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Culture Television

Survival of the most outfitted

(Netflix)

Television

Survival of the most outfitted

Southern Survival is Consumer Reports meets Duck Dynasty

A kidnapper binds your wrists with a zip tie. How do you get free? The Battlbox crew of Netflix’s new reality TV series Southern Survival has the answer: Fasten your right and left shoelaces together through the zip tie. Then use your legs to tug the laces back and forth across the zip tie in a sawing motion, and—snap!—you’re free. Good to know.

Southern Survival is Consumer Reports meets Duck Dynasty without the faith element. Amid southern-Georgia-fried prattle and pranks, “redneck survivalist” Brandon Currin and three colleagues personally test safety gear to “prepare [their customers] for every survival situation imaginable”—fires, snakebites (“don’t suck out the venom”), drowning scenarios, criminal attacks, and so on. (Cancel my family vacation to Georgia!) Currin’s daughter Lyla Grace frees herself from a zip tie in 30 seconds. A key-fob-sized, spring-loaded glass punch used to crack a window and facilitate an escape from a submerged automobile may have been the most impressive device demonstrated.

Some episodes contain less valuable information, and some situations are too intense for younger viewers. Strong language and crudities that spoil the first episode are noticeably fewer in the next four. If nothing else, Southern Survival can spur conversations about safety.