For my lazy media entertainment I’ve been watching a cornball reality series on Netflix. It aired back in 2008 and it’s called The Colony. A “reality” show posed as an experiment where they put 8 people together from different backgrounds in a compound after a global disaster apocalypse and see how they get along and thrive…or not.
I always have to laugh at myself when watching or reading post-apocalyptic media. As much as I hate the kitchen, I suspect that I would probably end up on KP duty, first aid and laundry if the stuff hit the fan. I’m not going to be much good on the protection detail, hauling water or butchering a hog. I seriously doubt that I would be able to cobble together abandoned car engine parts to make a generator either.
One of the women on the first season really cracked me up. Of course I know this is all staged and directed, but I had to wonder just the same. She found a bolt of red satin, which just happened to be lying around in the abandoned warehouse/machine shop they were holed up in….yeah right. She fashioned the satin into a sort of sarong dress that tied at the neck and wore it and a pair of high heels. She also put on makeup every morning. Was this an attempt to hang on to some sense of stability in the face of an apocalypse? Or did the directors want to portray her as the blonde air head of the bunch? Who knows? She was an ER nurse so there had to be a bit of brains in there somewhere. But the ER is a place where you patch people up and send them along elsewhere for further treatment. Wonder what would happen when the buck stopped at her. There is no place to send an injured person for further care in this situation.
These survivors show up in the warehouse after being kept awake for 30 hours to simulate the shock and exhaustion one would experience in the face of a global catastrophe. The warehouse had a 3 day supply of food and little else. Everything else they had to arrange for themselves with what they could salvage from the compound. Food and water, fire, shelter, shelter and security they all had to provide from materials at hand.
The participants had a sit down talk every night at a communal dinner. It was interesting to see which of the basics they thought the most important priority was. They all pretty much agreed that drinking water was the most important and organized an expedition to a nearby heavily polluted inner city river. They then devised a filtration system using layers of charcoal and sand in an oil drum, then boiled the water as a last step. For the fire they used pallets found in the yard and broke them up for firewood.
After the water was taken care of the people who wanted to build a shower won out over those who wanted to focus on security first. So the easily breached areas of the compound were left while they built the shower. Of course the producers of the show arranged for a break in from marauders who trashed their fire pit and stole 2 days’ worth of food. So now they are all freshly showered but out of food. Well, duh! I think I would have been one of those who was more concerned about security than getting a shower, but that’s just me.
I found the show interesting because I have a fascination with post-apocalyptic scenarios. I’ve lived through a few myself in real life. The worse was the time I lived in Guam and we got hit by Super Typhoon Paka. The island got slammed head on leaving us without running water and electricity for 2 months. You really find out what you’re made up in a situation like that. I managed to get through it, but I had no choice. I left the island for good not long after that.