I don’t watch a lot of television really. At least, it’s a lot less than when I was younger. There’s just too much else to do. Since I work four ten hour days, I’m away from the house for about 12 hours on each of those days leaving little time at the start and finish for TV. I usually watch for about an hour in the morning when I’m getting ready for work and for about an hour at night when I’m winding down. My weekends are typically filled with the things that must be done, grocery shopping for our home then with my mom for hers, paying of the bills, laundry, etc. And I’d prefer to be writing, reading, or playing my video games with friends than watching TV. But there are a few shows that I watch religiously and occasionally a new one will catch my attention.
When I first started seeing the trailers for Opposite Worlds on SyFy it looked intriguing. I wondered what it might really be about. Clearly it would be a reality show and, the more I learned, the more interested I was. So, when the show finally started airing, hubby and I started watching.
The premise is really pretty simple. There are two groups of people living in the same building that has been divided by a glass wall. The house has one side that is all designed to be the “future” with white furniture and walls and all of the latest technology. The other side is meant to represent the past. Apparently those who dreamed up this show intended it to make us think of cave men. One group of people lives in each of these “worlds” but they can see each other through the glass. When they are let outside for challenges, the host calls that the “present.”
I’ll preface my next comments by saying that I have continued to watch the show despite my opinions of it. If I were to use a cliche, I’d say it’s like watching a train wreck, you can’t look away. But I’d also say it’s like watching a movie that is bad where you just hope it will get better or feel you must know how it turns out in spite of everything you’ve seen so far.
Let’s talk about the past first. I immediately felt sorry for the people sent to the past. They were made to where clothing that is apparently supposed to be furs and animal skins but is likely synthetics. I believe the show is filmed in California but apparently it has been pretty chilly there since the start of the show. The first day, these people appeared to be freezing and their first desperate task was to make fire. But, why are they freezing when they are wearing furs? Because those who chose the costumes decided to go for Hollywood style in the cave man clothes. The women were showing quite a lot of skin and the men weren’t much better off. This was my first issue with the so-called past. People truly living in those times would have had the sense to put more on. So, there they are making fire but they have tools made of forged metal. That’s a bit advanced for cave people, but okay. I’ll go along with the producers didn’t want to go to the trouble of having stone tools made.
The food is the next real issue in the cave. They have been eating mostly huge carrots. If I remember correctly, they had a rabbit once, a fish head, and a pig’s head was sent to the cave most recently. But the largest part of their food has appeared to be the huge carrots. I don’t consider myself any kind of a history expert but I’m pretty sure that prehistoric man hunted a lot and ate the whole animal. Also, they would have had more meat than vegetables since they would generally have what they found as hunter-gatherers. There’s really no reason either group would ever want to choose to live in the past. There’s no benefit to this side of the house.
That’s enough about the past for the moment. I’d like to talk about the so-called future. I see what they’re doing with making the past brown and dirty looking and the future white and clean looking so I can get past the color white. Maybe in the future, we don’t have to worry about stains and dirt. The people of the future are living in luxury. They have the best current technology in televisions, phones, tablets, kitchen appliances, and bathroom fixtures. They just love showing them in the hot tub. Their clothing is very form-fitting and, like the women in the past, there is a lot of skin. So far, nothing shocking or unexpected.
The food on the future side is a bit of a problem for me though. In my opinion, this is where the past should have looked more appealing. Since this is a fictional future and past, I would have given the future people food that’s more strictly nutritional like you would eat in space. Instead they eat each day as if they are the wealthiest people in the world. I know that I would definitely want to live in that world over the past.
The idea is that each week the two teams compete and the team that wins the “worldly challenge” gets to choose which world they will live in. Hearing the host ask them which world they choose got annoying quickly because the winning team invariably chooses the future. It isn’t a game of living in the past versus the future really. It’s a game of the “haves” and “have-nots.” One side has all of the best of everything and the other has only their basic needs filled and even that through what seems to be scraps. The show would have been better if there was a benefit to each side instead of only unpleasantness on one side.
I think we’re still watching the show for a few reasons. First, we found ourselves rooting for the underdogs from the start. The group sent to the past struggled so there’s a desire to see them succeed and rise up over the other group. There’s also a morbid fascination with the physical demands of the show. This isn’t the first reality competition I’ve watched but it has had the most injuries of any that I can remember. On the first episode a player was eliminated because of a broken leg. There have also been a sprained ankle, a finger injury, and a facial cut.
Since we’ve come this far, I expect we’ll watch the rest of this first season but I doubt that I’ll tune in for the next season (assuming it is renewed) unless they make big changes. My curiosity will be quite satisfied by what I have seen. Thank you SyFy but no thank you. I see the struggle of rich versus poor on a daily basis in real life. There’s no need to bring it to reality TV.