Wednesday, February 16, 2011

2-16-11 Survivor

The 22nd Survivor season debuts tonight. It does help that they get 2 seasons in a year, but that's still 11 years of watching this silly reality show.

But there is something about this show that fascinates me.

Most of these people are attention-seeking, certainly, because they are signing up to be filmed for 40 days straight "marooned" in a remote location with at least 15 other strangers for the chance to win a million dollars. Shy, private people do not try out for this show.

But what I really love is watching these people's masks fall away. None of them ever really seem to grasp that they will not be able to pretend to be something they are not for that long under those conditions.

Over and over again, you hear them saying after a week, this is so much harder than I thought. Really? What did you think? That you aren't really going to be sweating and gritty with sand in the first ten minutes and not have a bath for 40 days? That you aren't really going to be eating a spoonful of rice and two bites of bony fish, if you're lucky, for a meal almost every day for 40 days? That you aren't going to be trying to sleep on boards with many other people, with next to no protection from the wind, the rain, the cold, the bugs, again, for 40 days?

Take someone and strip them of all their support and their comfort, make them nearly starving, exhausted, bored for long stretches punctuated by highly physical and mental challenges, and forced to play a social game with complete and often terribly irritating strangers, and you are absolutely going to find out who they really are.

It's such an interesting study of human nature and human interaction. Bob keeps saying one of these days he's going to apply for the show. The idea of this simultaneously cracks me up and makes me shudder. Now THAT would be interesting television.


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