The Bridge

Move over Hunted. TV's most addictive new reality series is a rollercoaster of twists, Tassie wilderness and Hugo Weaving's hypnotic voice.

Teamwork. Sweeping vistas. Manual labour. Twists. Greed. Diversity. Bush Poetry.

…and a blinking red beacon that silently taunts from a distant island.

Welcome to The Bridge, TV’s most addictive new reality competition that is a must-see for anybody already a fan of Survivor, Alone and all things man vs nature.

This show works in its dazzlingly simple premise: can 12 strangers construct a log bridge across 330m of water in 17 days?

Yes, people chopping wood has finally made it into an Aussie reality show, but there’s something about working together for a common goal that draws out personalities: alpha males, born leaders, tough nuts, lazy dogs, mediators, the short-tempered, even the casual misogynists.

And when there is $250,000 on the line it also brings out the selfish, lying manipulators versus those aspiring for the greater good. Oh this will be fun.

There’s no host for this show set deep in the Tasmanian wilderness. Just the ominous voice of Hugo Weaving (a casting coup) painting the barest of scenes with his hypnotic tone. The audience largely discovers the gameplay at the same time as the cast.

“What will they do to take the money? Will this place change them forever as they build The Bridge” he asks…

There’s drama in the land itself, an isolated lake, surrounded by mountains, billowing fog, captivating vistas shot by drone. When these 12 Australians arrive one by one at a lakeside lodge there’s nobody there to greet them. Just bunks, basic food supplies and a whole lot of knives, axes and rope. These poor buggers are going to have to work.

The 12 are mostly young, in their 20s and 30s, but there is also “Bushie” a bearded ol’ opal hunter who likes to live off the grid. He’s a baby boomer who loves a good axe and a bit of bush poetry around the campfire -where else on TV will you get that?

We also meet: Jonesy, a young dad who’s a born leader, reminding us “nature always wins” whenever man tries to take it on; Rhiannon a “social media contributor” who loves to snap photos; Tony, a First Nations mob man, always at home beside water; Bardie, a minimalist who wants to live with the earth; George who doesn’t like kissing and hugging with complete strangers; Allira, who introduces herself with pronouns and is deeply spiritual; and Maddison -our first resident villain- who admits he doesn’t like living outdoors, and has his eyes on the prize.

“I think you need to be selfish to get ahead. I’m ready to take down the low hanging fruit.”

And then there is Dean, a bloke who has a way with Aussie slang that would make a scripwriter salivate.

“Don’t be a dog f***” he insists. “I can carry heavy shit… I can do this shit standing on me head.”

As they negotiate a plan to tie huge logs of wood across 330m of water there will be tension, frustration, egos, and achievement. Something so simple brings out tbe best and the worst in us all.

“Let’s be honest we are pushing shit up hill,” George despairs.

But this is also a reality competition and producers have crafted unexpected twists. Every once in a while a red flare shoots into the sky from the beacon tower. The first of many comes unannounced. But those who footrace to it could discover a treasure, a challenge, a dilemma….

The first piece of information is a game-changer: only one of them will claim the cash. Do they keep it or share it?

Shit just got real. No more Kumbuya around the campfire.

Before long these 12 will soon be suspicious of one another in a way that would make Agatha Christie proud.

“We all know what happened to Caesar. Brutus stabbed him in the back,” Dean mumbles. “This thing writes itself doesn’t it?”

More twists will follow as the 12 implode and rebuild, juggling friendships and navigating a pecking order. And that damned red beacon keeps blinking from afar….

If they don’t work together as a team -chopping, carrying, pushing, roping- they’ll never reach their final goal and the whole thing will be for naught.

Move over Survivor, The Hunted, Amazing Race. The Bridge is addictive, panoramic, escapist. I’m completely hooked.

The Bridge screens Friday on Paramount+ (Free to Air preview 9:30pm Monday August 22 on 10)

16 Responses

  1. Well played Ch 10 by giving away ep 1 of the Paramount + series The Bridge Australia on 10 straight after HYBPA on Monday. I hope it gives you 000’s of new subscriptions, because this show deserves eyes on. If you are unsure of what it is all about; think of Survivor (albeit glamping not camping), meshed with The Mole and some strategy of not getting caught from Hunted and this is it. To top it off you get Hugo Weaving as the narrator, that could not have a better voice for this. Its simply brilliant…

  2. I’m really, really, really looking forward to The Bridge and this review just solidifies my excitement for the series! It’s time for me to stop being such a tight ass and invest in Paramount Plus later in the week!

  3. Expect to see on 10 in a couple of months!
    Paramount+ is failing to attract subscribers and 10 will want to recoup some of its costs in making this show. Look what happened with Five Bedrooms. Promoted as one of the big shows for Paramount+ and within a year on main channel! I can wait!!!

  4. So just the first episode on Free to Air. I was wondering when they were going to start doing this to try to push more people to their subscription service.

  5. 10 / Paramount are coming up with interesting concepts. I have Paramount plus and have been waiting for this. This is a clever reality series.

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