More Real Than Reality

Survivor was on last night and I felt like checking if it was a rerun. Not even two months after Yul was crowned Sole Survivor another group of castaways are bickering on a beach in Fiji.

When did this happen? Last season there was a huge build-up over what turned out to be a non-controversial separation of the races. This season, nothing. I admit I haven’t been keeping close tabs, but the first I heard of it was Tuesday.

It’s too soon – it feels like I just watched the finale and now there’s more of the same old, same old. If you don't want to make the show appear formulaic, don’t run them back-to-back. Just ask Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

Anyway, all of the contestants started together on the same beach instead of the four different tribes from last season. I figured keeping them together would allow for the tall poppies to rise and get cut down, but evil mastermind Mark Burnett had other plans. After supplying the castaways with tool and supplies to build a solid shelter and supplying them with food, on day three they were split in two teams for an immunity challenge. The winning team was allowed to keep the fancy beach digs while the losers were sent to a new location with next to nothing – shades of the current season of Apprentice. The ideas are running thin these days.

But that’s not the only deus ex machina on this “unscripted” reality program. Only two of the contestants actually applied to be on the show, while the rest were recruited from pubs, restaurants, MySpace and even the US Table Tennis Association website. I suppose it’s not a horrible revelation, but the manipulation of the storyline is becoming more and more obvious. Why not just bring in an improv troop, tell them their characters and let them loose? Hmm... I either need to call Burnett or Christopher Guest.


  1. I'm not sure how you got deleted from my blogroll, but I'm glad I found you again.

    That said, I haven't been able to watch survivor since the first season. Once Rudy got eliminated, I realized that the dirtiest, sneakiest, most underhanded person would win every year. Sort of stole the magic for me. I did love that first season though.

    Stop by and visit--I've remodeled.

  2. Always glad to have visitors, old or new. I've been watching since that first Survivor and enjoy the evil machinations. I always figured it could take place in any office - and then they made The Apprentice.

  3. thanks for stopping by and asking a question for the Goddess... you be?...
    by the way..I think this bunch of survivors are the most boring group of people ever...and the first season was the best....

  4. ah ben...the magic of reality is gone for yeh, eh?

    ah, me too.

    jeremy, i like your idea of Christopher Guest scripting his own reality TV show...yes, not a movie but a TV show...that'd be great.

  5. Yup, this group is dull and the have/have not is not interesting, just unfair. I don't want to see Survivors who are warm, well-rested, clean and fed. What's the point of that? Still watching though...

    The Christopher Guest reality show would be fun - a full season of improv, with the actors having to vote each other off while remaining in character. It could include behind the scenes and the crew that films the show. I know I'd tune in.