All over the internet and especially on this here site, people have been complaining about this season. I’ve heard it. You’ve heard it. I want to go one step further though:
This is the worst season of Survivor.
Look, I know what you’re thinking: Yeah, this season sucks but calling it the worst is hyperbole. No, it’s not hyperbole. This season is god awful and probably the first time I just don’t care. At all.
Usually this column is all about theory, but we’re going to take a time-out so I can complain a bit.
In a post from over the weekend, fellow TDT writer Dan Otsuki sadly took time out of his spring break to talk about the season. He made a point that I think is being overlooked, but one I wholeheartedly agree with: Redemption Island is far better than the Edge of Extinction.
First, as noted by many, this Edge thing only serves to take time out of the actual episode, time that we could use to get to know any countless castaway we know nothing about. Also, at least RI featured challenges and there was some stakes for each episode. This just Reem complaining about people. And, like Ryan, I’m at the point where I hope Reem just wins this entire shitshow.
Second, it’s profoundly stupid for the players in the actual game not to know about Extinction. It’s unfair. More importantly, it’s profoundly moronic not to at least tell the audience the whole point of it. Why are we supposed to care? I don’t know and, therefore, I don’t give a crap.
Let me say this is not a screed against seasons with returnees. HvH, Game Changers and Second Chance are some of my favorite seasons. And, of course, all the FvF seasons and even the Blood v Water one worked well, to me. I just absolutely hate these seasons with a couple returnees.
But it’s more than that, because, Third: When they have only a couple returnees on a season, that season is dominated by those folks’ personalities. You simply can’t have non-amazing returnees. And I’m sorry: These four are not that. OK, so David is only playing for a second time, so that’s OK, but I wish it was in a full returnee season. The other three? Can anybody really say they couldn’t wait for one to play for a third time? No. Each is basically playing the exact same game they’ve played the other times. Heck, I at least liked Redemption Island because Boston Rob should have won All-Stars and he’s at least good TV (and, of course, it was fun to watch Russell lose badly).
Fourth, I said this last week, but I can’t stand Wendy. Look, we barely know any newcomer not named Wardog, Wendy or Rick. Well, Rick was playing to win and he’s gone. Wardog has been surprisingly OK, even though, as noted by Ryan, he’s the new Debbie. But, man, Wendy is my least-favorite kind of player: Someone who literally does not want to win, but desperately wants TV time … and Probst loves those folks. So we get tons of footage of someone playing horribly because they’re good TV. Or at least good TV to producers. Horrible TV to me.
We know nothing about almost anyone else in this game. We don’t know their strategies. Heck, even the returnees. We keep hearing Kelley is a threat (and I’m sure she is), but why David is focused on her we have no idea based on the edit. None. Nothing makes sense.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t watch Survivor for funny moments. It’s great we get folks like Reem, but that works when they’re the sideshow, the other thing happening as the game unfolds. There is no game this season. All I see is about a bunch of nameless folks probably playing Survivor, but producers focusing on boring confessionals by returnees and a woman who just wants Sia to give her money.
It doesn’t work.
I could go on and on. But, instead, I’ll think about Fiji or One World or Thailand or Nicaragua and long for the good ol’ days.
That’s it. Sorry. On another note, here are some scattered thoughts on the non-extinction players, most of whom I know nothing about:
OK, that’s all I got. Let’s pray this all gets better. It has to, right?
Pat Ferrucci started watching Survivor when episode two of Borneo first aired. He's seen every episode since. Besides recapping here, he'll be live-tweeting this season from the Mountain Time Zone. Why? Because nobody cares about the Mountain Time Zone except when they want to ski. Follow him @PatFerrucci for Survivor stuff and tweets about anything and everything that enters his feeble mind.