If you love survival shows like Man Versus Wild, Man Woman Wild, or Dual Survival, you need to catch Naked and Afraid on Discovery. Naked and Afraid first aired during the summer of 2013, and it promises to take the survival genre to the next level. Each episode follows two contestants as they attempt to survive 21 days in the wild, but the twist with this show is that they have to do it without clothing.
During the first few minutes of the show, the two contestants, who are always a male-female pair, get naked and meet each other for the first time. Hopefully, they like each other as their survival is dependent on working together. Once they have finished their meet and greet, each contestant is fitted with a necklace that contains a small microphone, and they are given a shoulder bag with a small camera that they can use to record footage at night.
Additionally, each contestant is allowed to bring a personal item along with them. To date, contestants have brought useful items, weapons, and machetes, but not a single contestant has brought a pair of shoes. This fact is surprising as many episodes have focused on the tribulations caused by going barefoot in the wild.
As the survivors work through their three week quest, the show gives the audience valuable updates on their weight, the temperature, and the number of days that have passed. In fact, audiences have been so interested in these extra details that the Discovery Channel on Dish has launched a follow-up show, Naked after Dark. On this show, past contestants tell more about their experiences, and audiences get to see extra footage from the nighttime camera rolls.
One of the main criticisms around survival shows has centered around the reality of surviving when there is a film crew present. Naked and Afraid has dodged these criticisms by not letting their camera crew get involved except in cases of emergency. One contestant reported that the crew gave her an “emergency” tampon, but in all other cases, contestants have to tap out if they are ready to give up.
Each episode takes place in a new locale, and contestants have had to battle through the wilds of the Costa Rican jungle, suffer through sunburns in the Maldives, and face alligators in Louisiana. Other episodes have taken place in Panama, Borneo, and near the Amazon rainforest. If the contestants make it through these scary environments, they are picked up at the end of the show by a rescue helicopter.
Catch Naked and Afraid Sunday at 9pm/8c on the Discovery channel.