It begins again. Luckily for you, in honor of the debut of Survivor: Pearl Islands, we here at the True Dork Times held a viewing party. Okay, to be honest, it was a "party" only in the sense that more than one person was present, and libations may have been imbibed. Since this is Survivor we're talking about, we won't try to pretend it was fun, or that a good time was had by all. You know better. But nonetheless, we have a stunning, jaw-dropping twist for you this week: a top-secret "special" guest.
Yes, we had the privilege of viewing the premiere with a bona fide Survivor insider. Now, naturally, being a spoiler site, we're well aware of the hazards of such a move, what with non-disclosure agreements, confidentiality, and the threat of lawsuits. So we've taken a number of extra steps to protect the identity of our guest, and have deployed the patented True Dork Times encryption program to come up with what we can assure you is a failsafe, guaranteed, completely uncrackable pseudonym: Heff Gropst. He, er, s/he has been intimately involved with the show from the start, so this is your chance to get an unvarnished, insider's look at the show. You can thank us later.
So anyway, without further ado (because Lord knows this thing will be long enough with a 90-minute show), we present you a minute-by-minute transcription of the proceedings of our viewing extravaganza. Now, as is customary after such "parties," our memory may be a little fuzzy in places, but we're pretty sure it's accurate. Or at least fair and balanced. Yeah, something like that.
True Dork Times: So, this big "twist" at the start, tossing them overboard... did it piss you off that they don't seem too upset?
Heff Gropst: Not at all! We were really pleased that these people came ready to play! They were much more in it for the adventure, than for the potential media stardom. Except Jon, Shawn, Burton, Christa, Michelle, Nicole, Tijuana, Andrew, Ryan O. and Osten, of course.
TDT: So... you mean "yes," right? That's why you broadcast it on any media outlet that you could, uh, "persuade" to run it, rather than keep it secret?
HG: Umm, yes. I mean, I can neither confirm nor deny that. And to be completely honest, necessity is the mother of invention with that whole "clothes on their backs" thing.
TDT: Which is a nice way of saying what? That some of the crew wanted to party with Osten's booze and Nicole's massage oils?
HG: Uh, I'll go with the "neither confirm nor deny" thing on that one, too.
TDT: Okay, so you've taken their passports, and they're lined up and getting instructions. Be honest now, how many times did you have to re-shoot this? This jump overboard and swim ashore thing seems like it might be a little complex for some of these people, especially the Morgan tribe. I mean, after all, they did fall for your line about dressing up for the press. Have these people never seen how reporters dress before?
HG: Well. okay, yeah, we did have to re-shoot, but not for the reasons you might think. As it turned out, as soon as Nicole let out that she was braless, we had to keep pulling Jon off of her. He kept trying to hump her leg. Even after we gave them buffs, we had to keep physically separating them, and putting him back with the other tribe. Eventually, we just had Rupert put a sleeper hold on him. Squirrelly little bastard, that Fairplay. Maybe we shouldn't have let him have that rum I.V. during the boat ride. Oh well, live and learn, I guess.
TDT: Okay, so now they're running around a town on Saboga, looking like a bunch of models who got caught in a downpour. They seem to be yelling a lot, too.
HG: Well, we might have suggested to one of the tribes that the island was a hospice for deaf people. We said we wanted to continue the theme of deaf awareness we started in the Amazon. Sure, it was a little deceptive, but it made for good TV, didn't it?
TDT: These people will believe anything you tell them, no matter how ludicrous, won't they? What are you, Fox News?
HG: You'd be surprised how well a few key pieces of misinformation can pay off.
TDT: So anyway, this Rupert guy looks pretty cool. He seems to be the only one who's picked up that you're supposed to be having a pirate theme.
HG: As far as the pirate theme goes, surely you noticed that we have a bunch of European-looking people charging around, demanding stuff from the already dirt-poor locals, right? I think that's pretty close to historical accuracy.
TDT: Oh yeah, good point. But still, why the hell couldn't you have had 15 more like Rupert? Or at least given them swords and eyepatches or something? Instead, there are all these bland, generic-looking guys (Ryan O., Burton, Shawn), two of whom are even wearing the same clothes! Couldn't you at least tattoo them or something, so we can tell them apart?
HG: Well, we did try a branding iron, but every time we pulled it out of the coals and made a move toward one of them, Jon kept running over and humping their legs! It's not bad casting, though. We keep trying to find more guys who look like my good friend Colby, but keep falling short. *sigh* I guess they just broke the mold when they made that guy.
Note: At this point, there was a lengthy commercial break. We took this opportunity to encourage "Heff Gropst" to knock back a few more, in hopes of "inspiring discussion." It helped that we instituted a Survivor Drinking Game, in which one has to drink anytime a contestant does.
TDT: Okay, so they've finally made it to their islands. Morgan doesn't seem to have any better clue about basic survival than they did about how to barter, or for that matter spend money that was just given to them. Did you go out of your way to gather all the people that had no idea how to camp, and stick them all in one tribe?
HG: Well, they do have the scoutmaster. Of course, nobody listens to her, since they're all about half her age. Sometimes things do go the way we plan them.
TDT: She did say people back home would kick her butt for starting a fire with a candle. You'd think they'd be a little more upset about her building a shelter underneath a cliff that all but collapses the first time they poke it with a stick. Or not bothering to check the map for a water source. Meanwhile, you have Ryan S. whining about nobody helping his X buzz along by having a group hug. I mean if he scored at the village, why didn't he at least get enough tabs to share with everyone?
HG: Yeah, Mark and I had a good laugh about that while we were drinking beer and doing bong hits, watching that day's raw footage. Oops, I probably shouldn't have said that. You won't print that, right?
TDT: Oh sure, no problem. Discretion is a top priority here at the True Dork Times. [Editor's note: Don't forget to remove this before publishing!]
HG: Whew, well that's a relief! You also won't mention how we provided them with bamboo to make their shelters, right?
TDT: Consider it done! [Editor's note: Take that out, too!]
TDT: Okay, so now we're seeing Drake's camp. Jon is whining about mosquitoes. Why did you guys recruit him for the show again? Because his jokes aren't particularly funny. Unless it's some Andy Kaufman/ David Cross avant garde thing, where the audience is supposed to think he's retarded, but he's not really, and they're supposed to feel uncomfortable about noticing it.
HG: Well, mostly because we had Magilla in Thailand, and those sloths in The Amazon. Jon seemed like a natural extension of the theme. There aren't a whole lot of cute, fuzzy primates on those islands naturally.
TDT: Crap, so we'll have a pirate theme, but no Monkey!!! Knife!!! Fight!!! ? You bastards, with your bait-and-switch!
HG: Yeah, well you'll hate the "jaw dropping" switch thing too, I'll bet. Sucker! By the way, have I mentioned how I play poker with my good friend Colby every week?
TDT: "Poker," eh? That's what you guys call it? No, not in the last 30 seconds, you haven't.
TDT: So anyway, about this "snake" that Osten is freaking out after seeing. I'm not buying that palm frond story, nor the "crabs" crawling up Nicole's dress. That's just too much of a coincidence. They were both Ryan O., weren't they?
HG: What, there are two Ryans on this show? How did that happen? The muscular one was supposed to be on Big Brother 4! Which one's he again?
TDT: He's the... ah, it doesn't matter. On to Drake's drinking extravaganza. Aren't you worried about getting more flack from PETA for letting Jon have all that booze? That might be seen as pretty cruel, you know.
HG: No animals were harmed in the filming of that scene. We did cut out the slaughter of the pelican and the chickens, and several scenes of Rupert bathing. Not to mention all the scenes of Jon humping Rupert's leg after he put the skirt on. Squirrelly bastard.
TDT: No, I mean, harmful to his tribemates. Having to spend a full night with a liquor-fueled Jon has to be harsher than interrogations at Guantanamo. Aren't you guys worried about post-traumatic stress disorder?
HG: We've never given it a second thought in the past. I cause psychological scars in these people every season! Ha ha! Why? Is there something wrong with that?
TDT: Uh... yeah. So anyway, do you keep pulling in victims by refusing to cast people that have actually seen the show before, or what? I mean, look at this: eight people on Morgan, and not a single one of them thought to look at the map for their water source? Including the Scoutmaster? And then there's good ol' Rupert on Drake, thinking that catching fish will make him indispensable? Did you just give him a transcript to read of one of Mike Skupin's old confessionals, or what?
HG: Oh please, we get that all the time. The only people whose confessionals are scripted are Michelle, whose comments were written by Elisabeth Filarski, and Ryan O., who needed a little extra assistance to form sentences of more than two words.
TDT: I knew it! Okay, after a full hour of dilly-dallying, we're finally up to the immunity challenge. Nice job on continuity, by the way, where you had Shawn chop off his suit pants right before this challenge, where they're magically restored to their original brilliance. Anyway, lugging heavy stuff over a bumpy course - wasn't this pretty much exactly the same as in Africa, where Ethan kept falling down? I mean, look at th... Aughhh!!! My eyes!!! My eyes!!!
Hey, wanna throw up? Get them naked!
HG: Oh yeah, there may be some gratuitous male nudity in this scene. But it's not like we didn't advertise it to the fullest extent possible.
TDT: Well, thanks a lot for stealing their clothes, there, "Gropst."
HG: You're welcome! Although it will be better when Colby does it in All-Stars in the spring.
TDT: Of course. Anyway, shocking that the half-wits on the orange tribe would decide to just stop dead a foot short of the finish line. Are you sure you didn't have some sort of brake mechanism on that cart, that you flipped down while helpfully "directing" them?
HG: No need. I just told them the finish line was on the map, and they got all confused.
TDT: Right. Well, there they are at Tribal Council. *Yawn*. Which looks a lot like the last one. So, once again, did the people from Morgan also get to make suggestions for this alleged "pirate" theme? Because apart from Rupert and his skirt, what I'm seeing is pretty much generic Survivor. In fact, this cast is so young and dull, I have to keep checking the channel to make sure it's not one of those godawful Real World vs. Road Rules things. Were you aware that pirates generally used ships, and didn't live in bamboo huts on tropical beaches? Or that they had a fondness for swords, weaponry and butchery? Spear guns really don't quite cut it. And come on, these people aren't even allowed to touch each other.
HG: Well, by now you should be aware that our themes, such as the "dangerous wildlife" in the Amazon, have little to no actual impact on the show. We might go back and put eyepatches on a few of them digitally, if you think it would help.
TDT: Don't bother. Although I would like a pair of them for myself, especially if you have to pad out another episode to 90 minutes.
HG: Okay then. They'll be in the mail, along with your weekly paycheck.
TDT: Fair enough. Although I want double if you're going to force me to watch your freaking "All-Star" crap.
HG: Even if my good friend Colby is on?
TDT: Especially so. Bring back the sloths!
Editor's note: The notes beyond this point become exceptionally garbed, which is no big loss, since much of what preceded it failed to meet even the low standards of the True Dork Times. So we'll pull the plug now. Join us next week when Antithesys tries to put us back on the track to, well, humor. Or something.