Bear Grylls is known for two things: rugged survivalist skills and having more reality television shows than Oprah Winfrey, shows that are mostly impossible to tell apart from one another. But one thing Bear Grylls is getting a little tired of is women, shoehorning in on all this outdoorsy reality show action. “A woman’s place is in the television audience, cheering for dudes,” as the old saying goes. Which is why Grylls’ new show is making sure to keep that whole people-with-periods thing far away from it. Variety reports that NBC has ordered six episodes of The Island, a new man vs. nature reality series.
The show features 14 people who will be sent to live on a deserted island with only a few tools and clothes, thereby “forcing them to hunt for food, find their own water, build shelter and a community to survive.” And most importantly, this will be 100 percent men, with no ladies allowed to disrupt this crucial experiment in testosterone enhancement therapy. “This is the true story of 14 penises forced to live on an island, where penises stop being polite and start getting real,” is probably the tag line. Grylls is really excited about his all-male revue: “This experiment reveals, in a shocking way, whether modern man, when pushed, can still summon all the resolve, ingenuity and strength that traditionally made a man’s man—or whether our society’s cushioning has meant we have lost those hard-earned skills of our ancestors.”
Grylls didn’t elaborate on that “society’s cushioning” line, but it seems safe to assume that he was referring to the “girlie”-fication of our society, through such emasculating tendencies as equal pay for equal work, or maybe Bic lighters. Also, his show isn’t engaging in any of those feminine reality TV tropes like competitions, eliminations, prizes, or even a professional camera crew, as that would interfere with the authenticity of his back-to-nature plan. (And also seems like a fairly straightforward way to suggest that all your previous reality show adventures have been the work of a soft, panty-waisted couch potato, all prancing around with his fancy camera team.) The men will instead “man” the cameras themselves, because have you ever heard of someone “woman-ing” a camera? You have not, because that’s ridiculous.
The show is based on a U.K. series of the same name that aired last year. This new cast includes a stay-at-home dad, a firefighter, a trauma surgeon, and a criminal defense attorney, the last of whom will turn out to be the most valuable member of the team, once all the men realize they signed up for a reality show with no prizes and rip Grylls limb from limb.