Three families leave behind their smartphones, TVs and tablets — and other, less essential luxuries like electricity and indoor plumbing — to live off the grid in TLC’s new reality series, “Risking It All,” debuting Tuesday.
While it’s not an entirely original concept (see 29 seasons of “Survivor”), it’s not a terrible one, either. Overscheduled, disconnected parents and kids might get a kick out of indulging in the fantasy of a simpler way of life, living off the land in a sort of “Little House on the Prairie” throwback.
The premiere certainly illustrates that going unplugged entails a lot more hardship than no Minecraft as the respective clans make long, arduous journeys to their rustic new addresses.
The concept should be enough to stand on its own but, as reality TV loves to do, the show insists on trumping up the stakes: One family ostensibly is doing this to save a struggling marriage. Another is motivated to give the mom, who suffers from arthritis, a more holistic lifestyle (huh?).
An even bigger problem is that these families seem so much alike. The water may not be running, but the risk of repetition sure is.
“Risking It All”
9 p.m. Tuesday, TLC
Rating: [s3r star=1.5/4]