What do you get when you mix Bear Grylls, Mythbusters and The Gadget Show? Probably something close to Southern Survival. With a distinct American slant and easily-digestible 30 minute episodes, this gadget testing series mixes entertaining experiments with a good deal of humour to produce something that’s both outrageously over the top and strangely endearing.
The episodes themselves are broken up into different survival scenarios that see the BattlBox crew testing products and gadgets that could help you in different life-threatening scenarios. From surviving inside a submerged car underwater to gear that can help you navigate a hurricane, there’s a great variety of ideas and tools across the season to keep you watching through.
Across each episode the group introduce us to the different gadgets they’ll be testing and run through a series of drills to see whether the product they’re testing is worthy to send out to their customers or not. It’s not all brass tacks though and the series peppers in a good dose of tomfoolery and humour to try and lighten the general tone of the episodes.
There’s definitely a Jackass-esque feel to some of the shenanigans here and most of this is fronted by redneck survivalist Brandon who’s absolutely in his element with these different gadgets. The brains behind the brawn is CEO Daniel while Mikki is essentially the cog that keeps everything ticking away, working as the product specialist. The butt of most of the test-dummy-esque jokes, and rounding out the quartet, is Steve.
Each of the episodes come with accompanying orchestral music or quirky sound effects accentuating these aforementioned comedic or outrageous moments. At the same time though Southern Survival oftentimes feels a little too quirky for its own good. There’s definitely a bit of a love/hate feel to this one but for the most part the series has just enough charm to keep you watching through.
Southern Survival is basically a mish-mash of various ideas and concepts that have been done in other shows but brought together here to produce a pretty enjoyable show. It’s definitely not going to change the reality TV scene anytime soon but there’s certainly enough here to enjoy.
Verdict - 7/10