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Review: “Naked & Afraid”

21 June 2013 7:15 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Just the title “Naked & Afraid” already sounds like a ratings winner for Discovery Channel, if one that will no doubt be easily confused with latenight fare available on Cinemax. Putting the budget for digitally obscured genitalia to the test (think “Borat,” only not consciously played for laughs), each episode will pit a pair of survivalists against an exotic locale, trying to hold out for three weeks with no food, water or (drum roll, please) clothes. What ensues is pretty typical of the genre, but it’s still kind of a risible kick, if only for how seriously the show takes itself.

A self-described “Everest of survival challenges,” the series promises — and then frequently restates — that the participants are accompanied by only a small crew with “clear instructions not to intervene unless there is a medical emergency.” In other words, it’s very important to believe these people might die, even »

- Brian Lowry

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