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'Get Out Alive With Bear Grylls' Review: 'Don't Look Down'

August 6th, 2013 9:36am EDT | Christopher Monigle By: Christopher Monigle favorite Add to My News

Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls

Get Out Alive and The Challenge are the only reality TV shows I watch on a weekly basis. I sort of fell into watching Get Out Alive weekly. The Challenge's weekly format doesn't change until near the end of the season. Get Out Alive reached a point last week where the obstacles were repetitive, and everything that followed was uninteresting. Bear reminds the teams that the objective is survival, but the urgency's never where Bear wants it. Of course, every team knows Get Out Alive is a game show--that fact removes some of the urgency. Competitors on The Challenge talk about winning big money every week, but the Get Out Alive contestants never talk about the money. I forgot about the money until Bear asked to see it in the show's opening. I like that the money isn't the Ultimate prize and that teams won't destroy each other in the pursuit of it. The emphasis on survival, of personal growth and self-improvement, of learning more about each other and also understanding each other better, are the objectives of Get Out Alive.

"Don't Look Down" had a alot to make one smile. The obstacle, which tasked the teams with crossing the tyroleon across a wide gorge, showed the strength and determination of Wilson, and his unwavering support of Robin. The food team worked together to capture eels. I waited for Ryan to use his hand for the eel to bite, but his technique worked very well. The sweetest part of the food gathering involved Madeline's reaction to Ryan's ability as a hunter-and-gatherer of the dinner, like in the way she looked at him and the sort of marvelous way she said, "I'm learning so much about you," with a mix of awe, admiration, and love--a pure expression of the soul almost. The food team worked wonderfully together (though I thought Kyle and Royce should've taken Ryan and Madeline into the food pit, but meritocracies aren't fun or fair). Austin and Jim successfully lit a fire in damp New Zealand. I particularly liked Austin's amazement over him and his dad's ability to create fire using two sticks. The group worked smoothly together. It's a shame most of the team's slept poorly because Robin and Wilson made more bad shelters. Sleep deprivation has its perks, though.

This week's elimination had little suspense. Bear tried to manufacture suspense by targeting Lucky, Louie, Chris, and Jeff, for enjoying a good night's sleep. Robin and Wilson's time on the show was up though. Bear told them they dodged a few bullets, but the consistency of the crappy shelters was too much to overlook. Bear obviously loves Robin and Wilson. He effusively complimented Robin's effort during the obstacle, and he lauded Wilson's effort in reaching the other side.

The feast pit was the least interesting part of last week's episode (there are limited ways to make people feasting interesting, unless it involves Gimli from the Lord of the Rings). I reacted to tonight's feast pit differently. I think the addition of a second team improved the feast pit. Four people were overwhelmed with happiness and comfort instead of two. Lucky said he'd be proud to have Kyle and Royce as sons. Jeff watched forlornly (not really forlornly but go with it). No, Jeff's cameo during the feast pit was the best part for his impression of a kid hoping the nice neighbor would invite him for supper (Lucky made the comparison).

"Don't Look Down" is the first episode of Get Out Alive I enjoyed all the way through; it's the first episode that met my expectations of the show. Now I expect to see expert survivalists next week. I don't really. I won't be around next week to write about the episode, but I'll be back for the final two episodes.

Photo Credits: © NBCUniversal, Inc


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