The Discovery Channel's new series, The Alaska Experiment, begins with a disclaimer about off-camera survival experts being present because of the extreme danger involved in the project. Whoo hoo! I love vicarious danger. Four teams volunteered to live in the Alaskan wilderness, to see how they would fare. They were dropped off with basic supplies (camping gear, a couple of days worth of food, a map and compass), and dropped off in late summer with instructions to prepare for the winter. Each team was given directions to a rickety cabin or tent.
The participants were divided into four teams:
Greg and Bernice: She's a seasoned wilderness expert; he "goes camping every Memorial Day and Labor Day."
Tim, Jasmine, and Allan: Tim is an adventure junkie whose friends are tagging along. Jasmine says she's been called a "princess."
Dennis, Jennifer, and Carolyn: A father and two daughters who are used to camping together. This was the first team to yell at each other.
Elizabeth and Jeff: A dating couple. Jeff has been involved in wilderness rescue. They are justifiably worried a bear could come right through the walls of their tent if it wanted to.
In the first episode alone, Alaska Experiment participants had to deal with getting lost, ice fields, cold, quicksand and lots and lots of bears. (Stephen Colbert would love this show.)
The Alaska Experiment first caught my attention because I have always hoped that Survivor would have a season set in a cold climate. However, the vibe is a lot more educational. It actually reminds me a lot of PBS's Frontier House minus the period element. I think we can expect to pick up some interesting factoids (for example, bears are so stinky you'll smell one before you see it, and salmon think they are invisible when they bury their heads), while witnessing some interpersonal drama amongst the teams.
New episodes of The Alaska Experiment air on The Discovery Channel, Tuesdays at 10 pm EST.
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Amy Kane spends as much quality time with her television as possible, when she's not busy at her day job as a cube dweller.