Survivors Ready?

The 12th edition of Survivor, reality TV’s granddaddy, starts tonight and I’m actually looking forward to it.

I’m not entirely sure why.

I suppose part if it is the familiarity. You know how the show is going to play out and it is fun to try and figure out “the twist.” Much like watching a M. Night Shyamalan film, you know its coming and it’s not that hard to guess.

Of course watching people turn on each other and connive their way to the top while insisting they have told no lies and plunged no knives in anyone’s back makes me laugh. I’m still amazed at the faux hurt on contestant’s faces at tribal councils when they realize they got outplayed. Their only regret is they didn’t think of it first.

Says Jeff Probst: “In the first or second episode, there’s a moral dilemma for somebody who gets offered alliances by two different groups and finds themselves in the catbird seat. Ethically, [this person] is already conflicted and says, `I don’t want to betray anyone; it’s really challenging for me right now, but it’s the best position to be in.’ If you are ethically challenged, and you’re competing for a million dollars, what do you do? That question never gets old.”

Probst also said the show isn’t scripted, but we all know that isn’t exactly accurate. The survivors are carefully picked and placed together in an artificial environment where they are manipulated in Truman Show-esque manner. They are filmed the entire time and then days of footage are distilled down into under an hour of air time after producer Mark Burnett knows who wins. But other than that, it’s just like real life.

This year they are breaking up the teams into four at the beginning: old men, old women, young men, and younger women. Except they use the word “older” as a way to explain why 32 and 35-year-olds are finding themselves on those teams. Old my ass. Anyway, I suppose it’s a way to weed out a few players right off the get go, so I’m interested to see how it plays out.

So forget the Olympics, theses are the real Games.

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