The Selection: Special Operations Experiment

For centuries, the only way for people to truly test the limits of their toughness was to join the military, undergo an intense training program, and then kill or be killed in the name of whatever flag they happen to be fighting under. Thankfully, modern society has come up with a way to make that process work without asking anyone to risk their lives for any nation. Instead, they’ll risk their lives for a far greater good: reality television.

Fox already has John Cena’s American Grit, which tests regular civilians’ ability to spend an extended period of time with John Cena, and now Variety is reporting that History has given a series order to The Selection: Special Operations Experiment. The show comes from executive producer Peter Berg, who knows a thing or two about overcoming significant odds thanks to his work directing Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon, and Battleship, and the thing that sets it apart from Cena’s show is that it looks almost absurdly terrifying. Variety says the contestants—though there is no winner and no prizes—have to “face challenges physical and mental, including tear gas, interrogation simulation, and psychological warfare.”

That doesn’t really capture the terror, though, seeing as how the above trailer for The Selection features a scene where a man pours his heart out about why he wants to be there and is then promptly taken away with a bag over his head like he’s being dropped off at a CIA black site. A lot of reality shows seem kind of intense, but this could be the first one that actually feels kind of chilling. Also, what are the odds these people are actually being trained for some kind of super soldier program and the TV show is just a propaganda experiment? Because we’re pretty sure that’s what’s happening here.

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The Selection: Special Operations Experiment will premiere on History on December 15.