Saturday, February 25, 2012

Reno and Becka: Reality TV's Kate and Sawyer...But Sweatier

I don't know, but I think this is Reno's promo photo for 'The Colony', but it looks more like a headshot for the porn remake of said show.
It's 113 degrees outside, you haven't slept in days, you just boiled rotting pig carcass to make you fuck Reno? This is the main question posed by Discovery's second season of the wildly popular social experiment program The Colony (2009- present), in which a group of strangers is dropped into the Gulf Coast and told to survive without running water, power, or supplies. How is this different from Survivor you ask? There is no cash prize, there is no voting off contestants, or tribe councils. The task is simple: stay the fuck alive. You don't get airlifted into a Hilton if you decide to just say; fuck it, I need a shower. You're stuck there for 50 days and signed all of the legal waivers. 
Here's the upside. In your 'colony' they are going to include a really muscly, tan, wavy haired stud who's presence will distract from the severe but slow starvation depleting your brain from all rational thought. He will be sweaty, and he will be shirtless, and the show will slowly begin to build him up to be your 'protector', it will be very much like a Kate and Sawyer scenario and you will grow to be very attached to him, because you're stranded in a chemical waste dump in the middle of the post-Katrina Bayou in the dead of summer.
The show is a 'controlled experiment' where the producers keep throwing monkey wrenches into their colony's survival tactics. One of which was to hire actors who look like thugs to kidnap the youngest, prettiest girl in the bunch; Becka the former model, who does little more than whine about not being able to wash herself and picks berries. 
After she was detained for a good couple of days, Reno let his emotions run away with him and decided to forfeit about 90% of the colony's food to get her back. It was very valiant, but everyone else in the colony was pretty pissed. The general consensus was that Becka was getting picked off sooner or later, and no one doubted that she would eventually wash the fuck out. But thinking with our genitals as we do sometimes, Reno was overcome by an unflinching desire to fight for the damsel in distress. 
The good people at Discovery are aware that you can't just have a show that interests people with 8 or 9 people surviving by eating cockroaches all day, you have to throw a love story in there...and if you can, some good T&A. And with Reno, the 28 year old construction foreman, they achieved it. Every once in a while they let you take a break from wondering if you would be one of those people that kills others for meat after the apocalypse and just marvel at Reno's perfectly sculpted washboard abs, and amazingly meticulously combed facial scruff which somehow never grows into a filth beard. 
The show recently became available on Netflix Instant, and I've decided to re-watch it, the only thing I remembered from it the first time, was there was some hunky beefcake named Reno on it. Recently, on his public Facebook page, Reno (who calls himself an actor/director) admitted to boning both useless Becka and the voted leader of said colony, 28 year old tomboy Sally, who was a car mechanic in her former life, which surprised absolutely no one, the only thing being, we're all wishing Discovery would have aired it, and made it a cheesy two-last-people-on-earth-love-making scenario just to give us a break from all of the mechanical jargon i have a hard time following and close ups of bugs, feces, and pig carcasses. But I understand that they couldn't go there, if for no better reason than no one has brushed their teeth or washed themselves in weeks and it would probably be gross for everyone involved. But if this show has taught us anything, it's that even when your vital organs are in the process of shutting down, and your lack of nutrition is shutting down blood flow to your brain, one of the few things in your biology that makes it through are your hormones. 
In the middle of the season, the controlled experiment introduces a new character, a former Special  Ops Marine named Tick, who's also young and hunky, and way more sufficient than the entire colony put together which impresses the token pretty girl Becka, and makes Reno visibly jealous. This is just one of the examples of how most of the tension and politics that exists amidst the survivors is all based on sexual frustration and envy. It's actually quite amusing at times, and I think illustrates that the need for human contact and affection, be it sexual or not, is one of the necessities of survival besides food, water, and shelter. 
The show is extremely gritty and not for the weak hearted, which is actually refreshing in the midst of glossy faux survival doc programming like Survivor and foul ridiculousness like Fear Factor, but it doesn't shy away with allowing people to slip into their natural roles when stripped down to nothing and confront the elements of romantic desperation. Later, in a twist, Reno expresses his feelings of devotion in a 'not jealous boyfriend kind of way' as he puts it to Sally, with whom he has worked on every project to sustain the colony's survival including a makeshift windmill and bio-deisel powered tractor. He gave her the whole 'if anything happened to you...' talk which was kind of sweet if it wasn't so misguided, but the heart wants what it wants. 
Below is a segment from episode 4 of season 2 in which Becka is abducted and the colony is faced with the choice of fighting for her and giving up their basic life source, or letting her go. Reno leads the negotiations and lets his feelings for the girl affect his decisions. The way it's shot and executed is very telling of the unspoken romantic subplot of the otherwise grim series...and kind of makes him out to be a tool. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great review. Thanks for filling in some of the blanks