Thursday, May 22, 2014
Rant #1,213: I Am a "Survivor"
Well, yes, of a car accident that could have killed my family and I in an instant.
But also of the latest installment of CBS's "Survivor," which aired last night.
Tony, the cop from New Jersey, was the winner, but the real survivors were the viewers who put up with this show this season.
We all know "Survivor." It is the granddaddy of all the reality shows on U.S. television, having been on the air since 2000. It pits a group of people living in less than ideal conditions for more than a month against each other, leading to the $1 million winner.
It is always held in a tropical climate, which makes it easier to see the curves, and the brawn, of the contestants, if you know what I mean. And yes, for some people, this is a major draw, because they have had some very nice looking people on this show over the years ... and admittedly, some not so nice.
The contestants--yes, contestants, since this is a game show, which has been hosted by Jeff Probst since the beginning, the luckiest break anybody could have ever gotten--are pitted against each other in strength and cerebral challenges, and oftentimes, those that you think have a good shot at winning fall flat on their faces and get voted off in Tribal Council.
The show is clever, keeps your interest, is well shot and edited, and is a mainstay of the CBS schedule twice each season.
But the most recent version of the show continued to demonstrate that the show might have legs, but the legs are wobbly.
This season pitted Brain vs. Brawn vs. Beauty, or something to that effect, and the Brawn ended up winning in Tony, a cop who acted out his own personal daydreams of being a bully and gave nightmares to the other contestants.
Woo (yes, that was his name), the young surfer dude, pretty much rode the waves on this one, hanging to Tony's coattails and although he got to the final two, couldn't make the final cut.
The third in line was Kass, a lawyer who fit every stereotype of that profession, including nastiness, thinking she was better than everyone else, and thinking that she was smarter than everybody else, which, of course, she wasn't.
And you had others on the show, including Morgan, a Kate Upton wannabe who marveled at her own beauty and big breasts on every episode she was on.
And if you watched the finale yesterday, how many times did Probst say that this was the best "Survivor" ever? I lost count after he said it about a half-dozen times.
Sorry, Jeff, it wasn't.
I enjoy the show, always have, and probably always will, but the show is tired.
Its tropical and often dangerous locales have gotten stale, and even seeing much of what the contestants bring to the table in all matter of dress is getting boring (sorry, Morgan).
The show needs to do something fresh, something new, but it would be so revolutionary that it might turn some people away.
And that specific thing is to hold one of the next seasons of the show in a cold climate.
I have been saying this for a long time, but the show should move to a cold climate, one where the contestants would have to really bundle up to survive.
Sure, you would miss the skin--a major factor in "Survivor's" success, whether anyone wants to admit it or not--you would miss the swimming challenges, but what you would get is something really, completely different.
To have the cast members in a cold climate--maybe the wilds of Alaska, maybe somewhere even worse--could make things very interesting.
But it will never happen.
The show will continue to go to the Philippines, to Borneo (from which the logo accompanying this Rant is pictured), to other ultra-hot forests around the world, and the format won't change very much.
And that is a shame, because "Survivor" could do so much more to entice viewers to watch, and enjoy the competition.
But without the skin factor, will anyone care?
I am sure that CBS has contemplated just such a move to make the game fresh. It is not "must-see" TV anymore, and heck, the finale was not on a Sunday this season for the first time that I could remember.
It is still a great show, but it could be better, and this season really wasn't that enthralling, no matter what Probst said time and time again last night.
Truly, at this point in time, the viewer has become the real survivor by watching this show.
So where is my million bucks?
Posted by Larry at 1:57 AM