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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 05:02 PM
Original message
"Dumped" - "Survivor" in the rubbish
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 05:03 PM by babylonsister
"Survivor" in the rubbish

"Dumped," a new reality show, tosses vain Brits into a garbage dump to live among the maggots and tires. It's trash TV with a message.

By Katharine Mieszkowski

March 8, 2008 | If you gussied up a green public service announcement as a reality TV show, would anybody who doesn't already recycle watch it? That's plainly the hope of the creators of "Dumped" (premieres Sunday at 10 p.m. EDT on BBC America), a four-part reality show that aspires to do more than invite viewers to gawk at the spectacle of double-crossing adults making fools of themselves in pursuit of cash, glory and fame. "Dumped" wants to unleash a tsunami of righteous disgust at the grotesque excesses of our throwaway culture. It's reality TV with a message about, well, reality.

Our eco-lesson disguised as entertainment begins with 11 contestants, including an Iraq war vet and a platinum jewelry salesman, ensconced in a luxury hotel near London's Gatwick airport, dining on fresh strawberries, melon and oranges at a linen-covered table, anticipating their upcoming three-week eco-adventure at an as yet unknown destination. On the environmental spectrum, the participants range from Selena, a personal trainer, who describes herself as an "eco-pain in the ass" to Darren, a woodworker, who owns four cars and wears his underwear only once before throwing it away because he "loves the crispness" of new tighty-whiteys. Then there's Sasha, a streaky-blond part-time model, who says she knows all about global warming. "I've noticed it's getting warmer, but I like that, because I like sun anyway," she says, dissolving into giggles.

Most of the eager contestants assume they'll be flying abroad, perhaps to a remote island or a tropical rain forest to do something good for the earth while experiencing the glories of its natural wonders. They wish. The group travels by bus to a dump outside Croydon in South London, where they'll spend the next three weeks living off the junk that their fellow Brits have thrown away. At the dump, hundreds of seagulls feeding on the rubbish squawk as the dismayed participants disembark from the bus, covering their mouths and noses with their hands in horror -- and to ward off the stench -- and surveying with revulsion the mountains of bent tricycles, used tires, discarded carpeting, rotting lettuce and other filth that they're expected to inhabit. "Someone's not been recycling!" quips one contestant. The British are lousy recyclers compared with the conscientious Dutch and Germans, but -- wouldn't you know it? -- Americans are the worst of the bunch when it comes to producing too much trash.

First lesson of the show: The "environment" isn't something out there in the wilderness that you take a vacation to appreciate; you're impacting it every day, right at home, every time you dump something in the trash. Lest this insight be lost on the contestants -- or viewers -- "Dumped" gives us Rob, who we're told is a big-shot environmental designer in the U.K. -- to remind them and us. Rob serves as the show's Jolly Green Giant, and cheerleading host, dropping by the dump periodically to give the group a challenge: Build a shelter using nothing but trash. Rob tries to buck up the trash campers with statements like, "We need to reduce the amount that we put into landfill, and we need to actually think of it not as a waste, but as a resource."

Before our grossed-out gang pulls together to put a roof over their heads, we're treated to lots of whining and exclamations about how disgusting it is to be surrounded by dusty, decomposing trash that's crawling with flies and teeming with maggots. There are shots of nail-biting and dour faces, along with lines like, "On a scale of 1 to 10, this is pretty bad." One melodramatic psychology student named Aaron exclaims: "I hate it here. I actually hate it here. I want to die." Or you could just go home, Aaron.

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UncleSepp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 07:33 PM
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1. I'd like to see the competition part of it change
Why not change the reward structure so that each person gets more money the more people stay? Conflicts will arise on their own. Why not change the game so that successful resolution of conflict is rewarded?
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TheCentepedeShoes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Good idea
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 07:40 PM by TheCentepedeShoes
We used to enjoy watching "Junkyard Wars" or whatever it was called. Two teams compete to make some kind of device or vehicle out of what they could find in a junkyard (not a garbage dump). Teamwork a must to win.
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UncleSepp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I loved Junkyard Wars!
That's a great example of how to have the excitement of competition without the kind of interpersonal competition that encourages and rewards selfishness, meanness, and deception.
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 12:01 AM
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4. K&R
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