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40 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

Reality TV grows up

Author: Maiklas3000
8 September 2009

I'm no fan of reality TV, but I make an exception for The Colony, because it's more meaty. The scenario is that a viral outbreak has devastated Mankind, leaving relatively few survivors. The volunteers for the "experiment" are 10 individuals with diverse backgrounds, and we get to watch as they attempt to survive in an admittedly artificially constrained environment: a cordoned-off warehouse in L.A.

Two things make the show special. First, the group is so immersed in the situation that the emotions are real for them, which is fascinating. Second, they do builds that are interesting and sometimes amazing.

From comments the participants have made outside the show, it's fairly obvious that things were about as real as they could be, within this totally artificial situation. On the Discovery forums, Mike the mechanic wrote:

"WE...and I say this again,,,,,,,,WE had NO HELP from crew or anyone else!!!!!!!!!"

You can almost hear him shouting. And on his blog page, uber electrical engineer John C. wrote:

"One thing I really loved about the show was that everything they showed that worked.. actually worked.. if it didn't work.. they'd show that it didn't work.. That was really important to me."

Despite this, the director was not content to just sit back and watch things unfold naturally, and instead prodded the group with events, such as actors playing the role of raiders. This sometimes comes off a bit silly, but at least there are no stupid contests.

It's a show that some love and some hate, so your mileage may vary.

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

A realistic interpretation of what could really happen in a post-apocalyptic world

Author: Stoh80 from California
16 October 2011

A question that many of us ask, but few seriously consider, is what would the world be like after society collapsed? The Colony, a reality television show on Discovery, addresses just this, and I have to say it far surpassed any expectations I had for a reality show.

In both seasons, The Colony takes a group of a dozen people or so, each with a specific skill that may or may not be useful for survival—electrical engineering, medicine, even modeling. They tell these people that a virus has wiped out 90% of the Earth's population and that they must band together to try and rebuild society. They start with the basics like food, water, and shelter, but as the season progresses, the survivors get more creative and intricate with their colony and start building things for self-defense and electricity. Season 1 took place in an abandoned warehouse in Los Angeles, while season 2 was in a hurricane-ravaged neighborhood in New Orleans. Though the colonists obviously know they aren't in any real danger, the obstacles they must overcome are very real, and it only takes them the first few days to forget that they are, in fact, in a reality show. If society was to collapse as described in the show, I think The Colony offers a genuine look into how people would respond to the stresses of rebuilding society.

This post-apocalyptic reality show is as real as you can get without putting the contestants in any real danger. They're pushed to their limits, and never once does the crew step in to help them. Actors are even hired to harass our colonists, as gangs and marauders constantly attack the colony, never giving the survivors a moments rest. The Colony is recommended for survivalist fanatics or any person looking for an original, realistic reality show.

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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Fact or Fiction

Author: hijraalbadr from United States
29 September 2010

OK, so I'm just going to make this short: The premise is that it's essentially a live action role play scenario.

That said, I think that what most of the reviews have missed so far is that the whole point of this show is to demonstrate a series of actual tasks that *might* have to be accomplished by survivors of an apocalyptic scenario. Yes, some of their successes are a bit far fetched, but to be real, that doesn't make for an entirely compelling narrative. We're not talking about Survivor, we're not talking about realism here. What we're experiencing is a social experiment of a variety.

The first season was more believably populated by people who I would trust in a survival situation, definitely. The second season is markedly less about actually skilled members of the team/colony and more about the psychological make up of a surviving group. Both seasons are compelling because they address many of the questions inherent to survival/post-apocalyptic films and fiction. Would a ragtag group be able to pull it together enough to make it through day-to-day? Would they be able to use enough common sense and basic knowledge to complete complicated and confusing tasks? Could they, ultimately, rely on one another for survival?

Would it be interesting to have it crewed/cast entirely by people who would be useful in a survival scenario: of course. Would it be likely or even realistic for that to be the case: Of course not.

As for staged scenarios, I really can't argue much on that, except to say it makes sense to have tasks be staged as well as to have the raiders and non-colony members be actors and have their reactions staged. That's part of the whole experiment, to demonstrate what's actually going to happen to social reasoning and our understanding of cultural imperatives.

I guess, to once again sum up, I'd say this: If you're looking for something that is compelling and true to life, set up your own colony with your own friends and see how it goes. If you want to see something that's as informative as entertaining, just watch the show and understand you're not watching Survivorman, you're not even watching Man vs. Wild.

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42 out of 78 people found the following review useful:

Too contrived

Author: John Marshall from Phoenix, AZ
23 September 2009

I was intrigued by the premise of this show, but quickly became turned off by how contrived it is.

I'm willing to suspend disbelief and accept that everyone in the group (or nearly everyone, since the marine biologist is pretty much useless) is highly skilled and trained in a field that is tailor-made for the situation. I guess in the post apocalypse no run-of-the-mill folks manage to survive and come together.

That being said, the ideas that the Colonists come up with each week strain credibility pretty far. I could buy it if every once in a while someone had an unusual solution to a problem, but when week-in, week-out they come up with elaborate solutions, I call foul. It all seems very contrived and likely fed to the Colonists by producers.

The second major problem is the appearance of needed materials. The Colonists apparently picked the greatest abandoned warehouse in the world to inhabitant. The warehouse miraculously produces whatever is needed to finish a project. Again just a little too contrived for me. The Colonists were never faced with abandoning a plan or doing something more simply because whatever they needed was magically found in the warehouse.

I'm guilty of watching the entire series. Once I watched a couple episodes, I felt I needed to finish it out. But, the last several episodes, my eyes were rolling quite a bit.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Great series, I wish there was more then two seasons!

Author: Timothy Bowen
7 October 2011

I enjoyed this series a lot! It was like watching a movie such as "The Road" or "Book of Eli" without the rest of the BS, just lets see how things REALLY went day to day and how creative people can or can't be when faced with hard situations. I so enjoyed feeling a part of this journey, privileged to watch and learn from the trials the cast went through. Every item built to help them on their journey was amazing and I only hope if I was faced with the same issues I could help even half as much. I recommend this series to anyone who is interested in surviving a post apocalyptic world, there are many things and points made that might just make the difference in your living or dying, pay attention! ;)

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

S1 good, S2 bad

Author: bluescrn from England
29 November 2012

I found the first season very enjoyable. It was like a survival-themed Scrapheap Challenge - an intelligent/skilled team, engineering the solutions to problems with somewhat limited resources.

Yes, it was a very silly that they conveniently found everything they needed, and their builds worked first-time most of the time, but still, it was enjoyable viewing.

The role-play elements were a bit rubbish, 'fighting off' bad guys - but not too distracting.

Sadly, with S2, it degenerated into fairly trashy reality TV, less engineering/building, a less likable/less intelligent group of survivors, and far more shouting, bickering, and far more bad role-playing.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Fascinating premise, but too many fake elements

Author: SnoopyStyle
13 September 2013

This is a Discovery Channel Reality TV Show. The premise is a group of strangers must survive a post-apocalyptic scenario. They shot this in an abandoned location. The first season takes place in an L.A. warehouse with all kinds of stuff. The second season takes place in the bayou within an abandoned neighborhood suffering from some kind of virus.

On the surface, it is extremely fascinating. Of course, they can't take it to the extreme. For example, they have people who come in and 'attack' the colonists. But it's more fake Hollywood than anything realistic. Then there is the seemingly fortuitous supplies that happens to be on hand. Sometimes it's fun to see the stuff they built. But reality has little to do with it. I find myself fast forwarding a lot of the show.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic, one of best shows on TV, Highly Entertaining

Author: Eric Paul Hyatt from Colorado
31 March 2011

This show was fantastic, and if you liked season 1 season 2 is much more exciting. Several survivors in a staged disaster scenario then have to actually survive off the land, a million times more realistic than Survivor. Action packed, twists and turns, makes you feel you lived through it all, again amazing amazing show. This show makes you question, how prepared are we really? What would you do if you had to find water and food near you? Would you be empathetic to others if you had food and they didn't? at what lengths would you go to protect yourself and you family? The Colony is a great ride from beginning to end and ultimately makes you wonder could I survive?

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I love this show - finally quality TV worth watching

Author: kristen-31-913668 from United States
1 November 2016

I love this show - finally quality TV worth watching! I always learn so much watching and I love how each episode has different solutions to the same basic needs. I wish there were tons more to watch. Why doesn't anyone I ever tell about this show know it exists?! This should be on TV especially with all that is going on in this country and how many p r e p p e r s we have who would also love and appreciate this show.

I don't know why I need to write 10 lines of text. I said everything I needed to say already.

I love this show - finally quality TV worth watching! I always learn so much watching and I love how each episode has different solutions to the same basic needs. I wish there were tons more to watch. Why doesn't anyone I ever tell about this show know it exists?! This should be on TV especially with all that is going on in this country and how many p r e p p e r s we have who would also love and appreciate this show.

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8 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

There might be a good show underneath all this garbage......

Author: adam_isackson from United States
8 October 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I agree that this is an interesting concept.

Yes this is obviously heavily scripted, and a lot of the situational stuff is incredibly stupid but if you can get past all the stupid stuff like marauders (one of the lamest things ever shown on TV) there's some potential here to create a good show and maybe give the viewers some useful survival information (which is why i tuned in - i've watched the first 2 episodes) As it stands this is a less believable version of the TV series Jericho gallivanting as a "reality show" So far most of the "characters" are uninteresting (with the possible exception of the engineer and mechanic who have built a few heavily scripted "devices" with a collection of materials 2 good to be true in an actual survival situation....

My advice is change the format of the show and give us some useful disaster survival information and cut out all the stupid garbage.

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