What, no Survivor Samoa thread?

Two episodes in and no mentions yet that I’ve seen. For anyone who hasn’t seen the episodes yet, you can catch up by watching episodes from CBS’ Survivor site. Here’s a quick summary (spoilerish):

This season is so far dominated by one person - Russell Hantz, AKA Evil Russell. This guy is a multi-millionaire Texas oilman with complete disdain for his opponents. Both of the people eliminated at tribal council were done in by indicating their lack of trust in Evil Russell. As soon as someone does this to him, he convinces the other tribemates to get rid of that person. Not only that, in the second episode he decides to look for the hidden immunity idol despite the fact that no clues have been given and even the existence of the idol has not been revealed. Never mind that, he found it anyway. If Evil Russell ever gets eliminated, the show goes way downhill for me. None of the other survivors are even remotely as interesting.

So, anyone else watching?

Is that so, “Russ”?

Like Ramadan, the next Survivor seems to come earlier every year. I completely forgot about this one.

What I didn’t forget, however, is the new season of ‘The Amazing Race’, premiering Sunday evening on CBS. Now with Harlem Globetrotters!

I was upset that the cop got eliminated as I liked her. She immediately suss’d out that Russ was no good and she was a fellow New Hampshire-ite. If she could have gotten together with the doctor (Mick) and the law student (Jaison) they could have formed a decent alliance. I’m not sure why she conceded the point that, as an older woman, she was a liability. Clearly she did not play a good social game or she’d still be there.

I’ve been pretty unimpressed by both Mick and Jaison going passively along with Russ’s entirely suicidal tactics. It looks like Jaison finally grows a set next week, though, and starts trying to take control of the situation.

The great thing about Russ is that he’s not just evil – He’s mostly a complete moron as well. Making separate aliances with all of the girls and thinking they wouldn’t figure it out? Sabotaging his team making them less able to compete in the immunity challanges? It’s funny as hell to watch but, strategically, chaos doesn’t have a lot going for it.

I’m sure the producers will angle to keep him around as long as possible though.

People still watch Survivor?

The past several seasons have actually been some of the bst in the show’s history.

I stopped watching for a while around season three and picked it back up a couple of years ago. About the time that I picked it back up they started tinkering with the show’s formula to keep it fresh. They’ve been mostly successful, though every once in a while the producers will manipulate events a bit too much for my tastes.

Yeah, I’m still watching it; haven’t missed a season yet. I’d have to say, this might be the most visually stunning location yet; more coastline and reef shots plz.

Russell is one for the ages, no doubt about it. But how about Miss Marines who nonchalantly took off with the mask, snorkel and spearo in an effort to catch some fish and prove her worth to her tribe. Then decides ‘catching fish is hard’ and heads over to a shallow lagoon to rest and relax a little. Then shows back up at camp with not only no fish but she’s lost the mouthpiece for the snorkel… she says it fell off and she has no idea when or where. Oh, but she’s happy to report that the reef has got LOTS of fish.

Just caught up with the first two episodes tonight. Very strong start to a season. Russell is entertaining in a “What would happen if one of the players did this?” sort of way, but I just don’t see him lasting too long. He reminds me of the ‘Caveman Fireman’ from a few seasons back, who thought he was the master manipulator, but just couldn’t keep his ego in check and know when to shut up. Still, finding the idol ensures that he lives forever in the annals of Survivorization.

I have no idea who’s going to win this, nor any favorites. Strategically, it’s been an all-Russell show and no one’s had a chance to make a move.

I think i’d rather watch Survivor: Sonoma

I love Survivor, and it has enduring appeal to me because it’s always an interesting, primarily psychological game - the “game” itself is just fun, even if individual seasons are more or less interesting depending upon the quality of the players and nature of the characters.

Anyway, they’ve hyped up Russell in promos so I presume he hangs around for a while, which just seems impossible to me – his style is wildly entertaining, but it just seems so short-sighted and self-destructive. He may be saved by having someone even more self-destructive on his team, however, and that “burning his teammate’s socks and dumping out all their water just to cause chaos” was classic.

But he didn’t even last an episode before there was a big confrontation and allegations of his shiftiness (a conversation and confrontation that he propogated), so he got on the radar as someone sneaky way too early for that to be a good strategy, even if he manages to maneuver into some longevity. Loved him in the 1st episode, but 2nd episode he just seemed self-destructive rather than strategic.

It’s actually surprising that nobody has ever entered the show with the goal of just “being outright evil” though, to his own teammates - given how effective a way that is to get screen time.

And you gotta hand it to him for finding the hidden immunity idol without any clues. What I don’t understand is that he even told the rest of his tribe he was looking for it and they just kind of let him go about his business.

Russel is great… lol Although I think on top of potentially setting himself up for a major take down by all his scheming, showing too many people that he has actually found the hidden immunity idol already.
Either his team really is the “most clueless team ever” (as he’s stated) or he some how just comes across differently to his team and they aren’t showing us this.

But it is good TV… the other tribe is boring as hell… Yoga?? seriously??? Yoga? they need to start losing, and create some drama over there.

The other tribe has gotten virtually no TV time, so it’s hard to even remember the members (and there are 10 of them!).

Offhand, the only ones that I can recall are the black guy leader, Shambo (why did she act like such a social misfit from the outset at her own tribe, and then be an affable visitor who would have gotten along fine with her own brood if she displayed that personality there), and the rocket scientist who looks Brazilian. The others are completely forgettable right now.

I’m definitely enjoying this season – the show has been quite consistently good for the past several years now. Part of why Evil Russell is doing so well is that the rest of his team really does seem a bit clueless. I like Jaison and Liz but they just are totally failing to see the big picture at all.

Though as always the story that they tell in the edit is quite different, I’m sure, from what it’s like to be there.

As a former fanatical Diplomacy player, I love all the scheming and machinations that go on in Survivor (from a suitably safe distance). Russell, as noted, has been the attention whore of the show so far, the only bump being so far was his erstwhile ally, the fatally insensitive Ben (calling the black woman he didn’t like “ghetto trash”, which eventually set off Jaison). Russell saw which the way the wind was blowing on that and found out that he isn’t as in control of the game as he thinks, and cut off the cancer before it dragged him down, too.

But it is amusing that he thinks so short term - causing chaos and strife can solidify your own position for a while as everyone points fingers at everyone else while you remain calm, but long term, it leaves you without a tribe to count on when the tribes merge. Further, two tribe members already figured out he was poison - he keeps it up and with a smaller group, it’s just going to become obvious what his real natures is even to the less perceptive members.

As to the other tribe - boring. I’m constantly amazed how so many players approach this as some sort of catered vacation rather than putting in the work to actually improve their miserable conditions - massed yoga? Time for Shambo to do some subtle sabotage of her own.

I only pay minimal attention because my sister-in-law does some pretty convoluted Survivor betting pools. I haven’t actually watched the show in years.

fools with no tarp.

It occured to me while getting caught up with recorded episodes this weekend that Russell reminds me of The Judge from Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian.

For a second there, I thought that Russell was gonna bite it big time and had to remind myself that they would not have showed him dying on tv.

The look in his eye was that he had pretty much followed that bright light at the end of the tunnel.

Bet Jeff was crapping his pants the whole time. He even mentioned it later that it was the scariest moment he has ever had on the show.

Naw, the Judge is a giant. Russell is Gimli, or his smarter brother who escaped the mines. He’s basically a dwarf right out of Tolkien.