Naked and Afraid premieres on Sunday night, and by all accounts, the show has amped up the drama for its seventh season. Jason Gassaway, 45, is a father-of-three living in northern California. His partner, Army veteran Lacey Jones, grew up in Liberty, Maine, with no running water or electricity. Now living in Illinois, she is an extreme survivalist and gun shop owner.
In case you missed the news that traditional courtship is dead, naked people on VH1 stand ready to enlighten you. And in case you thought that television networks had evolved beyond trying to attract viewers with cheesy titillation — ditto. The shows are taking what used to be the long-term goal — getting married or seeing someone naked or both — and making it the starting point. I mean, usually you wait till sex. But we will not here debate what these shows say about the state of modern life, with its immediate-gratification mentality, lack of modesty and self-restraint, and general tastelessness.
As a young, single British guy crossing the Atlantic for a career in the United States, I was extremely curious about the dating life that was in store. After all, I'd watched my fellow countrymen in film and literature charm the hell out of beautiful American women. It was the summer of when I first landed in New York as a year-old, laden with warnings about American girls: they're high maintenance, my friends told me.