With the premiere of Survivor Redemption Island set for tomorrow night, I was originally planning on looking at all of the cast bios and putting together some sort of comprehensive advance "preview" of this season, but then I decided that I would rather go in blind on Wednesday night and take it from there, with an unbiased eye. Having said that, I will give my thoughts on this upcoming season, some of which I have mentioned in previous posts, so forgive me if you've heard some of this already...and if you HAVE heard some of this already, then Thank You for being a regular reader!
I'm on record as saying I think this Redemption Island twist is a horrible idea. For 21 seasons, losing your fire in this game meant you were gone (save for that horrible Pearl Islands "Outcasts" twist that saw Scout Leader Lil return and nearly win the game! Disaster averted), and now it means that maybe you're gone. I'm not a fan at all. They've even started using that point in the promos for the show, which I appreciate...but it's still a massive change in the game that alters everything. I understand that the game evolves, and changes over time, but changing one of the basic tenets of the game is way over the line. Imagine in baseball, if someone was caught stealing a base, and was 'out', but then all of a sudden there was some way to reverse that out and get back to second base...yes, the concept is as ridiculous as it sounds.
I'm sure it will make for great TV, and everyone will be talking about it, but I'm not on board. Not by a long shot.
The return of Boston Rob and Russell (first reported here back in December) is interesting, but comes with a heavy cost. As much as I am fans of both Rob and Russell, the reality is that neither of them could ever win this game. Russell has proven that he can't get a jury to vote for him no matter what, and Rob is now widely regarded as one of the best players ever, so why would anyone take him to the end?
Chances of Rob winning: 0%. Chances of Russell winning: slightly lower than Rob.
So, in essence, what Mark Burnett and CBS are doing, is creating a fall-back plan for if/when the "Rob vs. Russell" season doesn't pan out when the other Survivors decide they don't want a guy on his 3rd try and a guy on his 4th try to win, and vote them off. Enter Redemption Island...a chance to keep your stars on TV even longer, after they get voted off. (As an aside, check out this video from Entertainment Weekly's Dalton Ross when Rob and Russell first learned they would both be on this season.)
My recap of the premiere will be a snapshot of my initial impressions of each Survivor, along with a couple of Random Thoughts on the overall episode. After that, you can expect a regular Random Thoughts recap after each episode, usually up withing 30-60 minutes of when the episode airs on the East Coast.
The new readers and fans that have been reading here over the past couple of seasons has been overwhelming. What started as a small project writing bullet-point recaps has expanded into a strong readership that has led to new opportunities, such as being invited to participate in the pre-season media conference call with Mark Burnett and Jeff Probst in advance of the season premiere. Who would have thought that a year ago??
With each weekly recap, I will also be posting on Spoiler TV, and providing links on Facebook, CBS.com and EW.com. Some of the readers on the message boards can be rather nasty, so while I will provide links to places like EW at the end of each recap, I strongly advise you to read Dalton Ross' recap, but do not read the Comments section. There is no moderation, and aside from the hate and anger (which can be easily ignored), the main reason I say do not read the Comments is because each week, people post spoilers for the season anonymously, with no accountability. And last season, all of the spoilers were correct. So if you do not want to be spoiled on this season, do not read the comments. And if spoilers appear here in the Comments section, I will once again enable Comment Moderation, but I'm hoping it doesn't come to that.
Check back here tomorrow night by 10:00 pm ET for my recap of the season premiere, and if you're an Amazing Race fan, keep in mind that I will be recapping the upcoming season (premiering this Sunday) as well.
See you tomorrow.
Ratings News - 26th April 2017
1 hour ago