Bear Grylls is worried about men. He’s so worried; he created a new television series The Island With Bear Grylls to put the modern man to the test.
“I think masculinity in this country is in crisis,” said Grylls in an interview with The Telegraph.
“In the old days, you had your bow and arrow. Now? Everyone’s just tweeting and Facebooking – how does a man really show masculinity and what does it actually mean?”
Grylls puts the ‘mental’ in ‘experimental television’ with The Island, a reality show that takes 13 people, aged from 21 to 70, and drops them on a remote Pacific island for a month, with nothing more than the clothes on their backs and minimal survival training. There are no reward challenges, immunity idols or the rugged charms of Jeff Probst. For an extra layer of difficulty, select members of the group are responsible for doing all the filming. It’s the most hardcore survival show on television and here’s why.
Free fallin’ off a cliff
While on an expedition to find food, one on of the participants, Paddy, fell 30 feet off a cliff and onto the rocks below. Luckily, there was a doctor in the group but even he was shocked. “I’ve been qualified 16 years. I’ve seen a lot of wonderful things and awful things in my life as well and I wasn’t prepared for that. That took the biscuit for me,” said Dan the MD. You know a survival show is extreme when the medical professional is freaking out.
Forget coconuts – beware of falling dildos
“Every man likes to think that if the s--- really hit the fan they could look after themselves, but the reality is that most have never been pushed,” says Grylls. This show pushes people to the limit and the participants have to be prepared for everything, even the appearance of sex toys in the wild.
Turns out the island where they make this show isn’t so idyllic. A lot of garbage washes up on the island. One of the participants, Tony, said he was afraid of what was on the beach: “My expectations were running water and tropical fruit – at least a banana. What I did not expect was a beach full of rubbish. It was so dangerous underfoot, I never took my boots off for the entire month.”
The tide is high
Yep, another near death, this time it was a team member, Frank, who was trying to be a “big dog” by trying to swim across a lagoon while the tide was pulling everything out to sea.
Frank had to be rescued, which put the lives of other participants at risk, but they all ended up safe on the shore where the deadly dildos await.
The decline of manners
Even the language is hardcore. An episode of the show set a new record for the most swearing ever in a British show, with no less than 95 expletives uttered in 45 minutes. That’s at a rate of one every thirty seconds. Blimey!
Watch The Island with Bear Grylls on Saturdays at 9:30pm on SBS starting 3 June.
Missed the first episode? Watch it at SBS On Demand right here: