Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh
chris_walsh

Unrepentant Survivor fan reporting! *salutes*

Sometimes my grin watching Survivor is impressed. Sometimes my grin is evil. But usually while watching Survivor, I'm grinning.

Oh, yeah. I still get joy from this show, 11 years after I first tried it with its second season (the Australian Outback season). I went from being a Survivor-avoiding snob in its Summer 2000 debut -- I saw maybe five minutes of it (while getting much more into the first season of Big Brother; I enjoyed its we're-making-it-up-as-we-go shagginess) -- to getting so wrapped up in it that, when I caused a friend not to be able to watch most of one episode, I wrote a recap of the whole thing and emailed it to her. (I still remember writing "Probst, wearing an unreadable expression..." Jeff Probst got good at being poker-faced.)

I stepped away from Survivor for a while after that because I realized how much I could get wrapped up in it. And by a while, I mean until 2008. (Not having a TV from mid-2002 to spring 2006 was another factor in that gap; yes, sometimes people don't have televisions, I'm not saying that just to be some form of "hip.") Survivor: Gabon, the show's 17th season, gave me a taste of a part of Africa I hadn't been exposed to before -- in fact, I was especially fond of the season's strong sense of place -- and a group of players who kept surprising me. I really didn't think I'd come to like Sugar, for instance...

(Also, Vince McMahon-sort-of-think-alike Randy played that season, and he was a love-to-hate-him sort of player. I'm still amused that at the finale/reunion show, Probst mentioned how entertainingly ornery Randy had been. "You should've gotten me for Season 22," Randy replied. "I would've been meaner and funnier." I give him points for responding like that.)

Survivor's a weekly reminder: even with a formula to the show, and even with Probst learning so much about human nature from observing the now two dozen different groups of players over the years, the actions and responses from people put into as extreme a situation as a Survivor season can still surprise you. (Tonight during a challenge, one contestant got Probst to yell "WHAT??!") It can twist and turn, and Probst and the contestants are often funny at it, too. This is a pleasure.

And I won't lie to you, Marge: Survivor is eye candy, in multiple ways, both at the locations and with lots of the players. I'll remain shallow and wish that Kourtney Moon hadn't left this season in the first episode, because she fits one of my "types" in major ways.
Tags: survivor
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