It's almost over!
May 3, 2001 7:27 AM   Subscribe

It's almost over! and just a few thousand moments too late for most. Unfortunately Survivor 2 isn't the end. With the impending writer's strike still looming over Hollywood, reality programming will become even more commonplace, and may sound the death knell for television. Unless they actually start getting good. [more]
posted by ZachsMind (15 comments total)
[people who like reality tv already think it's good... people who object to it wholesale will never like it. sorry to but in before your first comment...]
posted by palegirl at 7:31 AM on May 3, 2001

apology accepted, palegirl. I know it wasn't anything personal. It's just a game. *smirk*

Don't git me wrong. I'm actually sorry I've missed most of S2. I've been looking back at what I've missed, because just as I used to check out the Superbowl even though I hate football, theoretically the finale of this thing will at least be entertaining. The 'best of the mediocre' so to speak, but it's pretty cut n dried. So I wanted to read up on it and figure out what happened so I'll be up to speed when I watch the finale on tape tomorrow.

Colby's actually in some ways the anti-thesis of Rich. He's a gentleman. He scoffed at how the others were making alliances so early on in the game. He didn't boast and parade around as if he owned the place. He wasn't smarmy one moment and then vindictive and backstabbing the next. He played the game. He just took it casual. I think he's actually almost helped the image the world has regarding Texans. Granted, he's got his share of foibles and annoying personality quirks, but overall he's a (gasp!) nice guy.

And this is in the end what's wrong with S2. I mean they actually voted out the assholes pretty early on. Kimmi annoyed everyone with her vegetarian extremist views, and they gave her the boot. Jerri got bossy and manipulative, and they kicked her out. Shades of Big Brother 1 with WillMega lasting only two weeks, when he was the only one to cause sparks and stir up trouble. I preferred that, because I personally don't like seeing people like Susan or Rich dicking other people around. However, being nice doesn't make good television. A soap opera consisting of only nice people wouldn't last a week on day time television.

I question what this says about us as human beings on the whole. Those of us who find ourselves channel hopping and landing on Sally or Montel or Rikki Lake, and like driving by a car accident we want to, but we just can't turn away from it. We might miss something gross. We wanna see a car wreck. We wanna watch complete strangers attempt to get along while simultaneously ripping each other's spleens out when they think no one's looking.

Why can't there be a show like S2 or Boot Camp where the objective is to work as a team, and the attrition occurs when people just can't cut it? No. They have to vote each other out of the game. They have to be nice to one another's faces and then mean behind each other's backs. The people of S2, except in extreme cases, were apologetic about their treatment of one another. It's just a game seems to be this season's rallying cry. It's nice to see people trying to be nice to each other, but it just makes for bad television. People have to be bad to each other for TV to be good.

Maybe it's time I take my old 7th grade english teacher's advice, turn off the boob toob and grab a book... NAH! I might miss something gross!
posted by ZachsMind at 7:42 AM on May 3, 2001

Sorry Zach. I gotta disagree. The last few weeks of Survivor, although somewhat predictable, have made for better TV than last season's show, IMHO.

I'd much rather watch a bunch of people cooperate to survive than duke it out.

Also, I don't think Colby's gonna win. If there's a winner, I'd bet on Tina, who is the true antithesis of Rich. I can't remember a single moment in the show when her nicety was inspired by strategy. Colby, on the other hand, has been very obviously straining to keep people on his good side to win.

If anything, S2 has been a nice break from the other Reality TV shows, where strategy involves being a backstabbing conniving idiot. It's nice to see one of these shows where the point is to not be a trashy greedy bastard.
posted by dogmatic at 8:19 AM on May 3, 2001

..WHATEVER you do, DON'T go to It took me 20 minutes and a 1000 esc keys to get all those windows closed. ARGH!
posted by tomplus2 at 8:58 AM on May 3, 2001

My favorite thing about Survivor 2 is the shameless product placement. As an American, I've never been prouder than when a demographically diverse group of my people competed for the right to consume Dorito's and Mountain Dew removed from a wooden box painted with the Target logo.

When Colby was taken to the Pontiac Aztec he had won, the first thing he said was, "This is cooler than I thought it would be." Translation: I really expected this car to suck.
posted by rcade at 9:06 AM on May 3, 2001

The product placed food items repeatedly gave the contestants diarrhea. Well-spent advertising dollars!
posted by waxpancake at 9:32 AM on May 3, 2001

Yeah, but the beans at the cowboy camp gave Colby diarrhea, too.


Seriously though, gorging yourself on almost any kind of food after near-starvation for a couple of weeks is going to wreck havoc on your digestive system. When they had the food auction, the only two who didn't get ill were Amber, who paid big money for a glass of water, and Colby who had got a salad, I think.

Keith doesn't have a chance of winning. Colby needs to keep Keith around to win, Tina needs to keep Keith around for the easy win, but if it came down to her and Colby, I'd still put money on Tina.

I'm enjoying the show with people who don't despise each other much more than the first one.
posted by cCranium at 9:55 AM on May 3, 2001

Sorry, dogmatic, but I don't think Tina is the antithesis of Rich. Actually she has been quite a schemer--right from the beginning of the show, she acted nice to people and then kicked them out. (Kel and Maralyn, in the first few weeks.. all the way up to Elisabeth last week). I have no idea who will win, but I certainly don't think Tina has been Ms. Nice Guy/Gal.
posted by Rebis at 10:44 AM on May 3, 2001

Tina is a schemer underneath all that southern charm. Physically, Colby should win everything else - he's in much better shape than everyone else. But he may get hurt in "The Final Vote" because of everyone resenting his physical ability.

Survivor is a hella lot better than a lot of the TV out there.

But I watch the WWF, so what do I know?
posted by owillis at 10:54 AM on May 3, 2001

I can't remember a single moment in the show when her nicety was inspired by strategy.

She baldly screwed over Mad Dog early on, making a voting alliance with her and then screwing her to the wall at tribal council. I've hated her ever since.

Now that Kentucky Joe's gone, though, I really don't care about whether it's Colby or Keith. Both seem equally innocuous. Just as long as it's not Tina!

And being a vegetarian was the least of Kimmi's annoyances. She could have been the biggest carnivore on the planet, and she still would have been offed.
posted by aaron at 1:00 PM on May 3, 2001

Tina's going to win, aaron, so you'd better not watch tonight!

And it's a good thing because of the three that are left she's my reluctant favorite. I really would have preferred Maralyn, Rodger, Michael, Elisabeth, Nick, or even Amber to win over any of the ones left. Ah well.
posted by daveadams at 1:24 PM on May 3, 2001

someone needs to cast web-celebrities as contestants for survivor 3.

the zeldmans vs. the neilsons.

one island, two tribes... only one computer.

see them compete for access time.
posted by jcterminal at 1:32 PM on May 3, 2001

Okay, count me in with the cruel people who prefer the magnificent bastards from the first season. This season's "final three" all seem a little generic to me.. I really don't care who wins (but I'll still watch tonight, obviously ;) ). I mean, there's no way tonight's trio could inspire a speech like Sue's from last year, and that was some damn fun television.
posted by jess at 2:16 PM on May 3, 2001

Well, I'm just checking in after the vote. Tina was my bet, although Colby's winning all those darned immunity challenges just had to engender respect -- and then the final loyalty he showed to the Tina-Colby alliance, showing that after all the two of them were the real core of Tina-Colby-Keith, raised his stock a lot more. I mean, strategically it made sense for both of them to boot the other and go in with Keith as the 2nd, since it would have been a slam-dunk vote for either Tina or Colby in that case.

As it was, I still sensed that Tina had the edge, but it was much closer than I expected.

I don't mind the back-stabbing part of the game: the players, especially the S2 crowd, are all very self-aware that there is game time, and real-life time. When you're in the game you behave certain ways you wouldn't otherwise and they all know it. In the end it is just a silly game show.
posted by dhartung at 7:05 PM on May 3, 2001

dogmatic said: "Sorry Zach. I gotta disagree. The last few weeks of Survivor, although somewhat predictable, have made for better TV than last season's show, IMHO."

Maybe my sarcasm wasn't showing through enough. Survivor 1 left a bad taste in my mouth, but this Survivor was nicer, and I prefer to see that. It's also why Big Brother turned my head last summer, even though most people really hated it. The BB2 contestants outed the schemers and the trolls early on and Jamie, who was the most fake of all the BB1 contestants, got fourth place which is the worst spot to get because you go through everything but the last couple days and you walk away with nothing. Just desserts, I say. Big Brother may not have been good television, but I found it to be fair and educational, like watching Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory as a kid.

However, my point is most people don't agree with these sentiments, dogmatic. What's good television for me is rarely what actually sells and is successful, because I don't look for blood. I don't enjoy watching people like Susan and Rich and Rudy getting into the final three when people like Gervase and Colleen were just, in my opinion, better people with bigger hearts. I don't wanna watch cruelty and hatred rewarded. Oh, maybe some people say they like nice over mean, but then they tune into mean stuff and the nice stuff doesn't get the ratings. I will bet you that in the morning when we hear the ratings results of the Survivor Finale, they won't quite match the first one. There was backstabbing, vindictiveness and manipulation in Survivor 2, but it wasn't done with quite the venom and maliciousness of Survivor 1. I'm glad for that, and will probably tune in now to catch Surivor 2 in reruns knowing that it's more up my personal alley, but most people want to see blood.

Tina was sly and tactical, telling people what they wanted to hear and then applying cold strategical moves in the Tribal Councils, but when she spoke to "defend" herself at the end, she used her backgammon board (her luxury item for the trip) as the perfect metaphor. When you play backgammon, you don't purposefully give your opponent openings. You cover your man. It's not hateful or vindictive. It's a game. It's supposed to be fun. I've known people to take something as simple as a board game like Monopoly personally. I don't like playing with those people, and I wouldn't like watching them on Survivor, but I'd sit down and play a game of backgammon with Tina any day of the week. I still would have preferred seeing Colby win. He won four immunity challenges in a row. He played hard and tight and clean. Even when he played the personality conflict game, he held true to his own convictions. He's a Texan. A Dallasite. But even though he didn't win, I strongly prefer the outcome of this season. And I'll be in line for Survivor 3.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:46 PM on May 3, 2001

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