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‘Alone’ is the real life Hunger Games we can’t stop watching

Have you ever wondered how long you would last if you were dropped into the wilderness with just a hunting knife, a shovel, and a sleeping bag?

Have you ever wondered how long you would last if you were dropped into the wilderness with just a hunting knife, a shovel, and a sleeping bag? A day? A week? That’s the premise of a show called ‘Alone’. Think ‘Survivor’, but on steroids.

Contestants are isolated with nothing but a camera for company. They take on grizzly bears and hunt wildlife. And the last person standing wins a cash prize. It’s like a real life ‘Hunger Games’, complete with the discomfort of watching people struggle against the elements for our entertainment.

This week on The Culture, Osman Faruqi is joined by The Saturday Paper’s TV critic Sarah Krasnostein to talk about why we’re so obsessed with ‘Alone’, and what that says about what we’re all grappling with as a society right now.

Plus, Sarah shares what she’s been watching, reading and listening too.

Guest: Sarah Krasnostein, TV critic for The Saturday Paper.

Show Transcript

From the front page

Image of former industry minister Christian Porter in the House of Representatives, August 24, 2021. Image © Mick Tsikas / AAP Image

Protecting Porter

Why does the government keep doing this?

Cover image for Karl Ove Knausgaard’s ‘The Morning Star’

Hell’s kitchen: Karl Ove Knausgaard’s ‘The Morning Star’

The ‘My Struggle’ author’s first novel in 17 years considers the mundanity of everyday acts amid apocalyptic events

Image of ‘Bewilderment’

‘Bewilderment’ by Richard Powers

The Pulitzer winner’s open-hearted reworking of Flowers for Algernon, updated for modern times

Image of ‘Scary Monsters’

‘Scary Monsters’ by Michelle de Kretser

Two satirical stories about fitting in, from the two-time Miles Franklin–winner


Read on

Cover image for Karl Ove Knausgaard’s ‘The Morning Star’

Hell’s kitchen: Karl Ove Knausgaard’s ‘The Morning Star’

The ‘My Struggle’ author’s first novel in 17 years considers the mundanity of everyday acts amid apocalyptic events

Image of Jeremy Strong as Kendall Roy in HBO’s Succession season 3. Photograph by David Russell/HBO

Ties that bind: ‘Succession’ season three

Jeremy Strong’s performance in the HBO drama’s third season is masterful

Image of a tampon and a sanitary pad viewed from above

A bloody shame: Paid period leave should be law

Australia’s workplace laws must better accommodate the reproductive body

Image of Gladys Berejiklian appearing before an ICAC hearing in October 2020. Image via ABC News

The cult of Gladys Berejiklian

What explains the hero-worship of the former NSW premier?