A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Naked Castaway features a survivalist living on a deserted island with almost no belongings, including clothing -- his bare buttocks are frequently visible while other sensitive parts are blurred or covered. Younger and/or more sensitive viewers might have a tough time with some of the primitive ways he must hunt, kill, and consume various animals. There are also frequent bleeped curse words. Older tweens interested in the outdoors, and who are mature enough to understand the show's context, will probably be able to handle it.
What's the story?
NAKED CASTAWAY is a unique reality series that documents how modern-day explorer Ed Stafford survives alone on a deserted tropical island in Fiji for 60 days. The ex-British Army officer, who received international attention for successfully walking the entire length of the Amazon River in two and a half years, puts his survival skills to the ultimate test by arriving on the remote island with three video cameras, as well as a basic medical kit, a satellite phone, and a GPS messenger -- none of which are to be touched unless his life is in extreme danger. Without basic survival tools, food, fresh water, or a single item of clothing, he must find ways to survive using only his military training, ancient survival tactics, and whatever resources the island offers. As he struggles to find and consume minimal amounts of water and food to keep going, he must also learn to cope with the isolation. It's an enormous challenge, but one that, if successfully completed, will make him the first person to ever survive two months under these extreme conditions.
Is it any good?
Stafford, who spent nine months preparing for this challenge by working with doctors and by traveling around the world learning ancient and new survival tips, shows viewers how he prioritizes basic needs, stays focused, and uses primitive ways of meeting his needs. He is also honest about the frustrations he feels throughout his journey, especially when he gets sick or hurt, or when he begins to feel overwhelmed by loneliness.
It isn't always pleasant, especially when Stafford must kill and eat raw reptiles, snails, and other creatures in order to meet his body's needs for protein. The physical and psychological changes he undergoes throughout the process is also interesting. It might make you squeamish, but his experience teaches us important lessons about how little we really need to survive in the wild, and how nature can help us if we learn how to both use and respect it correctly.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the various books, films, and TV shows about castaways and people stranded on remote islands. What are some of the most famous ones? How do those stories compare with this show?
Are TV documentary series like this one useful for teaching about surviving in the great outdoors? Or are they designed to be more entertaining than educational? How realistic is it to think that people who do not have Stafford's training can survive in these extreme and isolating circumstances for long periods of time?
Themes & Topics
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