategies they use- fishing versus trapping, bow and arrow versus throwing stick. I thought the guy who looked like Jesus would win that one; his hut was amazing.

Just finished series six, now on to seven. Six was brutal. Can't imagine trying to survive in sub-zero with no food; the lake frozen over, wolverines nicking your stash!

I like Naked and Afraid, but it looks a bit like a soap opera by comparison.

So glad you're enjoying it! Actually, you arguably started with two of the worst ones! The Beast was a weird spinoff which I don't think even aired in its entirety, and Season 5 was a "redemption" season for failed past contestants, which was fine enough but nowhere near as interesting as each of their initial attempts. It'll probably be quite interesting to see those now that you've seen their retry. You can see Larry's slow descent into pure madmanship (that he leant into on his retry), and Dave Nessia from Season 3 is just a joy to watch.

Season 6 is great, probably one of the best. I think I said it before, but I fully believe the winners of Season 6 and 7 could have stayed out there indefinitely. They were leagues ahead of their competition, almost superhuman. I can't wait until you reach a certain musk ox episode in 7.

I'd really recommend starting from the beginning, though. I know it's all available on Amazon or Hulu or something.

I'm watching ALONE now too.
Really like the fuck me there's bears, send me home now plz guy from ep1

Just watched episode 1. Proper nails bastards, eating mollusks to the howl of wolves. Should I start a thread in picture box? Might need its own discussion, this series.

Just wait until you get to people eating freshly-slain bovids straight from the cadaver.

The skill caliber of contestants has gone up astronomically since the first season, but Alan in Season 1 is one of my all-time favourites. Absolutely someone I'd want with me in a crisis. Another one called Joe Robinet has a pretty good YouTube channel in which he basically documents his own Alones in the Canadian wilderness: https://www.youtube.com/c/josephallen19/videos

Good to see some Alone discussion. I think I've started a few  threads in the past, but they've barely made it past a page. It is legitimately one of the very best reality television programmes ever made IMO and bares little comparison to programmes of its ilk. The absence of a cameraman or of anyone at all except for the occasional medical drop (and couples season) is what sets it apart. If anyone has started mid run then do go back to season 1 and watch what you've missed. The quality has remained fairly high, but I do feel the best seasons and best moments fall in the first three or four seasons. The show really was so groundbreaking that most people didn't really understand what it would be like, or know how to approach it. Those early seasons became essential viewing for contestants on later seasons, who realised they could learn more about very human aspects of survival from watching the footage than any survival guide or course could teach. I guess it has also taken on a greater relevance now that we are in the middle of a pandemic and so many people are trying to come to terms with being alone for long periods of time.

Also, you need to see the first The Mouse season to fully appreciate the second.

If log cabins and solitude is your thing then of course you must watch Dick Proenneke's Alone in the Wilderness.   

Yep, definitely getting Hulu to watch the first four when we've finished 7. Heard a lot of talk about Vancouver Island, so I'm excited to see that one.

Ah Christ episode two dude eating a slug. Absolutely horrific. “I’m gonna start eating these whenever I see them.” I hate slugs and watching that sequence fucked me up. Would rather be eaten by a bear than eat a slug.

Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2021, 12:00:18 AM »
People being broken mentally by not being able to shit? Love it. I still think about rock house and how lovely it would be to live there eating bison headcheese and berries.

Noodle Lizard

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Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2021, 12:56:56 AM »
Season 8's apparently underway, somewhere in the Canadian Coastal Mountains. Some sleuths found some evidence they were dropped off in September, so I would imagine it's over by now. Can't wait!

In the meantime, I'm more than happy to relive the first 7 seasons here. It's a shame how under-the-radar it seems to fly, as it's the most engaging and interesting competition show I've ever seen[1].
 1. Except maybe Solitary (I seem to like things with synonymous titles), but I almost felt guilty watching that. It's basically torture and probably wouldn't fly now, but it's incredibly entertaining.

Dex Sawash

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Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2021, 02:15:15 AM »

Reckon we have to spoiler everything since we're all over the place.

S2 Tracy is the most badass person how is completely cigs about the bears in camp and after chasing them off was worried about the welfare of the baby bears.

Wonder if they did camera training with them before. They get some really good video.

Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2021, 07:53:56 AM »
Bloody love Alone. We call it Alan, in honour of...erm Alan from S1.

Agree that you should really go back to the start if you can, even though the skills of the competitors improve over the years. The innocence of S1 makes it special.

The mice! The man (can’t remember his name) who hoarded loads of food instead of eating and lost about half his body weight.

Top tip if you ever have to survive in the wilderness, learn how to fish!

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Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2021, 07:54:31 PM »
S2 Tracy is the most badass person how is completely cigs about the bears in camp and after chasing them off was worried about the welfare of the baby bears.

There was something strange about the way she went after that - I can't remember exactly what it was, but she was saying something about her time on the police force. Sadly, it appears she died a couple of years ago.

Wonder if they did camera training with them before. They get some really good video.

I think some of the pre-launch episodes show them doing a week or two of camera/tech training, as well as health & safety stuff. You actually forget how much more difficult it must be to survive whilst also having to fiddle with cameras and batteries and memory cards and all that. They're apparently required to film for at least 8 hours a day.

phes

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Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2021, 08:14:04 PM »
There was something strange about the way she went after that - I can't remember exactly what it was, but she was saying something about her time on the police force. Sadly, it appears she died a couple of years ago.

Oh that's desperately sad. She can't have been all that old.

If I remember rightly tracy tapped out because of some kind of psychological disturbance brought on by the aggression (on her part, I think) of the interaction with the bears. Maybe PTSD or something like that - she was also a veteran wasn't she?[\spoiler]

Noodle Lizard

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Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2021, 09:32:21 PM »
If I remember rightly tracy tapped out because of some kind of psychological disturbance brought on by the aggression (on her part, I think) of the interaction with the bears. Maybe PTSD or something like that - she was also a veteran wasn't she?[\spoiler]

Yeah, I honestly don't remember exactly - police or army - but clearly something was triggered by her having to scare off the bears (if you're alone in the wilderness, I think it's perfectly fair to tell a bear to fuck off personally). I remember being shocked that she tapped out for that reason, as she'd been tough as nails and among my favourites to win. It's surprising what will get the better of people sometimes.

Any love for Dave Nessia here? A manic ball of good-natured nonsense, that man. At the start of the redemption season he mentions how much better his life has become because he's now living in a van, and it's somehow absolutely understandable.

phes

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Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2021, 11:40:05 PM »
I have a feeling she was forces and then police. There was clearly a lot of stuff going on for her and at some point she realised that Alone wasn't her answer to working through that. Just looked her up and she was 48. Terribly sad, that.

Christ yeah, Dave Nessia. Wasn't he the fish hoarder that left in an absolutely terrible state with a month of uneaten protein?

Do you remember Lucas from season 1, the chap who was always working on something: his house, a chair, a spoon, a kitchen, a string instrument, a canoe. A really strong  effort but set the archetype for the contestant who just can't stop themselves. There's been a good few since and they're either undone by their inability to just be, by the culmination of their ambitions draining them or by a single project backfiring. Alan won that season by using simple, low-tech solutions and by staying still as much as possible.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2021, 12:08:37 AM by phes »

Noodle Lizard

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Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2021, 12:20:38 AM »
Do you remember Lucas from season 1, the chap who was always working on something: his house, a chair, a spoon, a kitchen, a string instrument, a canoe. A really strong  effort but set the archetype for the contestant who just can't stop themselves. There's been a good few since and they're either undone by their inability to just be, by the culmination of their ambitions draining them or by a single project backfiring. Alan won that season by using simple, low-tech solutions and by staying still as much as possible.

Yes, there's at least one of those every season I think. It seems that the more popular it's become, some contestants are more interested in showing off to promote themselves[1] or their bushcraft course than sincerely doing what's needed to survive in the wilderness, which will always be the curse of reality TV to some extent. As you say, the winning formula seems to be to conserve energy as much as possible (and preferably go in with an extra 30-50lbs on you), but I also understand that boredom is probably their biggest enemy out there - and it's still incredibly impressive what some of them have managed to build out of nothing.

I think Roland is a good example of someone who managed to do both. I'd quite happily spend a week or two in Rock House.
 1. That bloke who climbed a mountain to raise awareness for suicidal veterans

Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2021, 12:35:21 AM »
People being broken mentally by not being able to shit? Love it. I still think about rock house and how lovely it would be to live there eating bison headcheese and berries.

made me laugh!

phes

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Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2021, 12:38:23 AM »
Yeah Roland was absolutely incredible. It ended up closer than expected, but he had everything in his locker didn't he. Heaps of experience, bloody minded, tough as nails, remote personal ties/fractured family, no kids, a solitary man with no forces/police background. His mother died in the buildup to the show didn't she?

Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2021, 12:39:11 AM »
Any love for Dave Nessia here? A manic ball of good-natured nonsense, that man. At the start of the redemption season he mentions how much better his life has become because he's now living in a van, and it's somehow absolutely understandable.

I think I like him most of all. I was touched by his actions in series five [series five spoilers], when he gets upset after having only harmed an animal he was hunting, as opposed to cleanly killing it. He seemed to have an issue with killing anything, but then also loved the sport of the hunt. I can relate to that; I feel I'd have similar conflicted reactions.

The platform he built between two trees to stake-out deer was amazing. I guess he never caught anything, as there was no footage of it, but an incredible innovation.

Also very fond of Brit from that series, he made me laugh. “Day 4,067... I died three times last night...”

Dex Sawash

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Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2021, 01:56:14 PM »
The recap roundtable final ep of S2 was dire, skip. Host reading people's shitty tweets is never watchable.

First 1.5 eps of S3 seem to have jettisoned the template that made 1 and 2 so different to everything else. Assuming S3 will get back to normal once all the casting bollocks is over. Did cover the camera training and a bit of how the logistics function, which was nice. Would be better as short filler throughout series though and maybe show a bit of casting for someone just after they quit, if you must show it.

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Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2021, 06:16:28 PM »
The recap roundtable final ep of S2 was dire, skip. Host reading people's shitty tweets is never watchable.

First 1.5 eps of S3 seem to have jettisoned the template that made 1 and 2 so different to everything else. Assuming S3 will get back to normal once all the casting bollocks is over. Did cover the camera training and a bit of how the logistics function, which was nice. Would be better as short filler throughout series though and maybe show a bit of casting for someone just after they quit, if you must show it.

The series is the same once they’re all dropped off, don’t worry. One of the better ones as well!

Season 4 is the rough one. I think the idea of doing it in pairs was fair enough (even if it goes against the premise/title of the show somewhat), but it didn’t work in practice. Too many interesting contestants wiped out for silly reasons during the initial challenge before we ever got to see them just try and survive/exist, and some of the bickering just got incredibly tedious after a while.

4 and 5 are admirable for experimenting with the formula, but they’re also my least favourites by far. 5’s redemption conceit was a perfectly good idea, but the side effect of that was that the contestants were too self-referential and aware of how they’d look on TV, giving it a slightly weird and inauthentic feel. Not bad by any means, mind you.

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Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2021, 06:33:08 PM »
Christ yeah, Dave Nessia. Wasn't he the fish hoarder that left in an absolutely terrible state with a month of uneaten protein?

Yes that’s him. Very strange behaviour, but the info-graphics made it seem as if it’s relatively common. Felt terrible when they told him he had to go because he was on death’s door and his reaction. That shot they like to reuse of him going “ooooooh” when they put a stethoscope on his back is a guilty laugh, I must admit.

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Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2021, 04:26:33 PM »
I’ve only watched the first 6 episodes of season 1 but Alan is incredible!

The British accents, reciting Edgar Allen Poe, the transcendentalist musings on man’s place in nature, the overall stoicism and pragmatism coupled with willingness to be goofy. Brilliant.

Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2021, 04:38:07 PM »
5's redemption conceit was a perfectly good idea, but the side effect of that was that the contestants were too self-referential and aware of how they’d look on TV, giving it a slightly weird and inauthentic feel. Not bad by any means, mind you.

Ruined for me by Sam's winning tactic of being overweight and pretty useless, but surviving for 60 or whatever days on bodyfat and three mice.

Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2021, 12:28:22 AM »
Is this Alone in the Wild made into a series then or what? Still remember that programme, a man crying in a tree.

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Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2021, 09:06:59 PM »
I’ve been very busy lately so haven’t been watching as much of this as I planned but I am on episode six of series 2. It’s quite striking how much better they are in this series at getting the shelters built, and to a higher standard, more features etc. I thought it odd in series one that they mostly didn’t treat themselves by giving themselves really nice areas to live and work in. I would have thought one of the keys to staying there a long time would be making it as pleasant as possible. In series 2 you see how easy it is to get a really decent cabin type thing done, just using stakes in the ground and lots of similar size big logs. having four walls around you would be such a good feeling when you know there are bears out there.

Dex Sawash

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Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2021, 09:36:06 PM »
My wife wanted to watch too so that really put the brakes on for me. S4 with the teams introduced a bit of toxic masculinity with the dads, that was something this series had been doing without just fine. Just 3 eps in to S4.

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Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2021, 04:54:47 PM »
hello, after skimming this thread i watched season 2 and quite enjoyed it. I even got a bit emotional when the winner was reunited with their family. I am now going to give season 3 a try and see if that is also good. Bye for now.

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Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2021, 02:20:03 AM »

^The level of participation[1] was amazing on S3.

Jim and Ted  the S4 Canadian brothers who may be trailer park boys are very entertaining. I can see one of them maybe eating the other if they don't drown first. The bit wherethe duck waddled up to their fire and one of them killed it with his hat was nice.
 1. not sure what to call it

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Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2021, 12:14:34 PM »
S5 the second chance Mongolia season is quite nice visually. When I started watching S1 someone at work casually said is this the one where that guy kills a moose? That definitely didn't happen in S1-S4 but every tense "what's that sound" cut to commercial break has added tension for me.

Weird how these outdoor experts have such varied success fishing when they are just a few miles apart on what must be the same river.

Going to try eating some pine bark later.

gib

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Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2021, 01:59:27 PM »
Yeah that Mongolian landscape was fascinating. It's like it's on it's way to becoming forested then most of the trees die and make room for the next batch to have a crack at it.

They totally overplayed the risk of bears there; there's a nearly extinct local bear plus a similarly vanishing chance of an Asiatic Black Bear, despite all the talk of grizzlies.

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Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2021, 11:36:08 PM »
S5 the second chance Mongolia season is quite nice visually. When I started watching S1 someone at work casually said is this the one where that guy kills a moose?

It's not. Make sure you watch Seasons 6 & 7!

Season 8 is apparently in the can - not sure if it has a release date yet, but I expect it'll be with us soon! How I'm going to go back to watching only one episode each week is beyond me, mind.

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Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #26 on: May 04, 2021, 09:31:36 PM »

Wife has tapped out on S6 E1 as it promises to annihilate lots of furry creatures. I'll burn through 6 and 7 by the weekend. It was nice to watch a thing with her though.

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Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #27 on: May 04, 2021, 09:47:42 PM »
Where y' all watching this? It's £20 a series on Amazon and I've not payed for anything since pogs.

Dex Sawash

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Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #28 on: May 04, 2021, 10:04:09 PM »
Hulu (america)

Re: Alone (reality TV survival show)
« Reply #29 on: May 05, 2021, 10:21:29 AM »
Where y' all watching this? It's £20 a series on Amazon and I've not payed for anything since pogs.

Series 5, 6, & 7 are on Now TV plus a few standalone shows. I think you can get a free trial but not sure if it's a month or seven days

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