Mitch and I watch a show ALONE, together. Yes, that is a confusing sentence. What I mean is that Mitch and I are together, and we watch the History channel series, ALONE.
We started the series during COVID. We both enjoy the show, enjoy watching it together, and talking about the episodes. Mitch will frequently turn to me and say, “I Love that you like this show! But why do you like it?” It’s a fair question.
I also can’t figure it out – but it is compelling! As a longtime fan of Survivor – my typical Survivor boast is “never missed an episode,” I enjoy watching an outdoor survival show. But ALONE is different; it doesn’t feel made-up. And there is no social drama. The only relationship is between the participant and his video camera. It’s kind of like Tom Hanks talking to Wilson, the volleyball, in Cast Away.
ALONE is about ten people trying to survive the longest in the wilderness with only ten items. Each person is isolated, and they must hunt for their food, build shelters, fend off wild animals, and eat those poor animals (sorry my non-meat self is coming out)! The contestants self-document every move they make on video.
The winner is the person who lasts the longest and the financial reward is $500,000. Except on season 7 they upped the ante to 1 million dollars. They also upped the location ante, the Artic!
There are no bikinis, muscles men, rewards- basically, the award is staying alive! Each ALONEY (made up term) has a satellite phone that connects them with help. They can use this phone to “tap out” and withdraw from the contest. Medial professionals provide regular check-ins and they can also eliminate a contestant.
Where’s the Drama?
The typical TV shrewd, scheming, screaming at each other, love triangle, conniving human behavior is absent from this series. Huh? The quirky behaviors and social dilemmas are typically why the show would be interesting to me.
But I soon realized after an episode or two that Survivor participants are adventurers whereas the men and women on ALONE are skilled, Survivalists.
My pescatarian brain screamed when one of the contestants talked about eating the contents of a musk-ox stomach, yes, along with the digested food in the gut! ( EWWW). He said that the musk-ox had teeth that ground the food better than human teeth can, plus enzymes in the stomach that made the grasses digestible. Basically, he killed the animal for food and saved the stomach and contents for when he was really starving. You can gag now!
Besides gag reflexes, Watching the show triggered thoughts of last year when so many of us were ALONE.
Yes, some had to survive without toilet paper (EWW again) and Lysol spray. But others had to survive without money, job, and human contact. We all felt the pain of isolation and the fear of the unknown. I think everyone felt somewhat or entirely ALONE.
Interestingly, some of the strongest contestants on the show “tap out” (leave the show while in play) because they miss their people. They can survive the harsh elements, eat their own food, make their own shelter and utensils, scare away bear or kill them for food and other boundless physical challenges. But, hey we need people! We may crave Alone time, but extended periods of isolation are like starvation of the soul.
This summer, find an adventure and bring along a friend or family member. Cherish the companionship of others. Challenge yourself to get back and connect with others.
Maybe part of the reason I like the show ALONE is that Mitch and I are watching it together.
Please check out my first book, Raising Jess a Story of Hope on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The ebooks are not available yet but if you prefer paperback or hardcover please visit the book sites. And if you would be kind enough to write a review of the book on Amazon and/or Barnes and Noble, I’d be honored. Please email me at RaisingJessRSVP@gmail.com if you would like your book signed. I am happy to mail a signed label that can be added to your book.
Raising Jess: A Story of Hope is the feel-good story of family and survival when faced with adversity. This powerful memoir, written with compassion and humor, is the moving narrative of a family changed forever and the celebration of optimism, transformation, and hope. Vickie writes straight from the heart to tell the personal history of one family’s decision to choose hope.