It seems a bit contradictory to have a reality show about people who are living without modern conveniences but that is what National Geographic Channel has done with its new series Live Free or Die.
Based on the premise that some people choose to “re-wild,” meaning abandon all modern conveniences to live completely off the land, Live Free or Die follows five individuals from different backgrounds and shows exactly what it takes to survive in the wild.
The “cast” is split geographically across the United States. Colbert lives in the swamps of Georgia and is the most interesting cast member since he’s lived in the wild the longest.
Gabriel lives between the mountains and the sea in California. He’s sweet and kind yet I couldn’t shake the feeling that he was just a wealthy kid living without responsibility. The nice thing is he’s trying to provide for himself with minimal harm to the environment.
Thorn lives on 120 acres in the Blue RIdge Mountains. He’s also a divorced dad with a two-year-old daughter. HIs story is the second-most interesting and his path seems aligned with Colbert.
Also in the Blue Ridge Mountains are husband and wife, Tony and Amelia. Tony is the most judgemental of all the subjects. His comments always seem to criticize anyone who doesn’t choose to live off the land. As if his decision to live off the land is the superior way of living and anybody who doesn’t live this way is a fool. It’s in his body language and facial expressions. He is the least convincing of the group. Amelia, on the other hand, seems sweet and sincere.
I can respect the way of life these people have chosen, but what isn’t clear is why they would all agree to participate in a show like this. There are some educational aspects and watching how these people survive on their instincts is admirable.
Live Free or DIe airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on National Geographic Channel.