‘The Island with Bear Grylls’ – In Defence

Guest blogger Modulor Dave; in defence of Channel 4 reality TV. Very grrr. All the turkey. Much win.

Last night at 9pm unlike the other 64.099 million humans in the UK, I switched over from the red button snooker to catch up with the scantily clad starvation antics of the inhabitants of Bear Grylls’ The Island (Mondays 9pm Channel 4)

I know…  I can almost hear you screaming in the comment section… “WHAT ABOUT GAME OF THRONES???”  Well, I will catch up with that, at my own pace.  I won’t be rushed. There are others who I’m sure pay closer attention to the horrors and intrigue of Westeros, and they will write about it with great humour and verve.  But for me, I’m wrapped up in the human horror-drama on Isla Gibraleón (a suitably Westerosian name!) in the Pacific ocean.

We catch up with this sorry bunch of latter day Robinson Crusoes immediately after the (literal) cliff-hanger of last weeks episode where lovable permaflirt, 19 year old Paddy had just plunged 20 ft off a disintegrating cliff face onto the jagged rocks and crashing storm swell below.

Egged on by ‘Expedition Leader’ Dr (Dickhead, as he’s known in my house) Dan, the Uber Alpha wannabe action hero, poor Paddy was trying to keep up, with the Dr’s frantic cliff scrambling, and slipped into almost certain peril.

The first half of the episode shows us the aftermath, Paddy airlifted 100km to the nearest island hospital, where it emerges he has been miraculously lucky, and sustained no serious life threatening injuries. Then Dr Dan initially appearing remorseful and repentant over his boorish and dangerous machismo.

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Padddy’s airlift – (Photo: digitalspy.com)

The other star of this episode is the tiny Cockney ‘Bar Supervisor’ Tilly.  She’s a total hero. Having not really found her role on the island, she had unhappily slipped into a rather submissive, almost 1950s housewife role, along with a number of the other women. Sweeping the camp, and tidying up after the Blokes once they’d gone off for another fruitless day of ‘hunting’ .

Totally dissatisfied with this state of affairs, Tilly along with matriarch of the group, and former sports event streaker Erika, heads off against the will of the Blokes into the jungle and set some ingenious looking animal traps. I’m sure the titular Bear would be proud of these exquisitely crafted traps. So, without injury, or threat of death, the women return to the camp and get on with the daily tasks of camp life.

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Tilly and the girls (Photo: telegraph.co.uk)

Meanwhile Dr Dan has headed up a new expedition into the heart of the island. Massive chopper in hand (machete, you filthy so and so!) he hacks his way through the impenetrable jungle. Mostly hacking at the jungle, but he also manages to gouge a large chunk out of his own leg! Ah! What a *expletive deleted*!! Two bottles of liquid morphine later, Dr Dan stitches himself up like Rambo, and they plough on blindly into the jungle in search of camen, wild boar, and Daenerys Targaryen’s third dragon!

Dr Dan and the Blokes (playing tonight at the Dublin Castle) return to camp having stumbled upon a patch of sugar cane and yucca. Thinking they’re the kings and masters of the Island, they puff out their emaciated chests and distribute the bits of plant they mightily pulled out of the ground. All very pleased with their efforts, the Blokes are lounging on the beach after a sugar cane crash, when Tilly emerges from the jungle, decapitated turkey in hand. She has totally bossed the wildlife on this island, and brought home the turkey bacon.

With this, the islanders camp down with their first proper meal in weeks and if you listen closely you can hear some lessons being learned by the male half of the population. Just because you’re shitting in the bushes, doesn’t mean you have to act like a caveman.

Visit channel4.com for your Island fix

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