How do you prepare to be a survivalist-in-the-buff on “Naked and Afraid”? One way: You start at the bottom and work up.
“I walked around barefoot for months,” said Dani Julien, who then spent 21 days undressed in the wilderness on the popular Discovery Channel reality show.
Julien and three fellow self-described survival experts appeared, fully clad, at a panel on Wednesday at the summer TV critics’ tour.
Quickly enough, the question arose: Why?
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“This is who we are,” replied Jeff Zausch. “This is what we’re made of. We were made to push the limits of what’s humanly possible.”
But why (apart from the fact that they’re attractive, telegenic young people) the nudity?
Self-discovery, according to Eva Rupert.
“It’s only when you’re pulled down to the rawest, most central core of your existence that you know who you really are,” she said.
“It adds to the difficulty level of the accomplishment,” added Justin Bullard.
But the nudity isn’t supposed to be racy, the producers insisted.
“We never meant for this to be an exploitative show,” said executive producer David Garfinkle. “This is a family show.”
The producers disclosed that the very title of the show is inspired by a phrase from, of all things, the Bible.
Of course, Discovery is a basic cable network, so camera angles are strategic and pixilation hides what clothes otherwise would.
Asked his reaction to the selective pixilation imposed on his own naked form in the show, Bullard voiced one complaint.
“They could have made the blur-spot bigger,” he joked.