‘You vs. Wild’ is an interactive show on Netflix that sees the streaming platform take visual entertainment in a completely new direction. The first season of the show premiered on Netflix as of April 10, 2019. As we had reported, this builds on Netflix’s fast-growing library of interactive entertainment, that most recently began catering to adults with the acclaimed ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch‘.
‘You vs. Wild’ has been described as a family show and has Bear Grylls, Chris Grant, Drew Buckley, Howard Owens, Delbert Shoopman, Ben Silverman, and Rob Buchta on board as executive producers. Electus and Bear Grylls Ventures, the production companies, are backing the show which has Ben Simms as its director.
The show marked Netflix’s first foray into an interactive series that is targeted at adults and families, and as the show has been structured, viewers are to accompany the protagonist around the world, and in each episode, their choices will affect the adventure and choose the story that plays out.
For those unaware, the title of the Netflix show borrows from the original ‘Man vs. Wild’ series that airs on the Discovery Channel and follows Bear Grylls who goes on adventures to areas where survival is tough. Naturally, the streaming platform has replaced the ‘Man’ in the title of the original show, with ‘You’ to refer to the degree of interaction and involvement the viewers will have with the show.
Netflix’s Director of Product Innovation, Carla Engelbrecht, spoke of the positive response from ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’ that prompted the making of this show, saying, “So we had seen from the kids’ titles, the kids would engage. They would make active choices. But we didn’t know what adults would do and what we saw with Bandersnatch is that the adults engaged even more than kids. We saw 94% of adults actually making active choices which is just an absolutely thrilling number for us.” Notably, she is of the opinion that this series is the perfect next step for Netflix’s overall plans for interactive entertainment as it branches into a new genre. For the streaming giants, the possibilities seem limitless, and they are willing to experiment across various genres. In Engelbrecht’s own words, “And what I’m really excited about is that this is not just about a couple of genres. It’s that we’re exploring: what is it in horror, what is it in sci-fi, what is in romance or telenovelas, what is it for young adults?” The possibilities for more experiences like Bandersnatch and You vs. Wild appears to be limitless.”
You vs. Wild Cast: Who is in it?
The cast of ‘You vs. Wild’ is actually just limited to Bear Grylls, who the viewers follow on his adventures. However, in such high stakes environments, where there is a legitimate danger to Bear’s life, and no safety nets in case something goes wrong, Bear needs an additional team backing him up. This team is not officially part of the show, but they have worked with Bear for years, from the time he has been appearing in ‘Man vs. Wild’. Engelbrecht, who was on site when the series was being shot, was highly impressed by the efficiency that Bear’s team displayed, and said, “They’ve got folks who have been trained for these kinds of very intense survival situations. They actually think about safety at a level that is really impressive”.