I know. “That show is still on?” “SURVIVOR??” “Really?” YES. Really. I love Survivor.
I love it so much that I have seen every episode. Well, almost every episode. I’ve got about four more that I’ll watch tonight. But by tomorrow, I will have seen EVERY episode of Survivor. And then Wednesday night, the THIRTIETH (30TH!!) season of Survivor will premiere.
I’m sort of new to this whole Survivor culture. I wasn’t really all that into watching TV until I finished college and had enough time (and a DVR) to really keep up with any shows. Then it was mostly just The Office. But Cameron’s family was telling us one night how good this one season of Survivor was (there were only a few episodes left in it) and we happened to be over there while they were watching it. I remember watching a challenge and clenching my teeth and my fists and cheering/booing like I was watching a football game that I really cared about. I realized that I REALLY CARED about it! After just one episode.
Obviously, no one show is for everyone, and I’m not trying to “sell” anyone on it, but I feel like Survivor totally surprised me. How had nobody told me about it before? How had I not even known it was still in production?!
I felt like how, in missionary classes at church when they’re like, “If you found something amazing that changed your life for the better, wouldn’t you want to share it with everyone?” (except, they usually teach this concept to kids by talking about some kind of yummy chocolate and “how much happier would it make you if you shared that chocolate and saw how happy it would make someone else?” To which every kid says, “HAILL NAW… I want all dat chocolate for myself.”)
Anyway, I sort of feel an obligation (because of mormonism) to at least be more public about my love for chocolate. I mean Survivor. Only because Survivor is something that, if I share it and more people watch it, I could actually benefit from it. More seasons and more seasons forever and ever until Jeff Probst becomes too old to host and his eldest son must take over the reigns as host. Also, I showed a season to my family one summer and they’re all now as obsessed as me. They thank me multiple times a year for introducing them to it.
So, here’s why I love Survivor:
- The Challenges: I’m a little bit competitive and relay races are sort of “my jam”, so really, those early, super elaborate team challenges are just amazing to watch. Then, when they move onto the more endurance-based individual challenges, It’s so cool to see how hard people can push themselves when they REALLY want to win. Because every challenge is a million dollar challenge for someone. (namely, the one who gets voted out that round.)
- The Social Experiment: The whole idea of Survivor is an amazing experiment. Be in charge of kicking people out, but make sure they like you or respect you enough to ultimately forgive you for it and award you a million dollars. But there’s also this aspect of being able to read other people and to know how they’re reading you. So many of the memorable (villainous) characters are really only that way because they had ZERO self-awareness.
- The “Characters”: I love getting to know people you wouldn’t normally get to know and hearing how they process situations in the game in either a similar or opposite way that you would. They’re all REAL people. They’re all there to REALLY win a million REAL dollars. (Survivor was the inventor of reality tv and the inventor of the elimination-style game, btw.)
- Jeff Probst: Not because he’s hot. I’m not like that one chick who “romantically” kissed him on the cheek after she got voted out, or that other chick who actually dated him for like 6 years after she got voted out. And I’m not like Sue either. (Just throwing that out there.) But, Jeff is amazing at asking all of the right questions and just going with the flow. If he wasn’t the host, I doubt the show would’ve lasted half as long as it has. And if he ever leaves, that will be the end of Survivor as we know it.
- The “Rules” are always changing: If they re-did a season with everything set up exactly the same and had all the same characters and the same twists, the outcome would be different. The game can change drastically based on something so little as how many fish were caught that day, how much it rained the night before, which teams were randomly assigned to do a reward challenge together, etc. You never know if what you’re doing is going to turn out to be a good decision or a bad one. The “rules” are different in the game than they are in real life. And it’s fun to see the players all debate about what’s “okay” in the game.
- The Physical Conditions: These people really do have to survive out in the middle of no-where with hardly anything. AND, they don’t know anyone else. I get the heebie-jeebs just thinking about spending the night out in my backyard where there’s are mowed lawn and a fence. The combo of starvation and lack of sleep gets to everyone at different stages and they turn into different people. It’s fun to sit on our couch and call them crazy, but I’m sure I’d be a completely different person if I’d only eaten 100 calories and slept 3 hours that day! (So maybe they’re just crazy for deciding to do it on TV)
- There is SO MUCH SURVIVOR. 29 seasons worth. And each season is independently stand-alone amazing. It’s like having 29 kids that you love so much and you can binge-parent them for four days each and then they will become a permanent part of you and you can move on to a new kid the next day.
- It’s so fun to talk about. Obviously. Look at all that that I just did up there.^ But a lot of TV shows are fun to talk about. But Survivor is the most fun because there is just so much more to say. Obviously.
And with THAT… I’ll let you go to set your DVR so you don’t miss this next season. It’s not too late for Survivor to change your life. It’s never too late.