Friday, September 21, 2012

Is Survivor past its prime?

I was a big ‘Survivor’ fan back in the day.

By back in the day, I mean the first season.

After that, my attention waxed and waned.

I watched the next two seasons, but I was never as excited about it as I was during that first season.

I watched other installments here and there over the years as well.

Still, nothing could capture the magic of that first season.

After seeing that ‘Facts of Life’ actress Lisa Welchel would be participating this time – curiosity got the better of me and I tuned it this week.

I was actually surprised at how the game had changed since I was a fan.
The first thing that struck me was that these people were plotting behind each other’s backs within minutes of landing on their beach.

I get that this is a game of skill and intrigue – but I miss the camaraderie of that first season.

Sure, eventual winner Richard Hatch played everyone on that island like a fiddle – but the players actually bonded and worked together before that started happening.

There is nothing fun about these people. Every single one of them has some ugly aspect of their personality that gets off on purposely hurting their tribe members.

I think the first season of ‘Survivor’ was the best because most of the players hadn’t figured out that they had to be devious to win the game.

No, the first season had hapless Greg wandering around talking to a coconut. Lazy Gervase was doing everything he could to avoid doing work. Sweet Colleen seemed confused when anyone raised their voice. And hard as nails Rudy pledged his loyalty to a gay man that walked around in the buff to make people uncomfortable.

And lets not forget clueless Sean. He spent his time building a bowling alley. He was an idiot -- but he was fun to watch.
Back then, ‘Survivor’ was about actually surviving – not being a total tool.

After I watched the episode, I went online to see what people were saying. I guess the fan base for ‘Survivor’ has changed too. Most fans were happy with the episode – especially with the surprise ouster of a certain character from the game (I won’t ruin it for those that haven’t seen it yet).

When ‘Survivor’ first hit the airwaves, it was about survival and game play.

Now it’s about immunity idols and backstabbing.

I miss the old ‘Survivor.’ Sue me. Sometimes simpler is better.

All that being said, I did laugh at the young girls in Welchel’s tribe that think she’s just some old lady they can’t trust. The ‘Facts of Life’ has been on Nick at Nite girls – were you raised in a cultural vacuum? I can’t wait to see their faces when they find out.

What do you think? Is ‘Survivor’ still entertainment?


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