Survivor-Candy Island

SnickeringNot Even a Hint of Irony

We’re halfway through another season of Survivor – the “reality” show where contestants are abandoned and forced to make do with nothing but their outsized egos, sense of entitlement, and enough rice and beans to stave off any actual threat of starvation.

More often than not, there isn’t even a decent fire-starter in the whole mix of contestants and if hunger pangs get too dire (because Bubba eats up all the beans), you can count on Jeff Probst tossing in a reward challenge full of Snickers or short ribs.. Am I the only one who wonders how far up the beach they’d have to walk to find the luxury resort where the camera crew resides?

The Good Old Days are Gone

Nowadays, Survivor is all fun and games, with no real threat of not actually surviving.  It wasn’t always a beach vacation because in the early years there were contestants that nearly died from the harshness of the challenges and environment.  CBS has effectively turned Survivor into Beach Blanket Bingo and any of the drama from the actual survival element of the game is long gone.  Nowadays, it’s an odd occurrence if somebody doesn’t voluntarily leave the game due to being butt-hurt that they aren’t as popular in a group setting as they hoped they’d be.

“I’m so bummed out I can’t take it anymore” is reason number one most exit the game on their own accord.

It’s almost like none of them actually need or care about winning a big pile of money.  The halcyon days of seeing a dude’s face melt off while trying to maintain the fire are long gone.  Being forced to collect water downstream of a pissing rhino?  Gone.  The sweet taste of toasted rat?  Pffft.

‘”Survivor” has morphed into a (sad) metaphor for the molly-coddled upbringing most of the younger contestants bring to the game.  If they could actually catch a shark they wouldn’t eat it, they’d jump over it.

I don’t want to be accused of pointing out problems for which I don’t offer a viable solution, so those who are inclined to accuse me of that need only hang around long enough for part two in this mini-series to find an equitable solution to the problem of finding an honest version of Survivor to satiate their reality TV addiction now that the Survivor we all fell in love with has gone soft.  Stay tuned for an example of what real-life survival actually entails these days.


Gonzo Survivor Recap


Looking for episode three recap? Don’t despair! I will likely get it posted before episode four hits the airwaves.

Think of this installment as the better late than never edition in this wacky One World Survivor season. Gonzo reporters work on their own time. Be thankful for what you get.

After surviving the obligatory waste of time spent visually recapping last week’s accident-tainted opening episode, a heaping helping of the emotionally distressed Nancy-boy does little to lighten the mood.

We are offered multiple scenes wherein C-boy is shown trying to outdo even the most prototypically worthless Survivor contestants in the art of laziness. Juxtaposed cleverly against the backdrop of his tribe doing the actual job of, you know…surviving.

Poor C-boy’s social ineptitude has even ostracized him from the women who formerly loved him, leaving him in a funk of epic proportion. We haven’t witnessed internal angst of this proportion since Hantz the Younger’s turmoil with having to share an island with the whores of Babylon last season.

Just about the time the show’s producers have us all anticipating a possible Survivor suicide, we get a minor tension break in the form of an actual plot element.

I was hoping imagining a quick cut to a scene of C-boy attempting self immolation on a scale that would dwarf the attempted sacrifice by fire of Survivor Australia’s Michael Skupin. It was not to be however, as our despondent C-boy gained enough mental balance to realize his immunity idol could help him to leverage his way into a power block with the other assorted oddballs not officially in the GQ collection of self chosen apostles.

Cut to Reward Challenge where the women lost the chance to win a tarp, the utility of which is made painfully obvious in the sneak previews of episode three.

Cut to the immunity challenge where the women lose yet again, and in a spectacular show of incompetence just to keep the meme alive. The thing that made this challenge so much more particularly galling than the others, is that balance challenges in the past seemed to favor the women. Unless the producers introduce a toenail painting challenge, it is hard to imagine anything other than ongoing gloom and desperation from the women of One World in the challenge department.

This is the perfect time to comment on the ever present “bolstering” by Probst as he does his best to heighten the obvious lack of competitive equality by constantly reminding the women that they still have a chance to win this challenge. Yeah, if by “win” you mean the guys all suddenly have strokes and fall to their death. It looked to me like the entire men’s tribe finished the challenge before the first woman completed the walk. Tension so not thick you could cut it with a butter knife.

Cut to Tribal council where the competent, but older contestant is tossed in favor of keeping the air-headed Barbie blonde who was at the center of the challenge meltdown.

Cut to preview scenes of next episode where the girls might start to wonder if it was really such a good idea to stop C-boy helping them add an extra layer of thatch to their roof.


Gonzo Survivor Recap

Episode One, One World

One world is one beach?  OK.  Blows my expectation of seeing scantily clad foreign women competing against the best America has to offer, but what the hell.  You turn the dial, you take your chances.  At the end of the day, it’s another men-versus-women season.  Let the Pagonging begin!!

Typical recap columns set the stage and name all the characters.  Screw that.  The stage is a beach and most of the players will be gone before I can remember their names anyway.  Seeing how the entire flock seems to be stereotypically inept coeds and macho frat boys, what’s the harm?  There’s no old people this season.  It’s apparently”One World – Logan’s Run” edition.  While I’m bitching about casting, can I have somebody besides the (always humorous and extremely lovable) Nancy-boys to root for (and yes, I saw the midget little person).  Now that the lovable flaming homosexual has a hidden immunity idol,   I wonder if we’ll get to see his demonic side, ala Cochran from last season?

That said, thank goodness we don’t have any uptight righteous bible-thumpers on this year.  Last year’s season – Coach’s Jesuit Revival, was hard to watch, what with the memories of Jonestown still floating about in my head.  Don’t get me wrong.  It wasn’t a total waste.  Seeing that young Hantz boy struggling between the good book and his masturbatory fantasies of all the girls was something for the ages.

But I digress.  It’s One World time.  And in the sixtieth season of Survivor nothing has really changed.  Not one woman can either build or maintain (stolen ember) a fire.  Commenting after negotiating with the men to build them a fire, one girl says, “They built us a better fire pit than we could have done”.  Note to girl:  It’s a hole in the ground not rocket science.  WTF?

On to the immunity challenge.  Cute ironic hippie chick breaks her wrist in the first jump on the first challenge of the new season.   Advantage guys.  Of course we weren’t spared the spectacle of women’s tribal council, which resembled an episode of The View more than any in recent memory.   Once the girls quit mud wrestling each other, Probst lets them know that ironic hippie chick is out.  He chides them for their incompetence and we fade to black.