Arts & Entertainment, Film and TV

Outlive, Outplay, Outlast

Thailand. Guatemala. Panama. Fiji. Micronesia. The list goes on. Any television show filmed in these places is automatically cool in my books. Of course I’m talking about Survivor, the best show on television. I usually get the same reaction when I talk about the show; “You still watch that?” Or eve; “That’s still on?” Yes, Survivor is still on and I still watch it. It’s been 10 years, 20 seasons, and Survivor is still just as awesome as it was when it first aired. No one can convince me otherwise.


Reality TV is now just as commonplace as weeknight sitcoms. But Survivor, which first aired in 2000, is what sparked the reality TV revolution. And nothing compares to it. Though the show doesn’t really require people to survive in the most literal sense, Survivor lives up to its name. At its core, Survivor is really a social game that asks the question: “How far will people go for money?” Being stranded on an island and left to fend for themselves really does get to the players.


The show does a great job of picking a diverse group of people with different personalities, and it’s interesting to watch how each of the players progresses throughout the game. Civilization decorates and materializes people to the maximum, but throwing complete strangers on a remote island is the perfect way to reveal our species’ true primitive nature.


A lot of people hate Survivor for different reasons. First, I’ve heard people say it’s repetitive. The show hasn’t changed very much since its inception, but this is what makes it so great. It doesn’t try to be something it isn’t; the show remains a game that is meant to showcase the contestants, which is exactly what reality TV should be about. Every season of Survivor gets a whole new cast of people, and this is what makes each season unique.


Second, I’ve heard people say it’s fake. Wrong. Survivor is real. Of course we don’t see everything that goes on behind the scenes. And yes, there are producers, camera people, and medics always on site. If they have to get somewhere miles away they will be transported. But all aspects of the show that make it Survivor are still real. They really do sleep in homemade shelters on the ground, find and make their own food, compete in intense challenges on essentially empty stomachs, form alliances, and vote people out. It’s all real. How do I know this? I just do, OK?


Also, it’s been 10 years, and Jeff Probst is still hot! But of course that’s just a minor detail. The point is this: Survivor is a remarkable part of our generation’s culture, and everyone should recognize it. Survivor: Nicaragua premiers on September 15, and will feature a battle of the ages (the teams are separated into old and young). I urge you to join me and watch!

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