A sort of reality show where the volunteers don’t have to compete in challenges, don’t have to put up with Jeff Probst, and don’t get a chance to win a million dollars. They do have to live without clean water, eat a lot of rice, and compete against the elements. The idea is that the world as we know it has ended, as in The Road or I Am Legend minus the vampires and cannibals. The world is an abandoned neighborhood in which the Volunteers have to look around for useful items and fight off bands of Marauders who want to steal what little the volunteers have. Along the way they have to find food, water, shelter, sanitation, and security.
In Season 1 of The Colony the producers really stacked the deck in favor of the volunteers-image Gillian’s Island with seven Professors and no Gilliagans. Season 1 had a handy man who could fix anything, a scientist who could whip up a Tesla coil out of old junk, a doctor, an RN, a rocket scientist, and so on and so forth. In short order they were cleaning water with first charcoal and then an Ozoneator. They generated electricity by creating Wood Fuel in a Gasifier and then by using Solar Panels. They made a radio transmitter and receiver without breaking a sweat. They were as far from a group of random survivors as you could possibly get.
Season 2 of The Colony is a little more real world. If anything, they have gone too far the other way and put nothing but Gilliagans on the island this time. The setting is also a lot less conducive to turning a coupe of coconut shells into a nuclear reactor-instead a shop filled with usable materials, the Volunteers are in a crappy neighborhood and have so far found nothing but an old tractor and a truckload of rotting pig carcasses. If this were the real world, these Volunteers would be toast in short order, whereas the first group would be busy taking over the world.
The Colony is fun to watch, but it does bring home the fact that most of us would not be in any position to keep ourselves alive, let alone rebuild the world.