Wednesday, October 09, 2002


Call me the weakest link and say goodbye, 'cause I'm gone. I watched this past Thursday night's episode of "Survivor:Thailand" on tape and I can now safely say that I am sick of that show. Frankly, I haven't enjoyed it much since the original "Survivor" and "Survivor: The Australian Outback" with Colby and Elizabeth and Jeri and company. That season had great archetypes and rivalries and all sorts of weirdness, such as Michael passing out and getting his hands fried by the fire. Let's call it great casting. Since then, the "Survivor" franchise has consisted of an endless parade of whiners and morons. The third installment "Survivor: Africa" was a dud. The cast was flat out annoying. The old people versus young people tribal breakdown was ridiculous. A "Survivor" self-consciousness seemed to have crept in. The contestants were well aware what being on the show meant in terms of fame and whatever strategy this limited game contains. It bored me. I tuned out. I didn't tune back in until the finale, where Ethan the Soccer Player, won the title, either because of or despite his lack of any semblence of a personality. Lex was fairly interesting, probably because he had a bit of a temper and his tatoo sleeves read well on camera. The fourth installment of the aging series, "Survivor: Marquesas", was a complete disaster. The location was undeniably idyllic, but the cast was a nightmare. Hunter, seemingly a professional survivalist, was voted out early by his tribe of idiots, not necessarily because he was a threat but because he was bossy. The guy was the only one in the tribe who knew what he was doing! Ugh. That soured me right then and there. After disliking "Africa" so much, I was more than ready to ditch this series. But certain friends of mine who are fully committed to the enjoyment of reality television wouldn't let me quit. I begrudgingly watched a few more episodes with My Girl and this couple who we met through, are very good friends with, and whose wedding we will be attending next weekend. It was fun to make fun of the "characters", like Zooey the obvious lesbian who, in trying to win favor with her tribemates when she knew she was on the ropes, crafted some pretty shell bracelets for everyone. But I strongly disagreed with something the show did. The idiot tribe that voted off Hunter, easily their best player, should have been punished and made to suffer for their actions, yet the producers decided for the second straight season to switch up the tribes. Wholly unfair. One tribe was working as a team and getting along and winning challenge after challenge, while the Hunter-less tribe was divided and weak. They should have kept the tribes the way they were and let it play out. I wanted to see Hunter's former mates twist in the wind and get voted off one by one until the strong tribe had to finally start voting themselves out. That would have been an interesting game. But they switched it up and Vecepia, one of the idiots who conspired to oust Hunter, flew under the radar all the way to the finish line, beating that unlikable little hippie chick and winning a million bucks. As I have stated before, the finale of that season was one of the worst episodes of television I have ever sat through. With two poor players vying for the "Survivor" championship and Rosie O'Donnell warbling a Survivor-themed rendition of "Gilligan's Island," the series reached its jaw-dropping nadir. I vowed to stop watching. This season, "Survivor: Thailand" rolls around and My Girl won't let me off the hook. She's still into it and wants to share with me. So we cozied up to watch the aforementioned tape and I'm sorry to say it was more of the same. Two black characters from the same tribe were bickering. The female claimed the male groped her during the night, the male apologized, they hugged and all was forgiven. Then the female told the rest of the tribe what happened and got upset all over again. All kinds of miscommunication ensued and the tribe was in disarray. But the other tribe was worse. Apparently, they really wanted to vote out this lazy guy named Jed, who didn't seem that bad, so they let him try to figure out this puzzle on his own even though the group was supposed to be working on it together and immunity was at stake. Jed didn't come through. They lost and unceremoniously made Jed the first member of their tribe to be voted out. I'm only sorry it wasn't me. Tell Probst to come over and put my torch out. I want off the island. I'm through.

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