Win The Wilderness

  • 09 May - 15 May, 2020
  • Mag The Weekly

35 years ago, Duane Ose walked for 15 days through the Alaskan wilderness until he found the right spot. He and his wife, Rena, then built a three-storey home from 7,000 spruce trees. Now, the ageing Oses are seeking a couple to take over their wilderness experiment. Instead of calling in the estate agents, they are participating in the most curious reality TV show Win the Wilderness. “How far would you go to escape the demands of modern life?” intones narrator Nicholas Tennant as we see some lush Alaskan scenery from a speeding boat on a lake in the opening shot. In Win The Wilderness, six British couples compete under the watchful eye of locals at a campsite a hundred miles away from Ose Mountain to see who gets the privilege of staying with the Oses for a night. After each of the four visits, the Oses decide whether the couple who is visiting will stick around or will be sent back to the UK. The grand prize is the Ose house and the five acres of land around it. The couples range in age from the late 20s into their late 50s. The show is not at all boring by any means; it’s fascinating to watch these couples apply their rudimentary survival skills to these extreme conditions. TwoFour productions has decided to shoot this less like a reality series and more like a documentary. The coming attractions in the further episodes promise that the couples will be less friendly with each other as the competition goes on, which is something that’s natural when it comes to a show like this. But we appreciated how, at least during that first task, everyone got along and decided to team up to build the entire camp instead of each couple being on their own. That spirit of camaraderie might splinter as time goes on, but it was refreshing to see it in the first episode.