Castaways: Season 1 – Review

Castaways premieres August 7th on ABC.

By Ariba Bhuvad

Does the world need more reality competition shows? I mean, at some point hasn’t it become monotonous to tweak just subtle parts of the overall plot and create a television show? Well, ladies and gentlemen, this is also the case for ABC’s next reality competition series called Castaways.

Castaways takes 12 strangers and places them on islands throughout the South Pacific while they wait to find one another and/or be rescued. This is a sort of Survivor/Lost combination but trust me, it is not even close to how we might have felt for most of Lost. The series premiere introduces some of the individuals aka castaways as they try to make sense of their new surroundings, and who may or may not have their belongings with them. While abandoned on the islands, their goal is to survive for as long as they can and seek out other castaways in the process in hopes of surviving long enough so they can be rescued.

The premise of the show is to test a human’s limits when they don’t have others around and to illustrate how vital companionship is in these extreme circumstances. The only part of the series premiere I did enjoy was the moments where there would be flashbacks to each’s past. We got to see who they are, why they are, and perhaps what motivated them to participate in this competition in the first place. Many are running away from their fears, rejection, or difficult lives and trying to find meaning by doing this competition. I think this aspect is an interesting notion, but the premiere overall did not in the least bit have me excited to continue watching this series after it airs.

The series is trying way too hard to set itself apart from other shows like it, but at this point, I think that’s pretty much impossible. Every version of a reality competition has been done since Survivor first kickstarted this genre years ago. I can relate to why contestants wanted to do it, but I don’t understand this show’s purpose otherwise. The series premiere is extremely slow (naturally) and doesn’t possess any allure to it because again, it’s a repeated genre that most of us are extremely over. My opinion? A hard pass.

I give Castaways a D.