Archive | April, 2012

You know you watch too much reality TV when…

28 Apr

… you see a James Bond movie poster and the first thing you think of is Ben’s date with Emily.



Not fun to watch: Survivor One World Episode 10

18 Apr

Conflict on reality shows can sometimes be fun to watch. The conflict seen on this season of Survivor is not that kind.

Between the dumb players and the bickering, this was one annoying episode.

It’s Troy against everyone else, which ordinarily would mean all of my sympathies would be with Troy. They still are, but eight weeks’ worth of bad decisions got him to this point, so he really only has himself to blame.

This episode had the annual auction. Each year everybody knows there is one critical thing to win, and that’s the prize that gives you an advantage in the game, yet it’s amazing how year after year most players don’t go after it. Troy knew that he had to get that prize, yet even he almost blew it by not immediately bidding all of the money he had. Christina wasn’t smart enough to go right to $500 either!

Kim, having an immunity idol in her pocket unbeknownst to some, was secure enough to go after some of the goodies, and was able to win two “lots” while Christina ended up with none. That says everything about the difference between the two.

Troy won the immunity challenge thanks partly to the advantage he purchased in the reward auction. He tried (WAY too late in the game) to get an outsider coalition together, but only Leif actually voted with Troy. To no avail: Leif was still voted out, though Tarzan got a number of votes also. Evidently the girls wanted to be ready for the scenario that Troy had found an idol and gave it to one of the other guys, so they split their vote accordingly. Tarzan voted for Leif as well! Will the fact that he got a bunch of votes finally make him realize that he does not have allies in the women? I doubt it.

Last week Sophie, the winner of the previous Survivor season, appeared on Rob Cesternino’s podcast and made an excellent point: this season, everyone who seems like they should have been the first person to go is still in the game. To which I would say, that’s a big reason this is a bad season.

In my updated rankings I still have Troyzan listed as a contender, because players have gone on amazing runs before. But he’ll have to, to have any chance. Especially since I’m sure Kim and Chelsea have figured out that Troyzan has a good shot at four jury votes already, and only needs five to win the game.

I moved Kat onto my no-chance list. If she gets to the finals along with her girlfriends I think she’ll have a hard time convincing anyone that she was a better player than any of them. And I don’t see any sign that she’s smart enough to realize she’s #4 in a four-girl group and make other arrangements.

One thing that might get interesting: Tarzan, Christina and Alicia are bad players but that makes all three of them attractive choices to sit next to at the finals. That might well play into the strategy coming up.

Alas, the “next time on Survivor” teasers were pretty ho-hum, so if those are the best moments of next week’s show we might be in trouble.

Contenders: 1) Kim, 2) Chelsea, 3) Sabrina, 4) Troyzan

No-chance list: Alicia, Tarzan, Christina, Kat

Jury and who I think they’d vote for: Jonas (Troyzan), Mike (Troyzan), Jay (Troyzan), Leif (Troyzan)

WON’T Anybody Here Play This Game?: Survivor One World Episode 9

11 Apr

Games are fun. But if you’re playing a game seriously and the other participants aren’t, it’s frustrating. Anyone who grew up with a little brother probably knows what I mean.

Hence the above allusion to the 1962 New York Mets.

As frustrating as this episode was to watch, it must have been even more frustrating for someone like Troyzan to play. As the end credits revealed, Leif and Jay both voted for Alicia, while Christina and Tarzan voted for Jay! If even three of those four had voted with Troy, Kim would be out of the game and they would all be in business as a new alliance! Of the two stupid duos, Christina and Tarzan are by far the dumber group, as their one chance to win would be as part of an outsiders-type alliance, instead they stuck with a group where their chances are zero.

You could be charitable and say Jay (who was voted out because he had the second-most votes once Troy played his idol) just trusted the wrong people, but both he and Leif gave away their chances at immunity in the challenge in favor of some food. Although Leif mostly gave his away just because a girl with big (and as the previous episode established, fake) boobs smiled at him and suggested he should.

Not that I’m calling Troy any sort of great player. The episode started with Troy and Jay coming to some strategic realizations that they came to about 3-4 weeks too late.

But at least Troy tried his best in the immunity challenge, a repeat of a classic challenge from Survivor: All-Stars won by Shii Ann (“the She-Devil”) in one of my all-time favorite challenge moments. Though if I recall correctly, there was no balance aspect before, it was purely about the endurance of having to keep your hand in the air — drop it and the bucket it’s handcuffed to spills out. Whatever the case, this was no classic, as you can’t have a competition without competitors.

A telling moment came when Jay went up to the girls saying “Let’s vote out Alicia” and we saw one of the worst displays of bad lying ever. Jay was too dense to pick up on it. A couple of other times Kim showed herself to be quite skilled at lying to people’s faces. Again, remember her profession: bridal shop owner. She spends all day convincing brides that it makes a darn bit of difference if they pick the most expensive dress in the shop or the cheapest. Talk about boldfaced!

As for my standings, I have moved Chelsea up, given all the moxie she has shown lately. Also, the jury members as of now are big Troy fans, a fact that I doubt is lost on Kim, Chelsea, and company. So given that, and the fact that Troy’s smartest (well, least dumb) potential ally is now gone… make sure you win immunity next week, big guy.

Favorites: 1) Kim, 2) Chelsea, 3) Sabrina, 4) Troyzan,  5) Kat

No-chance list: Alicia, Tarzan, Leif, Christina

Jury and who I think they’d vote for: Jonas (Troyzan), Mike (Troyzan), Jay (Troyzan)

“Talkin’ ’bout my boob job”: Survivor One World Episode 8

4 Apr

I wonder if the alliance between Kim, Sabrina, and Chelsea is going to turn out to be one of the best in the history of the show? And yes, I have indeed ranked the best alliances  in Survivor history to date.

I’ve had Kim down as the favorite to win for a couple of weeks, and she might be distancing herself from the competition.

– She has an idol.

– She seems to be everyone’s friend and no one’s enemy.

– She seems to be the smartest person in the game.

– Also, she refrains from ever saying anything controversial at tribal council. This has been a characteristic of many of the best players, including the very best ever, Boston Rob.

Chelsea, meanwhile, has gone down a bit in my estimation. On the one hand she’s smart enough to know that someone annoying like Tarzan needs to be kept around (you can bet everyone would love to take Tarzan and Alicia to the finals to assure themselves of a million bucks). On the other hand she thought it was a good idea to suggest to Jay that they vote off Mike, while Christina and Alicia, supposedly members of the other alliance, were sitting right there! (Kim’s comment: “That’s asinine.”). Then when Jay said words to the effect of, that just means you’re getting rid of me next, Chelsea’s reply was “That’s not necessarily true.” Pretty lame, and Jay was not reassured.

The odd thing about this episode was that while there are some swing votes presumably to be had, nobody seemed to be doing any campaigning for them. In particular, we haven’t seen the guys make an effort to recruit Christina, despite the fact that she’s already told them flat-out that she’d be up for joining a men’s alliance! That ties into this season’s recurring theme of “dumb players,” and actually it makes me think I’m making too much of the three-woman alliance mentioned earlier, as they’re not really facing any competition, and are basically the only alliance in the game. Strange but true!

This episode’s challenges were OK. The first one involved each player going down a cool-loooking waterslide at the beginning, which made up for being otherwise uninventive. The second challenge ended with a puzzle… yawn, I thought, until it turned out it’s the kind of puzzle where you could be placing the last piece and only then realize it’s wrong. That really added to the excitement.

Also worthy of note: Tarzan took Chelsea aside and asked if she has a grudge against him because of some bad experience with her plastic surgery. What is he talking about, I thought, her face looks perfectly… oh. To quote Chelsea, “I can’t believe he’s talkin’ ’bout my boob job.”

Favorites: 1) Kim, 2) Sabrina, 3) Troyzan, 4) Chelsea, 5) Jay, 6) Kat

No-chance list: Alicia, Tarzan, Leif, Christina

Jury and who I think they’d vote for: Jonas (Troyzan), Mike (Jay)