20 underrated reality show gems you should be watching

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Naked and Afraid

The premise: Two survivalists head to a remote wilderness to see who can tough it out the longest, with nothing more than a canvas bag and one “luxury” item. The idea is that the contestants make it as close to 21 days as they can get, but there really isn’t much in it for them, besides a couple nights in a hotel and a paltry $5000. I know this may sound like a like of money, but if you could see what sorts of abuse nature inflicts on these people, you’d realize that isn’t a lot at all. (Plus, everyone should know you don’t walk away fully with $5,000 — ahem, taxes.)

Why you’ll love it: It’s completely bonkers. It takes the ubiquitous reality-survivor theme to an extreme place. When I say these folks are naked, I mean it. Completely nude. They are gifted with an across-the-body canvas bag that mostly hides their bits, but their entire bodies are exposed to the elements.

Contestants are annihilated by the bugs, and it’s often this nuisance that sends most of them home, due to infection or even impetigo. Their whole bodies are covered in bites, and their only defense is the smoke from a fire — if they can start one — and a little mud.

They have to hunt their own food, as well. I’ve seen contestants get sick from eating a snake they assumed was edible. SPOILER: It was not. They struggle to stay warm at night and have to result to some pretty creative means to stave off hypothermia. Since most of the duos are male/females, this results in some awkward and very premature cuddling.

How to watch: Seasons 4-6 are on Hulu . You can watch back episodes on Discovery, and watch new episodes air Sundays at 9.