The apocalyspe is not Project Runway
Earlier this week Channel Guide put together an interesting list of five reality shows that will help you survive the apocalypse. While the list has a few valuable picks, overall the Guide seems to have confused reality TV with the apocalypse (cultural viewpoints aside, the Jersey Shore is hardly comparable to a zombie attack). In addition, the list overlooks a few obvious and educational contenders that I will discuss below.
First off, what the Guide got right: Hillbilly Handfishing and Extreme Couponing. The latter provides an excellent method to stocking your survival kit on the cheap, while the former teaches a useful skill for when your kit inevitably runs out. You never know when you might find yourself beside a river, hungry, and without a fishing rod.
The obvious choice: Survivor. Though it does have some merits (learn how to build a shelter and a fire, catch rainwater, etc), Survivor is far less useful than the Guide suggestions. How many of us expect to be stranded on a tropical island for the apocalypse? While I can only hope I won’t have to complete any team challenges or competitions on the other side, being able to win food rewards and nights away in luxury hotels would be a nice perk to surviving the end of the world.
In the “I have no idea why this was included” category: Project Runway and the Bad Girls Club. I absolutely adore Project Runway and agree that a fashionable, yet functional, post-apocalyptic clothing line is sorely needed. However, that is not reason enough to assume this show will prepared you for after the world ends. Although the Guide is correct in highlighting the show’s use of original materials in clothing, I hardly think an evening gown made from paper napkins is functional (in this or the post-world). The justification for including Bad Girls Club is for you to educatate yourself on how horrible humanity can be. Personally, I think this is a waste of time – does anyone remember middle school? Any other show in the reality category will fulfill this educational requirement.
Finally, a few overlooked shows that should be on your list. Firstly, Doomsday Preppers – this one is fairly self-explanatory. I can’t believe it didn’t make the list. What were they thinking?
Life After People is an excellent portrayal of the world without mankind, courtesy of the History Channel. I don’t expect things to get this extreme after the apocalypse (hopefully at least a few of us will make it…), but it does provide a good primer on how quickly nature can retake cities and the serious problems that could come with failing infrastructure services after the apocalypse.
What Would Happen if the Earth Stood Still from Discovery is another highly recommended program (I should point out that I’m not 100% sure of the title as Discovery does not have any shows by this name on their website. I initially watched the show on the channel about a year ago). The premise of the show is an extremely unlike apocalyptic event – the Earth stops spinning – and the story of those who survive. The show does an excellent job of outlining the remaining habitable zones on the planet and how to get there. Wren and I don’t believe this type of disaster poses a serious threat, but one can never be too well prepared…