If you want to see someone getting their body pushed to the limit of how much pain and torture they can take for two hours, watch The Passion of the Christ. It might be a fictionalized account, but they say it’s fairly realistic. In fact, some people reportedly fainted while watching it. Although whether this was as a result of the shock and awe of the religious experience or as a result of not having trained one’s sensibilities through Ichi the Killer, Saw, and other gorefest films, is unclear.
If you want to gawk at these situations for one hour on TV, The Selection: Special Operations Experiment may be as close as you’re going to get to all those blood, tears, and sweat of Passion. The premise of this show is that a few veterans of US military Special Forces put a group of 30 people through the gamut supposedly similar to the selection assessments for the ranks of the Special Forces.
What is odd about this reality series is that there is no cash prize. It appears that the show is following the line of marines recruiters – “only people who want to be here should be here”. To some viewers, this may increase the sense that the contestants are truly interested in nothing more than discovering their own limits. To me, it appears like the History Channel is trying to save some money on prizes and has found just the group of hapless dupes to help them fulfill this objective.
Yet it cannot be denied that 15 minutes of airtime can be beneficial to the contestants even though the nascent reality TV actors are being swindled out of a well-earned paycheck. Many people have built long and fruitful careers in the entertainment industry on appearances on reality TV shows. It has become a somewhat dependable smuggling route to national fame for people with big on-screen personalities. With 30 recruits and only six episodes, though, it’s hard to imagine that individuals will get much screen time. It will be a big challenge not only to stay on the show for the duration of the torture program, but also to get as much time in front of the camera as possible.
A trailer has been released where the difficulty of the competition is dramatized. People are shown lifting heavy objects, fighting, and even being dragged to an interrogation room while narrators shout dole out military platitudes. From the look of it, you’ll be able to laugh along at the weakness of the contestants. Few will be able to tell about the veracity of the surely barbaric training methods that will be used on the show in terms of how much they align with current military practice. However, it should certainly be interesting. You can view this trailer on YouTube or on the History Channel’s website itself.
Expect to see this show premiere in early December, just in time for the Christmas season. It’s getting a primetime Thursday slot, so History is putting a lot of faith into its success. The six-episode first season will likely be a test to see how many people actually tune in. As this is a fairly decent idea of interest to many military buffs, it might survive for more seasons. We’ll have to wait and see how well the first season does.
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What do you think of this show given the trailer? Would you be able to subject yourself to this trial by fire without the motivation of cash to keep you going? How many people do you think will go through the challenge without dropping out? Give us your comments and opinions down below.