This Is Why Shows About Survival Are So Popular

It’s because you’re watching from the comfort of home

Kristi Keller
4 min readMar 7


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Evenings are my guilty pleasure. I get to shut off my computer, stop putzing around the house, and let the binge-watching commence.

Lately, I’ve been engrossed in two separate shows — The Last of Us and 1883.

They’re widely different from each other, set in two contrary eras. But the one thing they both have in common?


I am consumed. Just like with all the other shows depicting characters constantly on the run, fighting for survival with no real refuge on the horizon.

The first time I seriously considered what life would be like as any of these survival characters was The Walking Dead.

Sure, it would suck to be alive during a zombie apocalypse because — zombies. But have you ever earnestly thought about what comes with a life where civilization doesn’t exist?

For the sake of conversation, let’s start with hygiene.

It doesn’t matter what era you’re on the run in. You’ll still have no toothbrush, no bathtub, no razor, no tampons, and most definitely no change of underwear.

Yet, it seems like every survival flick shows men and women having sex up against a filthy, post-apocalyptic barn door or dusty floor.

First of all, how are you kissing someone who hasn’t seen a Listerine bottle since the start of Armageddon? And if you manage to get past their breath, how are you excited to explore nether regions that haven’t been scrubbed in two weeks?

I’m on episode #7 of 1883 and so far they’ve been riding across the desert in the same clothing for weeks. Yet, Elsa hooks up with a cowboy, loses her virginity on a mound of dirt, and then goes back to bed…without even using a towel.

How did she wake up smiling the next morning?

Listen, I’ve been known to be a pretty rugged, bare-bones traveler. I’ve even gone without bathing for a few days in the sweltering heat of the tropics. But I most certainly wasn’t trying to couple up with Pig-Pen on day number three.



Kristi Keller

Write like no one is reading, because it might be true. Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story.