Episode 13: Fun winner, fun cast, fun but flawed season
Published: June 6, 2022
As a season, Survivor 42 succeeded due to its collectively fun-filled personality, which in part reflects the larger-than-life enthusiasm and energy of its winner, Maryanne. An appreciation of the final five and their varied games, and a big-picture look at what the "new era" game needs to fix before it runs out of top-notch cast members.
Episode 12: Who is the butterfly now?
Published: May 21, 2022
Following Maryanne's big move in the penultimate episode of Survivor 42, the balance of power in the game has actually changed, and it's unclear who the leading contender to win the season really is. Here's an attempt to forecast the finale, plus various other stuff.
Episode 11: Playing around the obstacles
Published: May 17, 2022
Episode 11 of Survivor 42 delivered some complicated, aggressive gameplay, and one of the most fun exits in series history. Wedged in the middle of all this was a truly unnecessary, unwise twist that almost made all of that obsolete. Thankfully, this cast has showed the ability (and luck) to work around the landmines. So far.
Episode 10: Today is fun
Published: May 8, 2022
This week's episode of Survivor 42 wasn't a bigger-than-the-game one like last week's, but it had some good moments nonetheless. There was, of course, a Big Move, as the contestants took advantage of production actually letting them all vote for a change. The parts preceding this were mostly fun, standard Survivor fare, albeit with one series milestone receiving a COVID-dodging tweak.
Episode 9: Standing and delivering
Published: May 1, 2022
The double-Tribal twist in Episode 9 of Survivor 42 at least produced one drama-filled vote, full of compelling discussions, an abrupt, live re-configuring of the vote, and (for the purists) two idol plays before the vote, a voice vote, and a Shot in the Dark play. Somehow, this all ended up working as a coherent, important episode.
Episode 8: Buoy oh buoy
Published: April 23, 2022
It was Buoy Week on Survivor 42, and buoy, was it ever exciting. Buoys in the reward challenge. Buoys in the immunity challenge. The prospect of an all-boys alliance in the "Next time on Survivor" trailer. And of course, a majority alliance just bobbing along, picking off the people on the outs, while scooping up additional powers.
Episodes 6-7: Illusion of choice, the sequel
Published: April 17, 2022
After teasing possible changes to the hourglass twist, Survivor 42's merge episode(s) smashed those hopes with a hammer and served up the same plate of doo-doo. Thankfully, the contestants powered past it, and we can now assess their post-merge chances of winning.
Episode 5: A tale of three tribes
Published: April 10, 2022
As Survivor 42's three starting tribes face semi-merging (and actual merging, eventually) in next week's two episodes, this week's final tribal-stage episode did a pretty good job of highlighting and contrasting the various degrees of cohesiveness within those three tribes. It should make for an exciting post-merge phase of the game.
Episode 4: Less is more
Published: April 5, 2022
Like a leaping Lydia, Episode 4 of Survivor 42 had its moments, but fell a bit short of the heights of Episode 2, probably because instead of a single combined reward/immunity challenge, we had two separate ones, which ate into the time that was otherwise lavished on the contestants.
Episode 3: Oops! All Twists
Published: March 29, 2022
Episode 3 of Survivor 42 had plenty of things going on, and some were entertaining to watch (not pictured). But all of the episode's events involved production-placed twists and/or 'advantages' (read: disadvantages), most of which were traps sprung on the unsuspecting players, who were just trying to play aggressively, as the show claims it wants.
Episode 2: Time well spent
Published: March 22, 2022
This week, Survivor tapped the brakes a bit, lowering the average idol/advantages per episode ratio from five down to ... well, three. Even with a reduced runtime, the show still found time to explore what really matters in a Survivor season: The contestants, their games, and their relationships with each other. Let's home that approach continues.
Episode 1: Great new contestants, adequate twists
Published: March 15, 2022
As a new Survivor season unfolds, one that looks suspiciously like the one that preceded it, at least we have 18 exciting, fun, game-aware new contestants to re-experience the same setbacks with. And some new ones apparently.
Jeff Pitman is the founder of the True Dork Times, and probably should find better things to write about than Survivor. So far he hasn't, though. He's also responsible for the Survivometer, calendar, boxscores, and contestant pages, so if you want to complain about those, do so in the comments, or on twitter: @truedorktimes