Many early summer series are coming to a close soon, and their future hangs in the balance already. Will The Island get a Season 2 on NBC? The show, lead by survivalist Bear Grylls, is like a grittier Survivor. Unfortunately we don't know for certain whether or not the reality series will continue past this summer. NBC has not made public a decision to renew or cancel The Island just yet. It has been doing well for the network in the ratings so chances are high, but nothing is official just yet.
It's not surprising to me that the show is popular. It taps into our obsession with post-apocalyptic landscapes and getting back to basics, which I really do feel is a response to our current reliance on technology. We yearn to ease back on screen culture but know that it's not possible in the world we live in — so shows like The Island create those circumstances and we get to live vicariously through the contestants. The show is as simple as It's not about mind games or constructed physical challenges — it's about whether or not a modern human being can survive in the wild without relying on technology. Even the camera operator was a cast member on the series and wasn't completely "removed" from the challenge.
The Island was based off a British reality series by the same name, which has been renewed for a third season on Channel Four in the UK. It also stars Bear Grylls (in fact the full title across the pond is The Island with Bear Grylls), so it stands to reason that the future of the series on NBC depends on Grylls' schedule and willingness to do this multiple times in a year.
If The Island does get a second season, I would hope that they hire a few ladies this time. The first season had an all-male cast, and pretty predominantly white as well. In fact, this became a point of controversy in the United Kingdom, when female survivalists complained about how sexist it is to exclude women from this challenge. When The Island returned to Channel Four in Season 2, they had two casts — one all-male and one all-female — that aired on different nights. Considering that the show just came to the United States and went right back to its old tricks, consider me unimpressed.
Still, it's an impressive format for a reality series. Hopefully NBC will make the decision soon, and if The Island is renewed, will return with a diverse cast that makes for an even better, more exciting adventure.
Images: Chris Haston/NBC; NBC