Meet The Natives – USA

By Cindy Bishop
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meet_natives_peoria_ss_003Run; don’t walk, to The Travel Channel on Sunday nights at 10 o’clock and Meet The Natives! This show is absolutely fabulous. Meet the Natives is a documentary which originated in England (London to be exact), and was received with so much love the Travel Channel in it’s wisdom decided to import its fab-ness across the pond.
The documentary is about five hand-picked tribesmen from a remote island in the Pacific called Tanna, setting out on a journey to try and figure out America — and in the bargain force us to take a closer look at ourselves. These men are happy, inquisitive, non-judgmental and wise. And just because they like to go naked doesn’t mean that they’re not civilized, or intelligent.  In fact, they are highly respected men on their island.

Their journey takes them across the country from New York City to Orange County, hitting other cities and states along the way.  Staying for a short time with American families in NYC, southern California, Montana and Georgia, could easily be mistaken as our own American tribes. Narration from one of the English-speaking tribesmen helps us to highlight our own idiosyncrasies, rituals, worship, and in most cases will have you scratching your head.

The show poses so many important questions. Like why do we care so much about staying young? As one tribesman points out, “When the clock strikes 3 p.m. you cannot make it 9 a.m. again.” No judgment intended, he’s only concerned that we do not appreciate what is on the inside. Whether it’s about our health (canned yams are met with confusion – “do they know this food is not alive?”). Or the mysterious poison which is shot into an Orange County housewife to keep the wrinkles away. It was so touching, entertaining and I’m still thinking about it today.

I’m afraid that this show, like all great shows, will fly under the radar and miss its intended audience – everyone. Viewing should be mandatory. Check it out.

3 Responses (Add Yours)

  • Jaime says:

    I saw the show and couldn’t believe how much it resonated with me. Their commentary on American life, along with some glimpses of their life on Tanna were my favorites. I relate to the chief, who was not pleased by the Orange County amusement park ride that he was taken on. Happy Man (his title!) took a pedicure and he was beaming, down to his red nail polish! Terrific show.

  • Cindy says:

    It was wonderful, but most of the time I found myself cringing with embarrassment.

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