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Discovery's post-apocalyptic experiment The Colony is kind of lame

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 30th 2009 3:00PM
The ColonyEven though they have experts telling us that the volunteers in The Colony will internalize their situation and begin to think of it as their real lives, I don't believe it. The premise of the show is to take ten ordinary people from a variety of backgrounds and sequester them in a warehouse. Then we'll all pretend it's post apocalyptic Los Angeles and they have to find a way to survive.

But it's just not working. Two episodes in, and I'm not buying it at all. I'm not even really buying that the volunteers are buying into it. They seem just like any other reality show participant, enjoying their moment in the spotlight. The producers have rigged up marauders to go after them, but does anyone really believe they're in any danger? A true post-apocalyptic scenario would be a nightmare of terrors and fears with mortal peril at every turn.

Instead, we get a sunny look at some people coming up with creative inventions to generate power and filter water.

How about you just show us that, and you'd have a show. Instead of creating this whole elaborate scenario for your volunteers, just have a group of experts show us how to scavenge supplies and make these machines to survive in case anything happens. That part's at least interesting.

But don't so obviously set up a tent outside so your volunteers can raid it for supplies. Or have people bang on the warehouse doors and then run away when a pipe gets waved at them. This kind of crap took me completely out of the post-apocalyptic scenario, because none of it really rang true. In a real apocalypse, people would have guns and pose a real threat. Instead, we can see cars whizzing by on the freeway.

Nobody really believes that anyone is in danger here, which makes the whole thing a sham. You can be a lot braver when you know you're on camera and you're sure nobody's really going to try and kill you. The narrator told us that the volunteers didn't know the "marauders" were told not to hurt them, but they knew. We all knew.

They hurt me by taking a decent idea and turning it into bad television. They did say it was an experiment, though. So maybe they're showing us that it failed.

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Dave

Watched most all the shows. And found it interesting and somewhat informative. But the reality of a bunch of highly educated "survivors" banding together in an end of world situation...not going to happen. Most likely, people will be like the 'marauders'...preying upon each other. People will be killed on the spot for something as simple as a glass of water, or for the shoes on their feet! Mostly I think the show was an eye-opener for what is about to come in the not too distant future....So get ready folks....For it will be ....'Day of the Dog'!

September 23 2009 at 9:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nick

You all are missing the point. Point is COULD people get together and make life work with whats left behind after.I couldn't agree more with the 1st 2 episodes being boreing but its just the same for most new shows, u gotta push through the beginning and they get good. At this point of the experiment they are truley there. Remember they really are feeling the life style that an apocalyptic catastrophe would provide.

September 10 2009 at 2:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bob

I dont see why you bash this show... everything on tv is purely entertainment. These people know they are in as about as much danger as the dating shows are looking for love. These people are prob. given cues on who to start a fight with and what to say just like the real world. This is just a reality show for people who are more 'mature' than the mtv stuff. And like empt said survivor is monitored, after the first season of course when people came down with all sorts of diseases.

August 18 2009 at 12:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bob's comment
Jeremy Pickens

I disagree! The Experiment (the movie) was based on a real experiment that happened in the 70's. It only lasted 6 days because after the second everyone believed their roles including the leading psychologist (who was jail superintendent). The guards became very violent and until a colleague stepped it would have gotten worse. So after a few weeks these guys are believing their situation and the starvation pictures shows that the food situation is very freaking real.

May 25 2011 at 7:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wulfn1

A couple years ago, History International aired a show about a group of people in England who volunteered to Live in a village like people in the dark ages (or was it prior .. can't remember. ). The show was done well, interesting and as historically correct as they could make it in modern society and given the knowledge we have of the time. At one point a child had to be taken out of the situation due to an illness that needed modern medical attention, but for the most part they all continued.
Why couldn't Discovery do the same? Instead of making it all "mad max" , just state the obvious, we're trying to see how we would survive in a post apocalyptic scenario. and be honest about the whole thing.
The guy on the motorcycle gets totally ignored, while they're trying to find fuel (they use wood?!? natural resources be damned) when there is an obvious fuel source to be tapped until further accommodations can be made. but no they wave a pipe thing at the guy instead of asking "where did ya get the gas?" or "come join us and pool resources"
Yeah it's not that great a show. But right now nothing else good is on to replace it.

August 03 2009 at 10:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
empt

The voice over on the show said that the "outsiders" aren't allowed to hurt the contestants, but the contestants didn't know that.......

And the contestants are already keeping an all-night watch, cause something like a "kidnapping" might, in fact, happen....

I don't see how they could get any more serious than that. At least, I can't think of a way.

July 30 2009 at 8:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
A Gould

epmt said...

I'd like someone to explain to me one legitimate way the producers could make them feel like they were in actual danger......Should they kidnap people and put them in the game without them knowing it?
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First thought is show up in the middle of the night and kidnap someone *out* of the group.

And don't tell the rest what's going on. Just make it clear that they won't be back. (Could even use a ringer for the first one).

Betcha when they figure out that you can get "kicked off the island" by not keeping a proper watch, they'll take it a bit more seriously.

July 30 2009 at 6:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
empt

I'd like someone to explain to me one legitimate way the producers could make them feel like they were in actual danger......Should they kidnap people and put them in the game without them knowing it?

I got news for you......Survivor players aren't really out in the jungle by themselves, in danger of starvation.....

July 30 2009 at 5:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to empt's comment
Xyz

Can't comment directly on the show, but a few years back there was a Canadian show called Pioneer Quest that took two couples, gave them a bunch of basic tools, a bit of lumber, seeds and a little preserved food and left them more or less alone on a small plot of land in the Canadian prairies. Given that they had virtually nothing to begin with, would not be -given- anything (they could barter) and it took place over the course of a full year the sense of immersion was pretty good.

July 30 2009 at 7:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mdisloki

All they need now is a group of 25 to 50 Zombies to attack the compound. The last two episodes they can make it look like the zombies/marauders are actually going to kill the people and take the compound then have Mila Jovavich and Mel Gibson save them.

July 30 2009 at 4:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John

Agreed. The voiceover sucks really really bad as well.

July 30 2009 at 4:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave

I'm waiting for the episode where we get to vote on who they eat first to survive. My vote is for Michael.

July 30 2009 at 3:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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